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11th Anniversary of Department Of Peace

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Published on Jul 11, 2012

"Eleven years ago today, I introduced legislation to establish a Cabinet-level Department of Peace and Non-violence. Since July 11, 2001 our nation has experienced the tragedy of September 11th, sent thousands of troops into the Middle East to fight wars, and continued to witness heart-breaking events that the bullying epidemic has caused in our schools such as deadly school shootings and an increasing number of suicides among our nations young people. It is clearer now, more than ever, that we must embrace a Department of Peace as a way to address not only violence in our schools but the violence that exists in our homes, workplaces and institutions throughout our communities both nationally and internationally.

"I believe that the government has a responsibility to create an organized approach to address issues of violence in our society. That is why I have continued to introduce the Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act in every Congress since 2001. This legislation seeks to make non-violence an organizing principle in our society.

"A cabinet level department would look at root causes and endeavor to find preventive solutions that are both dynamic and comprehensive. H.R. 808 would establish a Secretary position to advise the President on peace-building strategies in times of international conflict. It would establish a Peace Academy to provide instruction in peace education, and offer opportunities for graduates to serve in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution. It would also provide funds to support and expand domestic programs that provide training in known best-practices such as mediation, alternative dispute resolution techniques, and nonviolent communication programs in our public schools and in the public sector workforce.

"Today, on the eleventh anniversary of the introduction of the Department of Peace and Non-violence legislation, I ask that we challenge the reflexive war-as-conflict-resolution mindset that our country has adopted. Isn't it time that we end our nation's reliance on weapons and war? Isn't it time that we make a commitment to more peaceful methods of conflict resolution? Isn't it time that we each make our own personal commitment to living a life of nonviolence?"

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