100 Ways You Can Help Stop Violence
The PeaceWorker ran this list in June 2001, a few months before 9-11. It seems well worth running again as we start a new decade during which we desperately need some new directions. It was developed by the War Resisters League’s YouthPeace Campaign.
100 Ways You Can Help Stop Violence
Special Things Kids Can
Do to Stop Violence
1. Play cooperative games.
2. Donate books, videos, magazines and newsletters promoting peace and justice to your local school or town library.
3. Fight sexism and exclusion in school sports and curriculum.
4. Work to get animal dissection out of schools.
5. Write letters to textbook publishers about what’s left out (or not put in).
6. Start a discussion group with classmates, that focuses on opposing the tracking of students.
7. Talk out problems in a non-aggressive way.
8. Watch nonviolent cartoon shows.
9. Play with nonviolent toys.
10. Participate in the International Days to Protest Violence In Children’s Lives after Thanksgiving.
11. Become a pen pal or Internet pal with kids in other parts of the state, country or world.
12. Wear nonviolent Halloween costumes.
13. Visit a house of worship that is not your own.
14. Volunteer in your school to be a peer counselor.
15. Turn in toy guns and real guns to a teacher or parent.
16. Learn a foreign language and study the culture related to it.
17. Create awareness and support of student/youth rights.
18. Wear T-shirts, buttons, bumperstickers with messages of peace and justice.
19. Promote student involvement in decision making by making yourself an example.
20. Learn to control your anger and avoid violent situations.
21. Turn off the TV and read a book instead.
22. Make and use peace and justice book covers.
23. Share your toys.
24. Create sister schools projects with different kinds of communities than your own.
25. Establish a recruiter free zone in your school.
Ideas for Everybody, Every Day
26. Introduce your neighbors to nonviolent conflict resolution by holding regular discussion groups with them.
27. Leave literature promoting peace and justice at home and at the office.
28. Provide a safe home for “outsiders” needing sanctuary.
29. Invite a speaker to your house to speak on nonviolence.
30. Get your family involved in community events.
31. Read multicultural/peace books.
32. Support employment/nutrition/daycare programs.
33. Learn to resolve conflicts nonviolently.
34. Have family meetings to make decisions.
35. Agree on a no hitting rule in your household.
36. Spend time with and play with children.
37. Ask for help/offer help.
38. Have a garage sale or community swaps to encourage reuse of unneeded items.
39. Encourage cooperation not competition.
40. Question authority.
41. Talk/interact with your neighbors.
42. Host an international exchange student.
43. Be a mentor for a young person.
44. Support the right of youth and children to a safe haven from abuse on request.
45. Speak out against intolerance and bigotry when it occurs.
46. Critically watch television with your children, talk with them about the violence, stereotypes, how different people are treated and why.
47. Discuss advertising and whether the claims of advertisers are true.
48. Write a letter to the editor for your local paper around an issue that concerns you.
49. Talk and organize with others about concerns that affect you jointly and learn about concerns that affect others.
50. Establish a school zone for peace.
51. Provide alternatives to the military counseling in schools.
52. Identify and encourage the report of date rape/sexual harassment.
Don’t Buy Toys of Violence
A toy of violence is a toy that:
• Teaches that war is an acceptable way of settling disputes
• Encourages play at killing or hurting others
• Falsely glamorizes military life, combat and war
• Reinforces sexist stereotypes of male dominance and female passivity
• Depicts ethnic or racial groups in a negative way
• Promotes excessive materialism
• Fosters unnecessary, aggressive competition
• Teaches violence towards the earth
• Creates the need for an enemy
• Hurts other children or animals
A Good Toy — Some Considerations
• Is it safe?
• Does it stimulate creativity?
• Is it free of stereotypes of race and gender?
• Does it encourage sharing or cooperation?
• Does it nurture nonviolent conflict resolution skills?
• Is it appropriate to my value system?
• Is it worth the price?
• Is the packaging truthful and not excessive?
• Does it help develop or strengthen skills?
• Does it teach children to use their power and skills in a positive way?
• Was any group exploited in its production?
• Is there a less commercial and more creative alternative?
Long Term Projects and Goals
53. Develop nonviolent conflict resolution in schools.
54. Start a PeaceWorks or War Resisters League local in your school and community.
55. Create a community art project that focuses on peace, a Peace Mural or Peace Wall.
56. Organize a walk-a-thon against violence.
57. Bring children of war to your community.
58. Promote conversion of military industries in your community to civilian industry.
59. March in support at various parades: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Intl. Women’s Day, Earth Day, LesBiGay Pride Day, Hiroshima/Nagasaki Day, Labor Day.
60. Have a teach-in about Indigenous People and/or multi-culturism on Columbus Day.
61. Have a teach-in about the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis.
62. Have a teach-in about war and peace on Hiroshima/Nagasaki Days.
63. Make schools weapon-free zones.
64. Campaign to rid schools of JROTC/military academies.
65. Work to convert the military budget to peaceful purposes.
66. Don’t register for the draft.
67. Produce a progressive public access TV or radio program that educates people about nonviolence theory.
68. Campaign to have a vegetarian choice in your school cafeteria.
69. Support battered women’s shelters and programs for men who batter.
70. Work for community safety and against police brutality.
71. Support community centers that provide activities for youth
72. Support Take Back the Night and the right to be outdoors without fear.
73. Support drug rehabilitation on demand and alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.
74. Take part in body awareness and self-esteem programs.
75. Support a multicultural/anti-racist /anti-bias curriculum in local schools.
76. Create a “for course credit” service project.
77. Run for the local school board or community office to implement progressive changes.
78. Create a community garden in an abandoned lot.
79. Visit a foreign country and stay with a family there.
80. Support positive programming by writing/faxing/phoning TV networks to oppose shows that promote violence and/or bigotry.
81. Organize your neighbors into a block association to create a sense of community, to initiate positive projects, and prevent crime.
82. Join with others to form media watchdog groups to oppose bigotry, support diversity and promote critical thinking about issues.
83. Organize a Peace Fair.
84. Organize a poster or essay contest for youth on violence and peace/justice issues.
85. Organize a vigil at a site of violence.
86. Have a non-violence training program for teachers and students.
87. Don’t pay telephone and income taxes used for war.
Brain Food for Nonviolent Thought
88. Oppose the forced incarceration by parents of youth without their consent.
89. Prosecute violent acts committed out of bias.
90. Support comprehensive reproductive services and access to them.
91. Support a living wage that can cover the basic costs of living; housing, food, transportation, education, and recreation.
92. Support paid parental leave to allow parents to spend time with their children and their elderly mothers/fathers.
93. Support gun control and disarmament efforts in your community and world.
94. Oppose the arms trade and work for its abolition.
95. Make the use of rape as a weapon of war a war crime and provide for full restitution and treatment for victims of rape.
96. Support the closure of all foreign military bases and provide for equivalent paying work for the communities they are located in.
97. Support the right of conscientious objectors and refugees of wars to full asylum rights.
98. Make companies liable for products that cause harm to people.
99. Pledge not to join the military.
100. Come up with another 100 ways to promote nonviolence.
For assistance and resources (including such articles as “Stop the Violence in Children’s Lives”, “Killers in Your Toybox” or “The Animal Connection”), contact YouthPeace, c/o The War Resisters League, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212.228.0450; fax: 212.228.6193; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web site: http://www.warresisters.org. Φ
Photo courtesy of http://www.warresisters.org