Celebrate International Peace Day in Delaware

cropped-PeaceWeek_logo2.jpgToday is International Peace Day, a global celebration of the possibility of peace. In Delaware, Peace Week continues on its fourth day, with six events statewide.

In New Castle County, the third of four sessions of the podcast Remaking “Murdertown”, a YWCA Delaware event focusing on their mission to eliminate racism and empower women, the Jaycees’ model for planning a peace project and an interfaith evening featuring international peace activist and founder of Campaign Nonviolence, John Dear.  In Rehoboth, a March for Peace honoring Peace Week Delaware and A Day of Peace with dedication of a Peace Pole. Events continue statewide through September 25.

Today’s events: Complete details here.

Third of four sessions for the podcast Remaking Murdertown.

Remaking ‘Murdertown’:  Poverty, Punishment & Possibility’—DCJ Podcast Club
Episode 3 “Tidal Wave”

12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm (bring your lunch), The Delaware Center for Justice
This four-part podcast follows one individual, Ricky Reyes, as a case study in the roles that poverty and public policy play in Wilmington crime. Bring your lunch and join us in listening to Episode 3 “Tidal Wave,” and then discussing the episode together. The final episode will be shared on Sept. 22.

How the YWCA Delaware addresses racism and empowers women, and tour the Home-Life Management Center. 

YWCA Delaware Mission Tour

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – YWCA Home Life Management Center

Experience YWCA Delaware’s mission by hearing about our racial justice and advocacy work, how we address social barriers and create opportunities through our statewide programs and by touring our Home-Life Management Center, where we help families achieve their full social and economic potential. Hosted by CEO Stephanie Staats.  Advance Registration Required:  Adam Caplan, acaplan@ywcade.org

Learn how to plan a project to work toward peace in your community. 

Jaycees Workshop:  Engage Your Local Community For Peace

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Wilmington Jaycees

Learn the concepts behind Peace is Possible (www.peaceispossible.cc) to effectively plan a project to promote peace in your community. The Wilmington Jaycees will give you the tools necessary to go from idea to plan, then help you review and improve your project.  Advance Registration Suggested:  thewilmingtonjaycees@gmail.com 

An evening of peace with legendary peace activist and founder Campaign Nonviolence, John Dear, nominated by Archishop Desmond Tutu for the Nobel Peace Prize.  


In the Spirit of Peace:  Practice Nonviolence

7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 with music by Ami Verrill) – First Unitarian Church

Commit to nonviolent action for peace in Delaware in this interfaith evening with John Dear.  Father Dear believes that peace is not something static, but “is to be engaged, mind, body and spirit.” He teaches to love yourself, your neighbor, your enemy, and the world and to understand “the profound responsibility in doing all of these.”

Back-to-back events in Rehoboth Beach, a March for Peace and a Celebration of Peace with Dedication of a Peace Pole

March for Peace Honoring Peace Week Delaware

Gather at 4:00 pm – Rehoboth Boardwalk, near the water fountain

March with banners and posters down the boardwalk to Baltimore Avenue and on to Camp Rehoboth.

Celebration of Peace Week Delaware and Dedication of Peace Pole

Beginning 5:00 pm – Camp Rehoboth

Local musicians from various groups will play and sing, followed by a brief program acknowledging the importance of peacemaking in all major faiths.

We Can Realize the “Peace Dividend”

cropped-PeaceWeek_logo2.jpgThe following Delaware Voice column was published by the Wilmington News-Journal on Sept. 9. It is available online here

By Michaelena de Jesus, Rachel Livingston & Boyd Sorenson

People say that real, lasting peace is impossible. They say, “Just look at human history with wars, violence, injustice, conflicts, winners and losers. How can the message and benefits of peace survive faced with constant violence, terrorism and threats of war?”

Cynics say that the “protection industry,” military, police, criminal justice world and prison system, have overwhelming economic and political power. Perversely, they say “non-peace” is in “our” best economic interests.

Jobs are at stake.

