Peace X Peace
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|Purpose||Building peace through online communications|
|Patricia Smith Melton|
|Dr. Pat Morris|
Peace X Peace was founded in 2002 by Patricia Smith Melton. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Smith Melton gathered experts in peace and women's rights from around the world (including Isabel Allende, the Chilean novelist; Susan Collin Marks, the Australian-born co-founder of Search for Common Ground; and Fatima Gailani, the Afghan head of the Red Crescent) to discern a women's response to the September 11 attacks. They agreed that women are the key to peace, and that women must stand together to claim their full power. Later in 2002 Smith Melton incorporated the organization and took a film crew around the world to interview extraordinary women. The award-winning documentary that resulted, Peace by Peace: Women on the Frontlines, premiered at the United Nations on International Women's Day in 2003. It was also aired around the world and on PBS in the United States. Also in 2003, the organization launched a website and an online women’s news service, and began connecting women for virtual conversations across geographic and cultural divides.
Peace X Peace is governed and informed by "Circle Principles." These principles are:
- Communicate honestly and thoughtfully
- Listen actively without judgment
- Invite silence when in doubt
- Affirm one another
- Offer experience, not advice
- Share leadership and resources
- Build consensus
- Maintain confidentiality
The organization also strives to achieve what it calls "Pillars of Peace." They identify these pillars as essential to creating thriving communities. The Pillars of Peace are:
- Conflict transformation
- Cross-cultural understanding
- Economic empowerment
- Environmental sustainability
- Health and well-being
- Interfaith dialogue
- Justice and good governance
In fall of 2008 Dr. Pat Morris took office as Executive Director of Peace X Peace, and in 2010 Kim Weichel took the helm as CEO. As of June, 2011 the organization had six staff members.
Peace X Peace advocates for effective, sustained policies and programs that support and advance women. They are part of a civil society coalition that offers recommendations into a US Government National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.
Peace X Peace operates almost entirely online, hosting a private online community, as well as regularly publishing original and re-posted material on their blogs. These blogs include Voices from the Frontlines, Be the Change, and Connection Point. The organization also puts out a monthly newsletter, PeaceTimes, and sends the Weekly Blog Digest each Friday. The Peace X Peace community now numbers some 18,000 women (and a few men) in more than 100 countries.
Peace X Peace collaborates on UN initiatives for women, including the Commission on the Status of Women, Millennium Development Goals, and UN Women, advocates on behalf of UN conventions, and participates in UN programs in the Washington DC area.
In February 2011, Peace X Peace launched a new project, called "Connection Point." The goal of this project is to "link Arab and Muslim women with women from Western countries in a vibrant online community." It works to achieve this goal by regularly posting articles and interviews with women from the Arab world and Muslim women, as well as collecting and posting resources pertinent to Arab and Muslim women, and their relations with women in the west.
Every November, Peace X Peace hosts the Women, Power, and Peace Awards. Award categories include Peace Media, Peace Philanthropy, the Patricia Smith Melton Peacebuilder award, and the Community Peacebuilder award. Every other year these awards are given out in a ceremony held in Washington, DC.
- In 2002 the Isabel Allende Foundation honored Peace X Peace with the Espiritu Award for the Pursuit of Peace
- The documentary Peace by Peace: Women on the Frontlines won the Golden Eagle Cine Award in 2004 and the Best Documentary Aurora Award in 2006
- In 2005, Religious Science International, a nonprofit based in Seattle, recognized Peace X Peace with its Golden Works Award for activities that exemplify the RSI mission, "awakening humanity to its spiritual magnificence"
- In 2006, Working Mother named it one of the 25 Best Places for Women to Work
- In 2007, Peace X Peace won the ePhilanthropy Foundation's Best Community Building/Activism Award
- In November 2008, Peace X Peace won the Technology Innovation Award from NPower Greater DC and Accenture
- In December 2008, Peace X Peace Founder Patricia Smith Melton was selected as one of OneWorld's People of 2008 and received The Rumi Peace and Dialogue Award
- "Founder chosen as Finalist for Person of the Year". OneWorld.
- The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to Do It. - includes chapter on Peace X Peace
- Melton, Patricia Smith (April 16, 2009). "World Peace Emerging – Daring to Save the World".
- "Palestinian and Israeli Women, in New Book, Seek Peace". Voice of America (newsVOAcom). Jan 9, 2009.
- Banjo, Shelly (Dec 12, 2008). "Women as Practical Peace Activists". The Wall Street Journal Online.
- Sofer, Barbara (Nov 20, 2008). "The Human Spirit: One in 60". The Jerusalem Post, Online Edition.
- "Patricia Smith Melton Interview". WE Magazine for Women. July 3, 2008.