THE DALLAS PEACE CENTER works for peace through justice in North Texas and around the world.
The Dallas Peace Center 5910 Cedar Springs Rd. Dallas, TX 75235-6806 214-823-7793 www.dallaspeacecenter.org
DPC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & RÉDA EXECUTIVE EDITOR KELLI OBAZEE MANAGING EDITOR PATTY BATES-BALLARD ART EDITOR RHONDA VARSANE DPC PHOTOGRAPHERS WALID AJAJ TUNDE OBAZEE PATTY BATES-BALLARD
2012 BOARD MEMBERS PRESIDENT REV. RYAN KOCH VICE PRESIDENT/TREASURER JOHN FULLINWIDER SECRETARY ZARA TARIQ DR. QAISAR ABBAS REV. DIANE BAKER MAVIS BELISLE SADDYNA BELMASHKAN LEN ELLIS SARA MOKURIA SAM NANCE ERIC REECE AFTAB SIDDIQUI REV. L.CHARLES STOVALL
Welcome! The Dallas Peace Center welcomes you to our 26th Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner. This special edition of our RÉDA magazine includes tonight’s program and a description of each honoree, beginning on page 5. As you browse through the magazine, you will find stories covering a vast range of issues on which the Dallas Peace Center works diligently, among many others. We thank our donors, supporters, and our hardworking volunteers as we conclude an amazing year. From immigration, equality, and civic engagement in our political process to nuclear proliferation, drone strikes, and turmoil in the Middle East, the Dallas Peace Centers stands at the forefront of issues of peace, human rights, and social justice. We look forward to continuing our work in the coming years as we strive for and champion our vision of a peace and just society. Take a moment to greet someone and find out how you can get involved to help us continue our work together. Thank you, RÉDA staff
Special Edition 2012
Contents 26th Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner ................................................................................................ 5 Peacemaker Awards Dinner honors extraordinary advocates ................................................................ 5 The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz .............................................................. 8 Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote .......................................................................... 9 Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote: In it to win .................................................... 10 Citizenship workshop serves 115 applicants ......................................................................................... 12 The 8th Annual Summer Dinner Lecture featuring Shahid Buttar .......................................................... 13 Iraqi students discuss peace with North Texas peers ............................................................................ 15 The crisis in Syria: Dallas Peace Center position statement .................................................................. 17 The US must end its longest war ........................................................................................................... 18 Drone attacks: promise vs. reality ......................................................................................................... 20 Hiroshima bombing remembered in Dallas ........................................................................................... 22 The Dallas Peace Center thanks our 2012 Donors ................................................................................. 24
RÉDA (Research, Education, Dialogue, Action) is the quarterly publication of the Dallas Peace Center. RÉDA is published in September, November, February, and May.
Rev. Carol Record and Unity Church in Grapevine congratulate Unity of Arlington on receiving the Organization of the Year award! www.unitychurchgrapevine.org
Special Edition 2012
26th Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner December 6, 2012 VIP Peacemaker Sponsor: Unity of Arlington 1 Unity of Arlington 2 Drs. Basheer and Shakila Ahmed Rev. Bill and Fran McElvaney Muslim Community Center of Human Services Dr. Sandra Steinbach Pax Christi of Dallas Peacemakers Inc. Peacemaker Sponsor: Occupy Dallas Norma and J. Hennessy Muslim Democratic Caucus Holy Cross Catholic Church American Muslim Community Domingo A Garcia Attorney at Law Peace Mennonite Church of Dallas Richland College Peace Institute First Community Church UCC United Nations Association of Dallas Unitarian Universalist Oak Cliff – Social Justice Ministry University of North Texas Castleberry Peace Institute Social Action Council of First Unitarian Church Southern Methodist University Embrey Human Rights Peacemaker Patron: Muslim Legal Fund of America Dallas Monthly Meeting of Friends Institute of Islamic Learning in Metroplex Peace Sponsor: DFW International Charles Scurry Mr. Larry Paschall Christian Progressive Alliance Anita Martinez, Ballet Folklorico, Inc. Maryknoll Mission Education Texas Tenant’s Union - Dallas Dr. David and Cherry Haymes Rev. Robert and Shirley Cooper 3
Special Edition 2012
