What does a wish for "peace on Earth" mean in a community healing from violence, where many cannot afford basic needs? We asked Burundians living and working in peace villages—new settlements for people affected by war, including ex-combatants, returned refugees, and victims of violence—what peace means to them.
Burundi, a small country in East Africa that's roughly the size of Maryland, experienced two decades of ethnic and political conflict that tore apart its social fabric, reduced livelihoods to survival, and spread fear and distrust widely. Through our Burundi program, AFSC supports local and national organizations working for a sustainable peace.
In March 2013, Israel Social TV aired this segment on conscription of Druze, which features an interview with Omar.
Peace is not just the absence of war. It means a sense of shared security, access to jobs, health care, education—a community that is cared for and valued.
In October 2013, 19 people from five continents traveled to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to represent the American Friends Service Committee. We asked them: "What would peace look like in your community?"
A new film from Caneyhead Pictures. Trailer follows:
In June of 2013 a group of peace activists set out for a walk across Iowa to protest the Predator drone control center planned for the Iowa National Guard Air Base in Des Moines.
Beginning at the arms depot at Rock Island Illinois and ending at the National Guard Air Base in Des Moines, the intimate journey of 25 peace pilgrims is documented in the film Walking the Walk: a March Against Drone Warfare. For two weeks and one hundred ninety-five miles, the walkers discuss their mission, their hopes, fears and outrage.
Among the walkers are a man just released from prison for attempting to deliver a letter to the commander of a drone base, a businessman who has left a lucrative career to walk and witness for peace, veterans who have witnessed war first hand and a lawyer and former government official deeply concerned with the legality of the United States' drone strike program.
In discussions with locals they meet and public presentations in libraries, parks and colleges we hear the issue of armed drone strikes and assassinations discussed in all their ethical complexity. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the world-wide peace action organization Code Pink called the film "Wonderful... Fantastic... Brilliant, it gets out so much info in such a humanizing way. And so beautifully filmed."
Dustin Washington, Community Justice Program Director for AFSC's West Region, shares three tips for anti-racist organizing based on his experience as an organizer with the Tyree Scott Freedom School. For over 12 years the Tyree Scott Freedom School has been teaching young people in the Seattle area about institutional racism and community organizing.
In this eight-minute video, Mama Nozipo Glenn of Dayton, Ohio talks about growing up in Apartheid South Africa and her 38-year relationship with AFSC.
Mama Nozipo currently serves on AFSC's Midwest Region Executive Committee and the board of the Harambee Coffee Roasters Cooperative. She is also president of the Miami Valley African Organization.
Comments by Ira Harritt, KC AFSC Program Coordinator at November 10 Turning Combat Boots Into Ploughshares event.