The Peace Alliance
Taking Action: “Transforming the Public Discourse”
Letters to the Editor and other options to help inform the national dialogue
â€œLet us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together… If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, letâ€™s make sure itâ€™s worthy of those we lost.â€
~President Obama, Tucson Memorial Service
Tuesday night over 200 people from around the country joined us for a conference call on soul searching after the Arizona shooting. On the call, attendees expressed pain, sadness, hope, frustration, and anger after the grave Tucson attack. Many felt concerned about the culture of violence that continues to haunt our nation. We also focused on solutions for moving towards a culture of peace, both in our political discourse and in our communities.
Here are a few ideas that you might consider, to help shape the dialogue and bring some measure of healing to this open moment:
Write a Letter to the Editor
Use our handy Letter to the Editor tool to encourage our fellow citizen to take on a shared responsibility for the support of our nations young people, and for the advancement of a culture of peace in government as well as in our communities. Youâ€™ll see sample material on our site to help inform a more peaceful dialogue and perspective. Itâ€™s easy and can have a real impact!
State of the Unity Parties
An inspiring and innovative project of “No Labels” is bringing together Republicans, Democrats and others for civility and unity.
From No Labelsâ€™s Kiki Mclean:
â€œOn Tuesday, January 25th, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Every year, across the country, Democrats watch the speech with Democrats and Republicans watch with Republicans. This year, its time we break past the divisions and do something different. We want you to host a No Labels State of the Unity Watch Party in your home by inviting your friends and family–of all political stripes–to join together for the Presidentâ€™s address. Register here to host a No Labels State of the Unity Watch Party!
Three Ideas for Congressional Comity and Civility
(from Third Way)
A think tank called Third Way issued an Open Letter to the Bipartisan Leadership of the U.S. Congress offering three unique new ideas for helping to restore some comity and civility in Congress Read the article in the Washington Post:
* Mixed (bipartisan) seating at the State of the Union, to avoid the spectacle of one side jumping up to applaud and the other sitting glumly.
* A bipartisan retreat for each house of Congress.
* Regular visits by Members of Congress to the district/state of a member of a different party.
Read the letter at: http://www.thirdway.org/publications/360
Three Suggestions for Peacemaking in Your Own Life
1. If you have any internal judgements of anybody, politically or in your life, notice any judgments of â€œwrong or bad.â€ Then connect, â€œwhat are the deeper needs of mine behind those judgements?â€
2. When you have disagreement with what others are saying (with politicians and media pundits, for example), see if you can empathize with the needs they are trying to meet, and see if there are ways you can relate to them.
3. If you are talking to someone who is expressing judgments — that you either agree or disagree with — try to reflect back and empathize with some of their needs.
These are paraphrased from Nonviolent Communication (NVC) facilitator John Kinyon, who helped lead our recent conference call. Learn more about NVC concepts and practices.
The Peace Alliance
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