Yet people are uniting to demand peaceful behavior from our families, communities and governments. In Delaware, for the first time, people throughout the state will celebrate the benefits of peace for an entire week, Sept. 18 to 25. Peace Week Delaware has more than 30 events statewide and more than 100 volunteers, sponsors and funders. The work to bring Peace Week to Delaware is forming stronger coalitions to build a culture of peace in our state and our world.

You can join us.

A change of attitude, that a culture of peace is possible, benefits us all. Peace and peaceful actions make sense because peacemaking is our number one strategy to overcome fear and violence. If we adjust our mindset and actions, we can make peace possible now.

Consider the benefits of peace and peacemaking: We will rely on love and understanding rather than fear and separation. We will reduce suffering and loss caused by violence. We will educate our children to use alternatives to violence for conflict resolution. We will seek reconciliation rather than separation and revenge.

With our children and neighbors, we must learn to talk, listen, understand, and act for peace as the default alternative to violence. We must preach the blessings and practices of peace from our pulpits. We must demand that our governments act in ways that support peace. Real social and economic justice depend on this.

And there is a Peace Dividend. A peaceful world, nation, state and community will spend fewer resources on the protection industry. Shift economic resources from prisons and punishment to jobs and programs that produce opportunities for all people. Create a culture that benefits from the best of us all.

Real peace, right now, is more than idealistic lip service. Our digital world is an asset to people and groups that are peace builders. New connections – like those being built by Peace Week Delaware – allow peacemaking to serve people as never before with peace education, peace programs and peace networking. Our grassroots coalitions and combined advocacy will better compete with the many forms of violence that dominate our culture.

Along with our neighbors, those who we know and those who we have yet to meet, we are committed to promoting the actions and blessings of peace that will lead us to a better society. “Neighbors joining together to build peace in the First State” is the theme for Peace Week Delaware.

Michaelena de Jesus is a mother of two boys, full time optician and community leader of a peace movement called 302GunsDown. Rachel Livingston is the Minister of Social Action at Mother African United Church and worked for the Delaware Repeal Project. Boyd Sorenson is a retired businessman and peace advocate who lives in Yorklyn. 


First Peace Week Delaware Starts Tomorrow

After months of planning and lots of hard work by dozens of volunteers and event sponsors, the first Peace Week Delaware will launch on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Three events will be held at the Delaware Contemporary (formerly DCCA) at 200 South Madison St., on the Wilmington Riverfront. Additional events will be held in Center City Wilmington and in Rehoboth Beach. Between Sept. 18 and Sept. 25, more than 35 events are scheduled.
Peace Week Delaware is an expanded vision of peace led by the Movement for a Culture of Peace, which organized anti-violence marches in Wilmington in 2014 and 2015 and has held monthly public forums on how to achieve peace and address the impact of violence. Peace Week Delaware provides a coordinated outlet for that energy, widening the circle of nonviolent action across the state.
A detailed, up-to-date listing of all events is at www.peaceweekdelaware.org/events.

Sunday, Sept. 18 Events
New Castle County

Visions of Peace: Free Family Sunday
12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, The Delaware Contemporary

DSC_0162In conjunction with the opening reception for the Pacem in Terris Children’s Peace Art Exhibition, The Delaware Contemporary invites families to create artwork representing their own visions of peace at its regular first Fall Free Family Sunday. Materials provided. All ages welcome!

Opening Reception: Children’s Peace Art Exhibition
1:00 to 3:00 pm, The Delaware Contemporary

peace-art-largeWhat does peace look like? What does a peaceful world look like? A children’s art exhibit for students in grades K-12 sponsored by Pacem in Terris. Conceived as a dialogue between youth and older citizens, the exhibit features images and words describing the world our youth envision. How will we respond to their vision?

Peace & the Spoken Word
3:00 to 4:30 pm, The Delaware Contemporary

PeaceReadings Graphic_jpegStories can be central to peacemaking. Brief narrative readings—all spoken aloud—will present the ideas and experiences of great thinkers and writers. During these participatory readings, audience members will be invited to read out selected passages. Today’s topic: Americans Abroad.If you think travel makes us better, this is for you. Readings will include Dr. Howard Thurman in India, Bayard Taylor in Germany, and James Baldwin and Charles Sumner in France. Sponsored by Plays of the World. Advance Registration Suggested: playsoftheworldhere@gmail.com or call (302) 463-4095

 Also in Wilmington is a great opportunity to share a potluck meal across religions and cultures at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SSaM), 719 N. Shipley St.