Vendors: Fair trade beads made by the Agoro Women’s Cooperative of Northern Uganda University of North Texas Castleberry Peace Institute Southern Methodist University Embrey Human Rights Muslim Community Center of Human Services Deen Institute of North America and Waves Of Unity Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty United Nations Association of Dallas Muslim Legal Fund of America Soka Gakkai International – USA Donna Kay “Encouraging Lives” Maryknoll Mission Education OneEarthOnePeace.com Unity of Arlington Princeton Abaraoha Peacemakers Inc. Peruvian Artisan Black Bird Pies Steel Paisley Marty Ruiz Auction Donors: Peacemaker Awards Vendors and Dallas Peace Center Board of Directors Dinner Committee: Len Ellis Rev. Ryan Koch Mavis Belisle Aftab Siddiqui Eric Reece Saddayna Belmashkan Special Thanks: Unity of Arlington Choir TechNet Solutions - Audio and Visual Adrian Sierra – REDA magazine and program Soka Gakkai International – Volunteers AC Printing Peace Center Staff and Support: Kelli Obazee / Patty Bates-Ballard/ Rhonda Varsane / Adrian Sierra
Special Edition 2012
26th Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner Welcome Invocation Dinner Introductions / Acknowledgements Media Peacemaker of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees Peacemaking Organization of the Year 2012 Peacemaker of the Year Closing Comments Benediction
Domingo Garcia Unity of Arlington Choir Rev. Ryan Koch DPC Board President Bob Ray Sanders Vivian Castleberry and Richard Sambrano Unity of Arlington and Rev. David Howard Dr. Basheer Ahmed Kelli Obazee and Domingo Garcia Unity of Arlington Choir
Peacemaker Awards Dinner honors extraordinary advocates By Patty Bates-Ballard
Dr. Basheer Ahmed receives the Peacemaker of the Year Award for his extraordinary commitment to breaking the cycle of fear that many Americans experienced in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks through creative use of human service, education, and constructive dialogue.
2012 Peacemaker of the Year Dr. Basheer Ahmed Dr. Ahmed became convinced of the need to work for peace after coming face to face with the horrors of war while seeing victims of conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s and researching and publishing a paper on â€œThe effects of war on children of Palestine and Bosnia.
Special Edition 2012
In 2001, Dr. Ahmed joined with others to form the Institute of Medieval and PostMedieval Studies to help generate a climate of mutual understanding and respect among people generally, and especially between Muslims and people of other faiths and cultures. He also became a board member of the Multi Cultural Alliance, and has spoken to seminary students about the need for respect and recognition of all religions, with the primary goal of living with each other in peace and harmony. In 1995, Dr. Ahmed established the Muslim Community Center for Human Services and serves as its chairman. The Center provides medical and social services in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to people in need regardless of their religion, race, or country of origin. For his community work, Dr. Ahmed received The Humanitarian Award from the Tarrant County Medical Society in 2008.
Lifetime Achievement Award Vivian Castleberry Vivian Castleberry receives the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong devotion to peace, in particular her passion for peaceful resolutions to conflict. Ms. Castleberry is the founder of Peacemakers Incorporated, a local nonprofit focusing on peace education and cultural outreach programs. Peacemakers currently is planning the fourth International Women's Peace Conference. In 1988, Ms. Castleberry served as Chairwoman of Peacemakers' First International Women's Peace Conference, which was attended by over 2,000 women from 57 countries. Exposed through her work as a journalist to some of the most violent acts of humanity, including domestic violence and child abuse, she was inspired as a child by her father, a veteran of World War I, and her mother to seek out nonviolent solutions to problems and to include those who might feel excluded. Ms. Castleberry calls today’s youth the architects of the future, and says, “Our generation were citizens of a country, residents of a town or city. You are residents of a universe with all its complications and all its rewards.”
Lifetime Achievement Award Richard Sambrano Richard Sambrano receives the Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished career dedicated to protecting the rights and liberties of new immigrants and others living on the margins of American society. Mr. Sambrano is an esteemed retiree from the Department of Justice Dallas Community Relations Service (CRS) office and was involved in many high profile mediations throughout the country during his 30 year tenure. He was the lead CRS representative in a landmark dispute at an Amarillo beef packing plant involving an employee walkout and $70 million lawsuit. Through training demonstrators, facilitating mediation between the parties, and fashioning a memo of agreement, the dispute was resolved with demonstrators returning to work at higher pay and to fairer treatment. Today, the company enjoys broad community and employee support. Mr. Sambrano also gave valuable support to the community in Jasper, Texas, after the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. by three white supremacists. The case generated worldwide publicity and resulted in the community coming together with Richard’s help to develop a plan to address the issue. Subsequently, the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act was passed. Mr. Sambrano currently serves as Chair of the LULAC National Civil Rights Commission where he continues to make lasting contributions to the expansion of education and civil rights for the historically under-served and under-represented people of Texas.
