Peace needs to support |

Peace needs to support

Thank you for your outstanding editorial, “Why is peace such a dirty word?” It is one of the best journalistic pieces on the Department of Peace legislation I’ve seen and it comes at an essential time in Colorado in the wake of the negative campaign ads from the 527. The article specifically addressed that the concept of a Department of Peace is practical and would naturally not do away with the Department of Defense, even though it would likely reduce the need for military solutions to conflict.

The grassroots campaign is focusing on working with violence prevention programs ” gang violence, school violence, domestic violence, and regional violence ” that are getting results. For instance, I want to recognize Skinner Middle School in Denver, which has reduced violent offenses by 70 to 80 percent in the past year through a restorative justice program that works to mediate discussion between victims, offenders and community members. We need more coordination and funding for existing programs and more implementation of best practice models in violence prevention. Not only do such programs prevent violence, but they save massive amounts of money.

I am the national field organizer for the Student Peace Alliance, the student and youth movement for a Department of Peace. We are active in more than 12 schools in Colorado, including Denver University, Regis, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University and several high schools. We have partnered with PeaceJam and other pro-peace organizations nationally. Our campaign is growing rapidly and we have over 65 chapters around the U.S. Our first national conference this October boasted talks and strong endorsements from Betty Williams and Arun Gandhi.

The United States is a model to the world because we have manifested the impossible ” democracy, human flight and travel to the moon. Now is the time for brave leadership and strategic, nonviolent and practical peacemaking.

T.J. Bowen

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Regis University

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