As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are launching a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States. Our new U.S. section of Peace Direct’s global online website, Peace Insight, is an interactive map that includes information about groups working for peace across the U.S.
On Human Rights Day, a day commemorating the brave and inspiring activists that stand for a better world, we are announcing the winners of our 2017 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards. Over the last few months, the Peace Direct team has reviewed 268 applications from 57 countries and elected three of the most exciting and innovative peacebuilding organisations as winners.
Two fearless female activists, Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan and Gauri Lankesh from India, have won the prestigious RAW in WAR 2017 Anna Politkovskaya Award for their courage speaking out against extremism against a backdrop of armed conflict. This award is testament to the power local people have to make a difference to thousands of lives.
As global violence surges in the form of humanitarian crises, racial injustices and political oppression, it is important to show just how non-violent resistance can transform lives and communities. We share an inspiring story of nonviolent change from Pakistan, where recruitment by militant organisations threatens young lives and longer term peace.
Events like Charlottesville and the equivocal responses from leadership may shock us, but the important thing is to ensure this has impact beyond its temporary ‘CNN effect’ or an opportunity to score political points. We must fully understand and embrace the need for processes of dialogue, social action, and transformation. If Americans unite in condemning hatred and violence, and commit to facing and addressing the long-standing racism and injustice, they can be a force for peace and the right kind of power in our society.