Special Edition 2012
2012 Peacemaking Organization of the Year
Unity of Arlington Unity of Arlington spiritual community receives the Organization of the Year Award for its work in cultivating peace through education. Beginning in 1998, Unity has sponsored ongoing classes in nonviolent compassionate communication, summer peace camps for children and youth, and "Be Peace" study groups to promote healing and unity among diverse peoples of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Compassionate Communications trainings and practice groups promote the idea that “Peace Begins with Me.” This concept helps individuals recognize any tendencies they may have to speak or act aggressively when they believe that something they value highly is being threatened, and provides them skills to choose peaceful responses instead. Participants in this program regularly inspire each other when they take responsibility for the peace they want to be and see in the world. Unity stresses to youth the importance of first loving themselves, and then extending the same empathy and compassion with everyone in their lives. The philosophy guiding Unity’s efforts is that peace and justice originate with the awareness that all creation is sacred, and that all creation is essential and equally valuable to the whole. While justice is the expression of the understanding that all of creation is equal, peace is the expression of the knowledge that we are one with all creation; therefore, when one is harmed, we are all harmed.
Special Edition 2012
2012 Media Peacemaker of the Year Bob Ray Sanders Bob Ray Sanders receives the Media Peacemaker of the Year Award for his long history as a voice for the voiceless, for speaking truth to power, and for challenging the "conventional wisdom" that dominates local and national media. Mr. Sanders has been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, and has begun to sound the alert about the potential costs of a war with Iran, citing the human cost of the suffering and death of veterans and their families not only during their active duty, but after they return home. An opponent of the death penalty and a defender of Planned Parenthood, Mr. Sanders has vigorously condemned recent voter intimidation, suppression, and dilution of poor, Latino, and African American communities, vowing to die fighting to preserve the right to vote for all. From his earliest days at KERA radio to his most recent columns at the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Mr. Sanders has demonstrated intellectual honesty and journalistic excellence throughout his distinguished career. We thank you for helping us honor and celebrate these champions of peace and justice in our community. May they inspire us all to elevate our commitment and effort to be the change we want to see.
The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz By Patty Bates-Ballard, Kelli Obazee, and Melody White
The Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote – Su Voto Es Su Voz is a collaborative coalition focused on engaging underrepresented communities in civic participation. Coalition members are the Dallas Peace Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and CitySquare. The Coalition effort engages North Texans by leveraging the leadership of faith based organizations, educational institutions, community centers, and other communities of influence. The Rising American Electorate – those who are aged 18-35; Hispanic/Latino; African American; or single women – are underrepresented by elected officials. As a result, these groups suffer from social injustice in areas such as financial stress and employment, health, education, criminal justice, law enforcement, immigration, and voting rights. The coalition and our partners conducted more than 15 educational seminars this fall that provided an overview of the political landscape, the Affordable Care Act, and immigration, especially the Dream Act. Coalition members knocked on more than 3,000 doors in South Dallas and Oak Cliff this summer. As a follow up to the door-to-door canvass, we hosted phone banking sessions at Friendship West Baptist Church and Dallas Masjid of AL-Islam, with strong participation from Church Women United. An amazing 96% of the people we reached committed to vote, and 16% of them committed to vote early. The top issues reported by residents were economy/jobs-35%, crime25%, healthcare-23%, and education-11%.
Special Edition 2012
Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote By Imam Khalid Shaheed, Dallas Masjid of AL Islam
As Imam of Dallas Masjid of AL Islam, located in South Dallas, I am acutely aware of the problems and plight of disenfranchisement and the need for greater social justice in our society. I am happy to report that in the faith of Islam there is a strong emphasis on this endeavor. First of all, when you translate the word Islam to English it means peace that comes from surrendering to God All Mighty, the highest power. With that said, most of us are aware that there is no peace without justice. Islam attempts to bring about this justice in doctrinal ways. The message of Islam is found in Quran. There is a verse in the Quran that is very well known to Muslims, it is called the verse of Righteousness, 2:177. This verse distinctly tells us what righteousness is in Islam. First, this verse dispels the notion that righteousness is somehow demonstrated by way of some formality or ritual. Also, it makes clear that belief ALONE is not righteousness. After the verse tells what righteousness is not. It says specifically what it is. The verse tells us that it is a combination of beliefs and action. It has a strong social element in it. In other words, to only do what religious people do inside the walls of our sanctuaries is not enough. To have great dignified rituals is laudable but not necessary useful. Righteousness in Islam is not just being good but it is being useful. What I love the most about this wonderful verse in the Quran is that the whole definition of righteousness, including the beliefs and social action, is predicated on LOVE.
