In the wake of a national outcry for social justice, the 2020 Week of Non-Violence presented by Black Women for Positive Change puts a special spotlight on creating opportunities for growth and healing with a week of free virtual events, October 10 -18, hosted by national and local leaders in the peace movement.
Featured speakers include two leaders who have experienced firsthand the tremendous effects of gun violence fueled by racism due to mass shootings at their houses of worship: Rev. Eric Manning of Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Both gentlemen will participate in a forum called, Does Hate Begin at the Kitchen Table? on Thursday, October 15, at 7 pm ET via Zoom.
Governors in all 50 states were invited to participate. Still, only two U.S. governors answered the call to action and signed a proclamation officially recognizing October 10-18 as the 2020 Week of Non-Violence.
"For nine years we have been asking federal, state and local officials—in addition to faith leaders, educators, and the business sector—to put a priority on violence prevention, but very few are listening," said Dr. Stephanie Myers and Daun S. Hester, the National Co-Chairs of Black Women for Positive Change, in a joint statement.
"Now, we have an epidemic of law enforcement violence, violence in communities, and domestic violence. We even sent letters to all 50 governors asking them to endorse the 2020 Week of Non-Violence, and so far, only two governors have responded. How do we wake up our leaders?" they asked.
[Watch a Preview of 2020 Week of Non-Violence: https://youtu.be/N1iAYjuYqqc]
The Week of Non-Violence was created in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. Black Women started it for Positive Change, a national multicultural network of women and men (known within the group as "Good Brothers"), committed to sounding the alarm about violence in all of its varying and complex forms.
Each year, the annual Week of Non-Violence aims to promote awareness among adults and youth that violence can be stopped before it begins through de-escalation techniques, conflict resolution, and anger management education at all levels of society.
The 2020 theme for the Week of Non-Violence is Heath Empowerment, Non-Violence, and Opportunities.
Groups across the country supporting this effort include: the National Black Nurses Association, 100 Fathers Inc., Everytown for Gun Safety, Trusted Inc., Moms Demand Action, Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, and many more.
PARTIAL LISTING OF VIRTUAL EVENTS:
· October 1-12: Poetry Slam—High School Poets speak on Racism, Violence & Covid-19, National
· October 10: Panel—You Can’t Afford Not to Care About Violence, Pittsburgh
· October 12: Panel—No Exemption from Human Redemption; Faith & Science Webinar, National
· October 13: Panel—Breathing Life Into Our Communities, 100 Fathers Inc., Washington, DC
· October 15: Panel—Does Hate Begin at the Kitchen Table? Pittsburgh
· October 18: Panel—Put Your Guns Down and Lift Up Your Hands, Maryland
· October 19: Panel—Creating a New Vision for Law Enforcement and Community Safety, Los Angeles
There are 18 virtual events planned in 7 states (Arizona, Alabama, California, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) and the District of Columbia. For more info, visit: www.weekofnonviolence.org.