Willie Nelson and the Department of Peace

www.thedailykos.com posted this interesting article about the grassroots campaign to establish a Department of Peace, which is supported by Willie Nelson, Walter Cronkite, Flea, of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Joaquin Phoenix, Tyne Daly and many others.  The Department of Peace DOP 
(http://www.thepeacealliance.org) has broad support, with 60 cosponsors in congress thus far.

A Department of Peace will:  

• Coordinate existing peacebuilding efforts; identify practitioners and programs that get results and provide essential funding to expand and replicate those proven programs.  

• Establish a Secretary of Peace as a member of the President’s Cabinet to research, articulate and facilitate violence prevention and conflict transformation solutions domestically and internationally.

• Establish the Academy of Peace to train men and women in the cutting edge methods of violence prevention, conflict transformation and peacebuilding skills.

• Introduce conflict resolution education in our nation’s schools to teach conflit resolution skills to ALL our children.

Despite an epidemic of violence, proven solutions already exist. They are under-recognized, under-resourced, and underutilized. The campaign for a Department of Peace (DOP) recognizes the science and research in the emerging field of peacebuilding and proposes a comprehensive approach to reducing violence both domestically and internationally.  

According to the World Health Organization, the US currently spends over 300 billion per year due to interpersonal violence excluding war. In addition, we are spending 11 million dollars an hour in Iraq.

Because prevention is so much less costly than crisis response – the proposed annual budget for the DOP is only around 8 billion dollars. Yet, establishing a DOP stands to save countless lives and billions of dollars.

A white paper published by the Peace Alliance further illustrates the common sense and cost effectiveness of peace-building strategies.

In advocating for the DOP, we seek to have the US Government recognize and embed state of the art thinking about violence prevention and conflict transformation as key elements of both foreign and domestic policy.

Carol Hillson,
Chair and cofounder, New Yorkers for a Department of Peace (www.nyc-dop.com)
State Coordinator, The Peace Alliance (www.thepeacealliance.org)

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