Special Edition 2012
The verse of Righteousness in the Quran says the motive must be LOVE of him (God Almighty), only. Hence the proper motive is a unique element that Islam associates with righteousness. If the social action is engendered for any other reason, it is tainted in Islam and thus not a righteous act. These same sentiments are found throughout the Quran, such as in 90:13- 19. Finally, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in a famous saying said that if you see a wrong, you should first attempt to change it with your hands. If you cannot do that, you seek to change it with your mouth. If you cannot change it by speaking out against it, then you hate it in your heart and that is the weakest of faith. These are the reasons that I am honored to be part of the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote.
Why I joined the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote: In it to win By Rev. John Morris, Jr., St. Mark AME Zion Church
There is a movement afoot called the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote. I say movement because I don’t believe it’s going to be a one-time event or a passing activity that fades away after its goals are met. No, this get out the vote movement intends to continue to challenge voters to stay engaged in the political process regardless of who wins at the polls so that citizens can take ownership in the processes that impact their lives. Because of concerned individuals like Mrs. Kelli Obazee of the Dallas Peace Center, I was inspired to get involved. I found myself working in this movement. I was asked about my reasons for participating in this movement. As I pondered that, I was taken back to one of our earlier meetings when I put forth the idea that this movement could find a theological underpinning in the story of the Biblical character, Nehemiah and the Old Testament book bearing his name. I’ve come to realize that Nehemiah’s story is my story. As I revisited Nehemiah’s challenge, I found the motivation for my involvement in this coalition through: Call Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls had been torn down. In those times, the walls of a city were a symbol of the community’s strength, political power, safety, and stability. The imagery of the wall’s severe state of disrepair had to be unhealthy for the city’s inhabitants. The burning of the gates cut off all hope of recovery. But, Nehemiah felt a sense of calling to the work of rebuilding the Jerusalem community. So it was with me. There was a deep sense of a call to the work of voter engagement. Many Dallas communities are inhabited by people who have been left out of the processes that should be helping rebuild and revitalize
their communities. The exclusion leads to voter apathy and disenfranchisement. The same voice that called me into the Christian ministry was the same voice that beckoned me to get involved in helping the people that I serve to hear the call to work at rebuilding their own community. Connect To do his work, Nehemiah needed resources. He first received assistance from the king, thereby connecting with government resources. He then connected with community leaders of Jerusalem to broker a buy-in from them to implement their own turnaround. I rejoice over these new connections in the Dallas community as I have entered the conversation to get people working together to improve our plight. The connections across many lines have been so rewarding and hold out so much promise for a productive effort through the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote. These connections have helped me to get on a fast learning curve to understand how communities can be empowered through voter education and engagement. These connections have added a new dimension to my practice of pastoral care and empowerment. (continued on p. 11)
Special Edition 2012
(continued from p. 10) I don’t think we can ever say that this work will reach a point of completion. There will always be issues of concern in our community. There’s a new generation of voters emerging. The objectives of this Coalition are timeless. Therefore after the elections, we’ll need to: 1). Hold accountable those elected to office, 2). Advocate for just laws and compassion-
ate government, and 3). Be proactive as legislative bodies make decisions that affect our families. I’m in this because I look forward to the day when this kind of effort won’t be necessary; when government is transformed and we become a just society. But until then, I’m committed to do my part to see it happen.
The Dallas Peace Center Mission The Dallas Peace Center, established in 1981, promotes a just and peaceful world through constructive action in education, dialogue, reconciliation, and advocacy.
DPC Guiding Values Non-violent Action – action that compels us to construct systemic change in conflict by winning over hearts and minds. Constructive Conflict – a process that provides opportunities to attend to varied viewpoints, and serves as a mode of truth-finding and community building. Collaborative Strategies – the desire to join with others with similar goals and objectives to build mutual support; generate ideas and alternatives; take collective action and expand resources. Inter-connectedness – the discovery of the many reciprocal connections we have that move us towards a sustainable and just human presence.