 Breaking Bread Together
4:30 pm (meal served at 5:00), SSaM

Bread and HandsAn opportunity to meet our Muslim neighbors and to offer them our friendship. All ages and religious backgrounds (or no religion at all) are invited to come together around a shared meal. Foods from diverse cultures are welcome. Come as you are—with or without food—to celebrate our common humanity. Advance registration suggested: dlcasson@ssam.org. Sponsored by: Masjid Isa Ibn-e-Maryam and SsAM.

In Sussex County

The first Peace Week Delaware event in Sussex County will be a learning experience about a much talked-about alternative to incarceration and punishment.

Restorative Justice: Peace Making in Latin America
7:00 – 9:00 pm, Epworth United Methodist Church, Rehoboth

Epworth_ValavachiCharito Calvachi-Mateyko, a restorative justice practitioner, will give a brief overview of the approach that restorative justice uses, how it relates to building peace in Latin America, and the implications for peace building in our country and in our individual lives.  Participants will be invited to ask questions and dialogue. Where: 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Sponsored by: Delaware Humanities Forum and Epworth United Methodist Church

More information on all Peace Week Delaware events is at www.peaceweekdelaware.org/events

Peace Week to Launch with 30+ Events

PeaceWeek_logo2_smallThe first Peace Week Delaware will launch on Sept. 18 with more than 30 events statewide over eight days—far exceeding organizers’ expectations.

Organization of Peace Week Delaware began in February 2016.  Since then, Delaware’s Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) has partnered with dozens of organizations and individuals across the First State to present a week-long series of events running from September 18 – 25.

The purpose of Peace Week Delaware (PWD)  is two-fold:  (1) To build our state’s capacity to achieve our collective goals for peace and justice by collaborating to create Peace Week together and (2) To offer peace-loving people across Delaware the opportunity to join together to recognize the possibility of peace and energize their actions.

Delaware continues to suffer from unacceptably high levels of violence. Government agencies and non-governmental organizations have worked to address this issue without success.

The Movement for a Culture of Peace envisions a coordinated approach to building alternatives to the prevailing culture of violence based on education, economic opportunity, anti-racism, equal justice, respect for human rights, equality between women and men, respect for LGBTQ rights, democratic participation, the free flow of information, and disarmament of our neighborhoods.

MCP has sponsored monthly forums on peace and nonviolence for two years, as well as the 2014 and 2015 Marches for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington. We believe that change agents are more effective working together—and that collaboration will accelerate positive change across the First State.  Our hope is that Peace Week Delaware will become an annual event, broadening in scope, participation, and impact each year.

More than 30 events will take place across the First State—things like films, art exhibitions, marches, gatherings, rallies, concerts, workshops, talks, and meditations.  Delawareans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds are urged to attend Peace Week Delaware events to share with others in building peace across the First State.

Are You Ready for Peace Week Delaware?


It’s time to get involved:
Create. Volunteer. Plan. Give.

Peace Week Delaware (PWD) is gaining momentum and attracting attention across the First State. Our inaugural series of peace-themed arts events, workshops, lectures, concerts, films, and festivals will run from Sept. 17 to 24 – Sunday to Sunday – bracketing International Peace Day on Thursday, September 21.


How can you help?

Create – Create an event and have it added  to the PWD calendar! provide! Online event registration will open on June 1. We will accept event plans at any time – but after August 15, we can’t add your event  to our printed program for Peace Week.

Volunteer – We’re still seeking people with media skills to help us promote Peace Week Delaware statewide. We have great ideas to promote PWD but need someone like you to put those ideas into action. If you can pitch in, email volunteer@peaceweekdelaware.org. Additional volunteer opportunities are described here.

Plan – The PWD Steering Committee can always use more brainpower! Email info@peaceweekdelaware.org to receive meeting invitations, agendas, and minutes. The meeting calendar is here.

