Student Peace Alliance

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The Student Peace Alliance is a nonpartisan student action organization advocating peace across the United States of America. Founded at Brandeis University in the Spring of 2006 by Aaron Voldman and Julia Simon-Mishel,[1] Student Peace Alliance is a 501(c)4 organization, and has 100 chapters in the United States at high schools, colleges, and community youth organizations.[2]

Mission[edit]

Student Peace Alliance engages in, and develops support for, peace and non-violent initiatives across the United States in all levels of American life; including the local, state, and federal governments. These initiatives involve: grassroots awareness, research, volunteering, community service, activities with spiritual centers, violence prevention programs, conflict resolution, peace education, as well as raising awareness through the internet and popular culture.[3]

Legislation[edit]

The Student Peace Alliance calls for a U.S. Department of Peace to effectively and efficiently implement policies that would centralize and unify peace building efforts domestically and abroad. With a legislative bill in the U.S. House of representatives (H.R. 808) that currently has 70 co-sponsors, Student Peace Alliance coordinates supportive efforts on a local and national level through various actions including, policy suggestions, research, citizen lobbying efforts, and peaceful non-violent demonstrations.

Principles[edit]

  1. Nonviolence: The Peace Alliance will uphold the highest level of regard for all individuals and organizations. We commit to operate with integrity, with open communication and with respect for people, environment, and process. We will endeavor to communicate our message in ways that do not do violence to the message itself.
  2. Cooperation: We will maintain an attitude of support and appreciation while working together on behalf of the common good. Our behavior will be consistent with our mission and core values as we strive to participate in a shared responsibility and shared leadership model.
  3. Harmlessness: We will strive never to compromise our core values and principles, and will maintain our nonviolent focus in all things.
  4. Clarity & Simplicity: We will maintain our focus as we keep things simple and work for the practical application of the vision and principles we share.
  5. Interconnectedness: We acknowledge that we live in a world of interconnected relationships; one world, and we take responsibility for the presentation and influence of our work. We will do what we can to support one another in our various areas of responsibility. It is our intention that all will experience success and be supported in their work.
  6. Inclusivity: We will endeavor to resolve all questions and challenges by taking a long view and making choices that meet the needs of all concerned to the best of our ability. When faced with a choice of focusing narrowly over expanding, we will include all in the process as we choose wisely and strive to create a world that works for everyone and is sustained as well.
  7. Understanding: We seek to work with loving understanding and a conscious realization of how we impact others and our environment, thus making wise choices.
  8. Honest Communications: We acknowledge that communication is key to manifesting peace, healthy relationships, and effective cooperation.
  9. Living a Culture of Peace: We will strive to live in a Culture of Peace based on the principles of nonviolence and cooperation.[4]

National actions[edit]

Valentine's Day Action 
On Valentine's Day congressional offices all over the nation are visited by Student Peace Alliance members with Valentine's letters from constituents of their congressional district.[5]
Peace of the Pie Action 
The annual Mother’s Day “Peace of the Pie” National Action Day! On May 11 (the Friday before Mother's Day), members of SPA and Peace Alliance take pies to their local Congressional offices, letting members of Congress know that “Peace wants a Piece of the Pie, which is 2% of the Federal Defence Budget.[6]

Endorsements[edit]

Most recently, Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont-based socially conscious ice-cream maker, announced that Aaron Voldman, Executive Director of the SPA and a member of the Board of Directors of The Peace Alliance, is one of two nationwide winners of its "Peace Pioneer" contest. The announcement was made on May 27, 2008 at its New York City Times Square Scoop Shop.[7]

The bill (H.R. 2721) is co-sponsored by 235 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, advocated by 11 cities, counties or other local administrations including Los Angeles, Santa Fe County, Philadelphia, and Richmond, and endorsed by 250 organizations including World Vision International, Girls Inc. and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[8]

The Greater Alliance[edit]

The Greater Alliance, all of which have the goal of promoting peace and policies for peace, consists of the Peace Alliance, Student Peace Alliance, and Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace. Founded in 2004 by Maryanne Williamson, the Peace Alliance is an organization dedicated to, in coordination with national efforts, raising grassroots awareness in local communities about violence prevention and peace programs in order to influence congressional decisions.[9] Established in 2005, and operating in over 30 countries around the world, The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace works on an international level promoting peaceful dialogue between nations through peace summits and global initiatives to establish Departments and Ministries of Peace.[10]

Institutions across the United States[edit]

Seward High SchoolFlowing Wells High SchoolHorizon High SchoolCampbell UniversityAliso Niguel High SchoolArroyo Grande High SchoolUniversity of California, BerkeleyCalifornia State University, Monterey BayCarlsbad High SchoolDel Dios Middle SchoolMira Costa High SchoolPacifica High SchoolPalos Verdes High SchoolSan Dieguito AcademySan Pedro High SchoolArvada High SchoolColorado State UniversityDenver School of the ArtsRegis Jesuit High SchoolRegis UniversityThompson Valley High SchoolUniversity of DenverAmity Regional High SchoolConnecticut's Student Peace AllianceE. O. Smith High SchoolFair Haven High SchoolMiss Porter's SchoolAmerican UniversityGeorgetown UniversityNational Cathedral SchoolCoral Shores High SchoolEdison State CollegeSt. Petersburg CollegeUniversity of FloridaBoise High SchoolEagle High SchoolNorth Junior High SchoolStudent Peace Alliance of IdahoDePaul UniversityUniversity of Notre DameWestfield Washington High SchoolMcPherson CollegeShawnee Mission WestBrandeis UniversityCross CollegiateEndicott CollegeSalem State UniversityWellesley CollegeNorthwestern Michigan CollegeSchoolcraft CollegeUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Wayne State UniversityConcordia CollegeMississippi University for WomenTruman State UniversityUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasKeene State CollegeMerrimack High SchoolPlymouth State UniversityCollege of Saint Elizabeth & Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMonmouth UniversityStockton CollegeWestfield High SchoolArmand Hammer United World College of the American WestHomeschoolers of New MexicoThe Kew-Forest SchoolPace UniversityUniversity of RochesterVestal Senior High SchoolWestern Carolina UniversityTri-C Metro CampusEisenhower High SchoolOklahoma City Community CollegePilhomoth High SchoolSouth Eugene High SchoolCabrini CollegeNeumann UniversityTemple UniversityUniversity of PittsburghWinchester Thurston SchoolJohnson & Wales UniversityLincoln SchoolAugustana CollegeHolston Valley Unitarian Universalist ChurchAbilene Christian UniversitySouthwestern UniversityChristopher Newport UniversityJames Madison UniversityLake Washington High SchoolPacific Lutheran UniversityVashon IslandUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Brandies Chapter website.
  2. ^ The Peace Alliance Website.
  3. ^ Information about the "Mission" of SPA
  4. ^ Peace Alliance Principles
  5. ^ The Valentines Day Action.
  6. ^ Burlington Free Press
  7. ^ Ben and Jerry's endorsements
  8. ^ "About Student Peace Alliance". Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  9. ^ The Peace Alliance goals
  10. ^ People for the departments of peace.
  11. ^ List of Colleges.