Monday, May 07, 2007

Mother's Day for Peace

Mother's Day was originally started by Julia Ward Howe in 1870 as a protest against the Civil War. In the beginning of her Mother's Day Proclamation she wrote:
"Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.'"
Given that Mother's Day is this Sunday and today is Buddha's Birthday (according to my calendar produced by the "peace and justice publisher" Syracuse Cultural Workers), it seems like a good day to pass on some peace-related links:

The blog post, "Mother's Day for Peace Bandwagon" by Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) shares links to the Mother's Day for Peace web site, and a Rediscover Mother's Day ecard.

Friday, May 11th will be the 3rd annual Mother's Day "Peace of the Pie" National Action Day as part of The Peace Alliance's campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace. Campaign supporters are asked to bring pies to their local Congressional offices and let their Congresspeople know that "Peace wants a Piece of the Pie" (the federal budget). Beth Kanter posted about this a couple weeks ago.

PeacePlayers International is a nonprofit organization that uses basketball to unite and educate children and their communities in conflict and post-conflict areas. They have programs in Northern Ireland, South Africa, the Middle East and Cyprus. A volunteer from their Middle East Program, David Lasday, emailed me about their program and pointed me towards the Middle East Program's blog.

Going Within is a 10-minute web short about Donnelle Malnik who teaches yoga and meditation in the San Francisco County Jail No.7 through the Resolve to Stop the Violence Program (RVSP).

The same people who produced "Going Within", 49th Parallel Productions, have also created Not Just a Number, a community journalism project for The Oakland Tribune which focuses on the topic of violence and violence prevention. Last year Oakland's homicide rate reached a five-year high of 148 people. NJN was created to give Oakland a place to share stories and to connect and develop solutions. Two of the creators of Not Just a Number will be speaking at NetSquared's Net Tuesday in San Francisco tomorrow, May 8th.

The Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland is looking for a summer Peace and Solidarity Intern.

The Bay Area based Agape Foundation's Fund for Nonviolent Social Change is accepting nominations until May 31st for its 3rd Annual Peace Prize for local peacemakers.

CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq. You can learn about joining or hosting a CODE PINK Mother's Day event here, and read an interview with their Local Groups Coordinator, Rae Abileah, here.

At the end of her Proclamation, Howe wrote:
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
Do you think that if the United States Congress had more women in it we would be at war? You can see which Congresswomen voted for and against the Iraq War here.

Photo Credit: Peace Log by Alan Levine.


  1. Great piece of history, thank you for sharing, :)

  2. Thanks, Matt. Good to hear from you again!

  3. I love that quote at the beginning!!! Will definitely re-use. Makes me think of David Harvey's book, Spaces of Hope and his appendix about a future where women take over the world and destroy all the weapons and make everything better.

  4. Britt -

    Diane MacEachern (of Big Green Purse here). I noticed you're active in BlogHer. I've just joined (Yeah!), but feel like a babe in the woods. It's probably too late, but I'd have loved to share my Mothers Day column on the body burden we leave to our daughters with other BlogHer readers. (see Your suggestion on how to share other columns in the future would be appreciated. Best, Diane (P.S. This comment isn't necessarily for your blog, but I don't have your e-mail address...)

  5. Hi Diane,

    BlogHer readers can add a comment on a post written by a BlogHer Editor, or post something in the forums,

    Hope that helps!



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