Give – The Movement for a Culture of Peace is grateful for the outpouring of support for Peace Week Delaware – but many of the things we’d like to do depend upon receiving additional funds. If you, your organization, or group would like to financially support Peace Week Delaware, please visit our Support page.

We can astonish our state with our commitment to change.

Our goal is to build Delaware’s capacity to work together to solve our problems and create a culture of peace. Our vision is that Delaware will become known for its transformation from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.

Visit www.peaceweekdelaware.org to find out how you can become involved.

If you have questions, reach out to info@peaceweekdelaware.org.

Are you ready for Peace Week Delaware?

Event Development Workshop June 12


The Steering Committee is excited about how the plans for Peace Week Delaware 2017 are coming together.  It’s time to meet again, to expand the individuals and groups involved, and to develop plans for specific events. 

Please join the Peace Week Delaware “Event Development Workshop.” 

Monday, June 12, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
730 Halstead Road, Wilmington 19803

(The church is at the corner of Rte 202 and Whitby Rd.  Please use the main entrance on Whitby Road.  Parking is available across the street, and on Halstead Road behind the church)

During the Workshop we will:

  • Update you on plans so far
  • Show you  the power of our website – peaceweekdelaware.org
  • Share graphic resources to help you promote your event
  • Work together on plans for events that you and others can sponsor during Peace Week

Please come with your plans for an event and be ready to collaborate with others.

The Peace Week Delaware Steering Committee

Join in Creating Peace Week Delaware

September 18–25, 2016

From September 18–25, peace-loving folks across our state will celebrate Peace Week Delaware—a statewide series of events raising awareness and hope for peace in our communities, nation, and world. We encourage you and your organization to join in by helping to create the inaugural Peace Week Delaware.

What is Peace Week Delaware?  Peace Week Delaware is an expanded vision of peace led by the Movement for a Culture of Peace, which organized peace marches in Wilmington in 2014 and 2015 and has held monthly public forums on how to achieve peace and address the impact of violence. Last September’s march drew 400 participants from dozens of organizations across Delaware, demonstrating that our state wants to create a new paradigm of peace—and a new level of peace activism.

Peace Week Delaware will provide a coordinated outlet for that energy, widening the circle of nonviolent action across the state. The week of September 18–25 brings Campaign Nonviolence Action Week to life in Delaware.

Who is involved?  The Movement for a Culture of Peace and its community partners are behind Peace Week Delaware. An independent committee—the Peace Week Collective—began meeting in February to mobilize community participation and organize events for this week. A number of non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, churches and individuals have committed to creating Peace Week Delaware together.

Why participate?  We challenge you to consider how you can bring the spirit of Peace Week into your life or organization. Our goal is to have at least 20 events statewide under the Peace Week Delaware banner. Hosting a Peace Week Delaware event has several benefits:

  • Connecting with fellow activists working towards peace and nonviolence
  • Showcasing your organization’s work to a broader audience
  • Leveraging the power of Peace Week’s website and social media
  • Uniting with like-minded folks to celebrate your group’s mission
  • Helping to define the future of Peace Week Delaware in this inaugural year

 How can we get involved? There are two ways.  One, organize a Peace Week Delaware event. You can do this through your organization or as an individual or neighborhood. Visit www.peaceweekdelaware.org to find Peace Week ideas and an FAQ about how to create your own Peace Week event.  Leverage our website and social media program to get the word out about your event.

Two, work with the Peace Week Collective on one of several events already in the works—an art exhibit, an interfaith peace vigil, a concert, and the third annual March for a Culture of Peace led by the Movement for a Culture of Peace. You’re welcome at any meetings of the Collective to learn more about how to contribute to Peace Week Delaware. Meetings are listed on the website. And, of course, we hope you and members of your organization will attend these events.

What if I have more questions?  Visit www.peaceweekdelaware.org or email info@peaceweekdelaware.org.

We hope you will be part of creating peace this September
and beyond. We have an opportunity to declare our desire
for peace and our ideas for achieving it – and we can make
a greater difference if we act together as one Delaware.

Nine Days, Three Counties, One Delaware — Sept. 21–29, 2019