May 2021 Newsletter
Issue #51
Peace is more common than many people think. 10% of societies never experienced war and over 50% have experienced it only once in a generation.
  • Investing early to prevent violence is on average, 60 times more cost-effective than intervening after violence erupts. The world though spends just $1 on conflict prevention for every $1,885 spent on military budgets.

  • Peace and economic development are related, as are war and economic decline. Societies become less prone to experiencing civil war the more affluent they become.

  • Global spending on arms is approximately $1.8 trillion. It is estimated that annual cost of war is around $1 trillion. By contrast, the entire UN system – its peacekeeping operations, humanitarian programs, development work and much else, costs around $50 billion a year.

  • A large body of academic work demonstrates that United Nation peacekeeping operations help prevent wars, shorten wars, limit civilian suffering, and reduce the likelihood of war recurring. It also shows that the greater the number of peacekeepers deployed, the greater these positive effects tend to be. (May 29th is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers)

The Role of Women
  • Gender-equal societies are far more peaceful than patriarchal societies. They are less likely to wage aggressive wars, less likely to experience civil wars, and more likely to support international institutions. Peace processes that include women as equal partners are more likely to deliver sustained peace.

  • Between 1992 and 2019, women constituted on average, 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in major peace processes worldwide. About 70% of peace processes did not include women mediators or women signatories.

  • Worldwide, the proportion of peace agreements with gender equality provisions increased from 14% to 22% between 1995 and 2019.

Personal Health Benefits
  • Finding inner peace reduces age-related mental decline, strengthens the immune system and reduces the stress hormone cortisol which is responsible for the body’s ability to engage in a fight or flight response.
For more Peace resources, click here.
Healing Resistance:
A Radically Different Response to Harm
By Kazu Haga. Reclaims the energy and assertiveness of nonviolent practice and shows that a principled approach to nonviolence is the way to transform not only unjust systems but broken relationships. Offers a practical approach to societal conflict first begun by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, which has been developed into a fully workable, step-by-step training and deeply transformative philosophy. Read more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
Praying with Our Feet:
Pursuing Justice and Healing on the Streets
By Lindsey Krinks. Takes readers on a spiritual journey to tent cities, alleys, slums, and the front lines of movements for justice. Challenges preconceptions about people who live on the streets, calling readers to move from charity to justice and to get their hands dirty in the struggle for a better world. Includes end-of-book discussion questions for each chapter. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Charter for Compassion
An organization that envisions a world where everyone is committed to living by the principle of compassion. Their mission is to support the emergence of a global movement connecting organizers and leaders, providing educational resources, organizing tools, and avenues for communication. Shares lessons, stories, and inspiration at conferences, events, collaborations, conversations and initiatives to create compassionate communities and institutions. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Kunhardt Films
Specializes in documentary films about the people and ideas that shape American history. Kunhardt Films has won numerous Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a DuPont Award, an IDA Award and an NAACP Image Award. Film titles include: The Soul of America, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality, King In The Wilderness, Makers: Women Who Make America,The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross;Finding Your Roots & African American Lives. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Creation and Climate Zine
A resource from Sojourners that provides ways to learn, jumpstart conversations on climate change, and to act together in order to heal and protect our common home. Addresses issues like talking at church about climate change, how climate affect migration, why climate justice is also racial justice and ways readers can take climate action both on their own, and within their communities. Learn more. For more on the Environment, click here.
A Life on Our Planet
A nature & environmental documentary featuring Emmy-winning narrator David Attenborough ("Our Planet," "Planet Earth II"), who recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth. He grieves the loss of wild places but offers a vision for the future. Watch the trailer.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Weekly Planet
A guide to living through climate change from The Atlantic, bringing ideas and information to help readers flourish on a changing planet. Learn more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Built for Zero
A collaborative made up of more than 80 cities and counties that have committed to measurably ending homelessness, one population at a time. Using data, these communities have changed how local homeless response systems work and the impact they can achieve. Some have ended homelessness for a population by reaching a standard called "functional zero" and more than half have achieved reductions in the number of people experiencing chronic and veteran homelessness. Learn more.
For more on Housing, click here.
Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States
Complied by Warren Binford for Project Amplify. Shares the stories of 61 children ranging in age from five to seventeen, detained along the US Mexico border who have traveled from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Mexico to try and find a better life in the U.S. These are their own words from sworn testimonies in English on one side and in Spanish on the other. Illustrated by 17 Latinx artists, including Caldecott Medalist and multiple Pura Belpré Illustrator Award-winning Yuyi Morales and Pura Belpré Illustrator Award-winning Raὺl the Third. Includes information, questions, and action points. Purchase of the book benefits Project Amplify, an organization that supports children in migration. Read more. 
For more on Immigration, click here.
Project Amplify
A national nonprofit organization that works to establish legal protections for children in government care so that the brutality discovered on the border, including what physicians, and human rights experts, call the "systematic abuse and torture of children," never happens again. Works with policy makers at the highest levels of government to shape meaningful legislation that centers on child migrants.
For more on Immigration, click here.
Soul of a Nation
A series from ABC, that provides a unique window into the realities of Black life in America. Each episode is about 40 minutes and topics: "Reckonings," "Next," "Black Joy," "Faith," "Shut Up and..." "Reconstruction." Learn more. 
For more on Racism, click here.
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
By Heather McGhee. Embarks on a personal journey across the country, tallying what people lose when they buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in the U.S.—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.
It offers evidence the "Solidarity Dividend" -- gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what they simply can’t do on their own. The author uses economic and sociological research to paint a story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. Provides readers with a new vision for a future that life can be more than a zero-sum game. Read more.
For more on Racism, click here.
A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair
By Duke L. Kwon and Gregory Thompson. Makes a historical and theological case for the church's obligation to provide reparations for the oppression of African Americans. Articulates the church's responsibility for its promotion and preservation of white supremacy throughout history, investigates the Bible's call to repair racial brokenness, and offers a vision for the work of reparation at the local level. Leads readers toward a moral imagination that views reparations as a long-overdue and necessary step in the collective journey toward healing and wholeness. Read more.
For more on Racism, click here.
Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up
By Tiffany Bluhm. Explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse in social systems. Tells the stories of how women have overcome silence to expose the truth about their ministry and professional leaders--and the backlash they often face. Sets out to understand the cultural and spiritual narratives that silence women and to illuminate the devastating emotional, financial, and social impact of silence in the face of injustice. Read more.
For more on Gender Inequality, click here.
A leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking. Assists thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helping ensure traffickers are held accountable and has the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, uses that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking, click here.
Prison Phone Justice
A resource of the Human Rights Defense Center, aims to provide current information on the high costs of phone calls from state prisons and county jails. Advocates for state-level reforms as well as federal reforms to reduce the costs of phone calls and associated fees. Learn more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
Prayer for Peace
Loving God, 
Lead us from death to life,
From falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope, 
from fear to trust. 
Let peace fill our hearts, our world and our universe.
Let us dream together, pray together and work together, 
To build one world of peace and justice for all.

For more Peace prayers, click here.
Important Dates This Month
Individuals Honored This Month
May 1st

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
May 9th

I want a change, and a radical change. I want a change from an acquisitive society to a functional society, from a society of go-getters to a society of go-givers.
May 9th

Instead of building the peace by attacking injustices like starvation, disease, illiteracy, political and economic servitude, we spend trillions of dollars on war, until hatred and conflict have become the international preoccupation.
May 9th

How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?
May 19th

Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.
May 20th

I am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth, even if it costs me my life.
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