Living Peace Now
May 31, 2016 Kosmos Community News

A Model for Building Safe Communities: The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding Leads the Way

by Dot Maver and River Phoenix

The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding (RPCP) has developed a successful process model that gives form to the common yearning for equity. The model is based on these principles: 1) we recognize that we are not our behavior; 2) we strive to make resources available; 3) we take time to navigate through restoration rather than punishment; and 4) we seek to answer the need in the moment.

In designing our program, we took a comprehensive approach to creating a process model based on shared purpose, common principles, and action that reflects equality and justice for all. As you will read in this report, our partners enthusiastically attest that our collaborative model is making a difference by bringing heart and goodwill to bear on the communities where our programs are offered.

Walking Peace Into the World

By Rivera Sun, for Kosmos Online

‘We walked to be the peace we yearned to see. We could not wait for politicians to end the endless, borderless wars. We ended it with our footsteps. We announced with our bodies that we would not wait for authorities to fix our communities; we would heal them here and now. We walked to be present with one another, to break our isolation and fear. We walked away from the violence of corporate media blaring on our screens indoors. We walked out into the streets to embody a different world, a world of peace and nonviolence, presence and compassion.’

Directing the Mind Toward Eight Practices in Diversity

by Larry Yang, LCSW

‘The practice of these trainings is an opportunity to begin the journey towards narrowing the experience of separation. As humans, we all participate in the harmful behaviors that these trainings are addressing. We all have been the perpetrator and victim, at one time or another. These trainings are for all of us, not just for any particular group or community. And in our conjoint practice are the vision, hope, and possibility of both cultivating non-perpetration of oppression and increasing compassion in how we live our lives and understand each other.’

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Photo by August J. Photography

by Charles Eisenstein, via his blog

‘What fed my optimism the most, however, were the astonishing conversations I had with young people there about topics like subtle activism, social permaculture, regenerative politics, indigeneity, and so forth – conversations that basically did not exist when I was in my 20s. They embodied understandings that took me decades to develop and that I still inhabit most tenuously. What will they accomplish from this place that they are seemingly born into, or reach with just a single activating experience? Nor, to address the skeptics among you, were these people weekend philosophers who play with these ideas in between workweeks. They had little buy-in to the rewards and promises of the system, little ambition in the conventional sense. For them, the old story is finished. Even if they are yet a minority among their age cohort, they provide ample proof that the consciousness behind ecocide and injustice is changing.’

National Peace Academy at Point of View “…the new geography of hope”

By Dot Maver & Kristin Famula

On April 6, 2016, over 125 people, including six representatives from the National Peace Academy, gathered for the dedication and celebration of Point of View, a peacebuilding conference center in Lorton, Virginia, focused on conflict resolution and transformation practice, teaching, and research. The land for Point of View was donated to George Mason University by the Lynch family with the express intention to serve as a place of conflict analysis and resolution, supporting a culture of peace.

Building Community: Revitalizing the Whole System Approach through a Renewal of Purpose

image: Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future – Wikimedia
A Kosmos Reader’s Essay by Rebecca Hardin

‘Citizen engagement is manifesting in developing countries to bring local voices to the table when making policy and budgetary decisions like never before. The millennial generation, of which I am a proud part, is the most socially minded generation that has ever existed. We are taking our passion, our purpose, and our expectations to our work, to our communities, and to our governments every single day, which is holding them accountable to positively impact their communities as global entities and citizens.’