Journey Towards Peace

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Peace Is Possible

Peace Is Possible

Problems within a community can prevent people from living safe, happy, and productive lives. Promoting peace in a community is an extraordinary challenge, and it often requires the work and dedication of many community members. However, you can help to promote peace within your community by encouraging good relationships with your neighbors, learning more about your community’s history, and taking action to deal with violence.
Become more familiar with your community. Getting to know individuals from many different backgrounds and walks of life within your community may give you a new perspective on the problems facing your community. Some ways to get to know the people and places in your community might include:  Introducing yourself to people. Make a habit of introducing yourself to the people you meet in daily life. Show genuine interest in them, and ask them questions about their lives, jobs, and families.  Connecting with neighbors. Ask neighbors you know to come and visit you, or visit them yourself. Ask about their lives, work, health and family, and get their perspective on local problems.  Visiting new places. Visit businesses and public areas that you don’t typically visit. Take note of changes in your community as well, such as new neighbors, local construction projects, or newly opened or closed businesses.

Plan a peaceful event. If you want to raise awareness about problems facing your community
and encourage peace in your community, then organizing a peaceful event is a good option. Try
banding together with some local community members to put together an event, such as a
community picnic, a food drive for a local food bank, a peaceful peace, or a walk through your
community to raise awareness about a problem your community is facing.
 If you don’t feel ready to plan an event, then you could also organize a small meeting. Try
planning a meeting and inviting some other community members who are interested in
making your community a more peaceful place. Use the meeting to share your concerns
and discuss possible solutions.

Explore volunteer opportunities. Volunteering is great way to help your community and it
may also be a good way to promote peace. Local anti-violence organizations may have a need
for volunteers in outreach or other programs. However, don’t limit your considerations just to
organizations focusing on violence. Any opportunity to better the community, from
volunteering to pick up trash to participating in after-school programs for children, will allow
you to meet new people in your community, and promote a sense of togetherness and
 Look into volunteering at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or animal shelter. Try
visiting local organizations’ websites or calling to see if they are looking for volunteers.

Make sure you have current contact information for your neighbors. Encourage everyone
in your neighborhood to do the same, and be sure to provide your own contact information to
your neighbors. This will allow you to quickly get in touch with your neighbors when a
problem arises. It will also make it easier to check on people in your community and maintain
your relationships with them. Here are some suggestions for information to gather:
Home or cell phone numbers
Workplace addresses and phone numbers
E-mail addresses, or social media accounts
Contact info for neighbors’ immediate family, in case of emergency

Investigate the causes of violence in your community. One way to address the violence in
your community is to identify the driving forces behind the violence. These may include things
like a lack of jobs, which might be causing members of the community to turn to violence for
survival. By investigating the potential causes of the violence in your community, you can work
on some tailored solutions to the violence. For example, a lack of jobs might be due to poor
educational opportunities for people in your community. Therefore, improving educational
opportunities might be the best way to prepare people for jobs and cut down on violent crimes.
 Or, if many of the kids in your community spend their spare time on the streets, then
building a community center or increasing the programming at a local community center
may provide the kids with somewhere to go after school.

Make a plan with your neighbors to deal with violent situations. This is a great way to start
organizing your community, and will help promote unity and communication. What you talk
about and plan for will depend on your particular community, but here are some suggestions:
 Discuss how more vulnerable community members, such as elders, can be cared for and
protected from violence.
 Arrange carpooling or offer to escort those who need to leave their home, but are fearful to
go out alone.
 If children are present in the neighborhood, have a frank discussion with your neighbors
about where the children can gather should they find themselves in danger.
Talk to those around you about the causes of violence. It is important for you to get as
complete a perspective as possible, but remember that unrest in a community often has many
causes, all interacting in a complicated way. Always be open to new explanations and
 Be open and honest in discussing issues of violence with your family, friends and
neighbors. Conversations about such important, urgent issues can become heated, but do
not shy away from disagreement. Instead, try to listen to what others have to say, and try to
understand their perspectives before responding.
 Community leaders such as religious or school officials, business owners, community
organizers, and local politicians are another great resource.
 Ask about other people’s personal experiences with violence, or other community issues.
Ask them what they think has caused these issues, and what they think should be done to
solve them.

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