A call to leaders for peace building

Something few people might know is that Mother’s Day was initially founded as a call for world peace. Julia Ward Howe, author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in the bloody wake of the Civil War, called for all women everywhere to rise up against the scourge of warfare, and demand an end to this horrible practice as a means of resolving disputes.

This month a few of my colleagues and I will be visiting with the offices of our two Senators –Senator Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, and Congressman Jim Jordan, to let them know that we care about the advance of peacebuilding – both in our country and around the world.

And we will also be bringing pie to share in the motherly, nurturing spirit of the occasion, and it is also a symbol of the “pie-chart” of our federal budget – which shows we are spending the majority of our wealth on military activities, while a tiny sliver spent on peacebuilding could do a world of good.

We’ll be bringing information about three bills in the US Congress that we support: The Youth PROMISE Act, which will support locally chosen practices for reducing youth incarceration; The Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, which will solidify some of our best international peacebuilding practices; and the Bill to Create a US Department of Peacebuilding, which would create an infrastructure to research and promote the best peacebuilding practices at every level of our society.

I invite all my neighbors and friends, mothers or not, to join me this Mother’s Day in letting our lawmakers know that we can do so much better – for all children.

Debra Walters

Champaign County Peace Alliance

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