Today is the annual commemoration of the International Day of Peace. Peace Through Action USA observes this #PeaceDay by announcing #UnitingOurHands, our effort to help overcome racism in the United States.
Racism (which is prejudice, discrimination, or aggression directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior) persists and has been suggested to be on the rise again in the United States. The August 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, reinvigorated defense of Civil War monuments, and protests in response to yet another not guilty verdict in a police officer-involved shooting of a Black man (September 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri) are recent evidence of racism and racial tension.
With each instance of racism exposed for all to see follows a common question among those made uncomfortable or frustrated by the incident — What can I do?
Peace Through Action USA asked this question too. What could WE do to help overcome racism? We determined what would be consistent with our mission and purpose would be to encourage and assist people and groups in becoming aware of and then changing their personal and communal racist behaviors.
How does one go about doing that? We propose through intentional and sustained implementation of practical peaceful solutions such as implicit bias assessment, dialogue groups, empathy cultivation training, restorative justice processes, and community change efforts. These are practices one does not do alone. We must do them together—by #UnitingOurHands for action.
And so, we invite all who desire to increase peace between people and groups of differing races and ethnicities to join us in #UnitingOurHands for action. Please visit #UnitingOurHands for ways to learn, connect, and give.
Tackling deeply embedded social challenges such as racism requires formal organizations and groups of like-willed people to organize racism awareness-raising and behavior-changing activities for the many others of us who are seeking answers to their “what can I do to address racism” questions but don’t know how to begin or don’t have a group to join. Such organizations and groups do exist or are in formation. And they are eager for more helpers. That’s where Peace Through Action USA enters.
We were formed to energize unpaid volunteers and compensated servant leaders to activate Americans to reject aggression and violence and equip them with practical solutions to establish peace between people and groups where we live, learn, work, play, and pray. #UnitingOurHands represents our commitment to apply our purpose and a portion of our programming to overcoming racism.
We require financial support to fulfill this promise. The servant leaders we will engage in peace projects focused on overcoming racism—in several communities across the country—deserve a modest wage so that they may serve a full year without harming themselves economically. And Peace Through Action USA has need of resources to meet the public charitable interest.
Simply stated, cash is essential to our success. Will you give a gift of money to help us activate #UnitingOurHands?
As the lyrics of the gospel hymn and justice song say, “We shall overcome some day” and “We’ll walk hand in hand some day.” For Peace Through Action USA our walk toward racial equality begins today. Please walk hand in hand with us. For indeed we can—and we shall—overcome racism by #UnitingOurHands for action.