Cure Violence is moving forward expeditiously to implement its new strategic plan as approved at the December 2013 board meeting. One of the goals identified in that plan is to change the thinking and the practice as it relates to violence. Recognizing that we cannot do this alone, Cure Violence is selectively seeking partners who we can work with to make violence a thing of the past. Search for Common Ground is one such organization.
In 2013 Search launched a campaign to raise awareness among youth about the need to interrupt and stop the spread of violence. This campaign is part of what we hope will become a larger movement to more fully end violent conflict. The goal is to have one million people take a pledge to do their part to end violent conflict. Common Ground hopes to accomplish this goal of one million pledges by International Day of Peace 2014 (September 21, 2014).
As a partner organization, Cure Violence is contributing to this campaign by encouraging our colleagues and others to join the movement by taking this pledge. By signing on, you become part of a larger group that is working to make violence a thing of the past.
Each month, Search will send an email to all those who have taken this pledge challenging persons to take specific actions reduce violence. Cure Violence will be helping to develop these challenges. These will be simple actions that help the movement members to understand that we all do and how we think about violence makes a difference. Each monthly communication will also contain some positive story about someone who has done his or her part to interrupt violence. Some of these stories will come from our professional interrupters and outreach workers. Each month there will also be the opportunity to participate in an online conversation about ending violent conflict. As a partner organization, Cure Violence will actively contribute to the guest speakers for these online events.
Violence is a global problem. And different forms of violence from street to family to war to suicide have all been shown to be causative of each other. Violence is contagious across all of these syndromes. When we take such a pledge, we Join the Search for solutions which make sense. This collective movement – connected to Cure Violence’s movement to make violence a thing of the past, helps to raise awareness about the impact of violent conflict on all of us, and to shift out thinking about how relevant and preventable violence including conflict is, and thereby help empower increasing networks of people with improved skills for handling conflict in our own lives, as well as others.
The movement is designed to provide opportunities to connect with others all over the globe, giving us all a chance to understand violent conflict in different contexts. By sharing information about the pledge with your own network, you contribute to creating the movement. When we put it all together, the result is more people on every continent thinking about violence differently and equipped to constructively deal with conflict on individual, group, community, country and global levels.
If a million people think more than twice before resorting to violence or threat of violence, lead their communities to more constructive solutions during troubling times, and believe that ending violence is possible, in particular with new and expanding approaches, our world changes even faster toward a harmonious place.
We are excited about our partnership with Search for Common Ground and hope that our supporters will also join by taking the pledge to help end violence.