Special Edition 2012
Citizenship workshop serves 115 applicants By Douglas D. Interiano, Proyecto Inmigrante ICS
On behalf of Proyecto Inmigrante ICS, Inc., and the “Ya es Hora Ciudadanía” campaign, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dallas Peace Center for all of your efforts at the U.S. Citizenship workshop Saturday, June 16th. Thanks to your help, over 115 applicants were assisted, and 75 applications were completed. The applicants also attended a voter education program so that they will be prepared to vote once their citizenship is finalized. Your participation and knowledge truly made difference! And because you took the time out of your busy schedules to help guide our community through the important process of applying for U.S. citizenship, many of you were able to listen to inspiring stories and testimonies about how folks waited 10, 20, or even 30 years to apply for U.S. citizenship. We all were moved to hear about
the struggles they have faced in this country.We truly believe that although you were inspired by these applicants, they too were inspired and motivated by knowing that everyone there volunteered their time to assist them through this process. In addition to the Dallas Peace Center, a special thank you goes to the NALEO Educational Fund, Cathedral of Hope, G.O.T.V., R.I.T.A., International Rescue Committee, UNIVISION 23, UNIVISION Radio, Casa Durango Dallas, Catholic Charities of Dallas, Casa Del Inmigrante Fort Worth, Telefutura 49, HRC, and of course, to all our volunteers that made this event a great success!!!
Special Edition 2012
The 8th Annual Summer Dinner Lecture featuring Shahid Buttar By Yonwi Bell, DPC staff member
A great and harmonious meeting of hearts and minds occurred on July 12th in Dallas. Dallas Peace Center members and friends alike came to learn more about how they could make continued progress in the communities in which they serve. Kelli Obazee, Director of Dallas Peace Center, opened the evening by announcing that 2012 is the 31st year of the Dallas Peace Center playing and active leadership role in advocating peace and justice throughout the Dallas area. The Dallas Peace Center has protested injustices, petitioned for justice, and helped train and support peace advocates within the city. The poem “Imagine A World” was delivered by Len Ellis, former Director of Dallas Peace Center. The reading depicts the
Special Edition 2012
world in which all us work to see achieved in our country and world: Where the rights of all people are respected and disputes are settled by the rule of law for the common good… Where all people have food, shelter, and access to medical care, and children are born into and raised by healthy families and communities…Where economic practices create well-being for all stakeholders including communities and the environment. The delicious and plentiful buffet provided by Bridge Bistro was a perfect complement to the keynote lecture by Shahid Buttar. A civil rights attorney and constitutional scholar, Shahid Buttar is Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC).
Buttar began revealed that We The People who live in the “home of the brave and land of the free” have been living in a lie since the passing of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 by President Carter. Buttar said FISA is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, which guarantees freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Buttar also demonstrated how our rights have continued to be violated to greater and greater extent, up to the most recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this year. Buttar said that the NDAA is similar to the government dangling a “carrot” in from of the public’s face, daring us to diverge from the ideal path and cause uproars that could be considered terrorist or treasonous acts. Through the NDAA, the government and military have the right to detain nonmilitary persons (citizens) indefinitely without charge or trial, and they can be held in military confinement indefinitely. “When is enough, enough?” he asked.
phone calls through drones that fly across the country. In addition, he shared that some Yale professors have reported that CIA agents have been monitoring speech in their classes. Buttar closed by linking all of these concerns together because they are all unconstitutional. Nevertheless, he said, the people who are part of organizations like Dallas Peace Center can advocate for the constitution, thrive through our community activities, and make great waves of change. He said that the diversity of the Dallas Peace Center holds a vast amount of power and voice, and that it is important that it continues its efforts.
He said that people across the world 20 years ago equated America with true freedom. People from other countries would rush to come to experience the liberties that we now try to force their respective governments to adopt and up hold. Yet our own country has become the land of social control and monitoring. If what you are portraying is not in accordance with “the plan,” be prepared to face the ramifications, Buttar said. He cited the newest wave of government surveillance, which he said is easily susceptible to hackers and other negative influences.
Buttar then stressed the importance of the newly formed Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote - Su Voto Es Su Voz because its mission touches on the very foundation of the Dallas Peace Center’s mission to “promote a just and peaceful world through constructive action in education, dialogue, reconciliation and advocacy.”
Buttar explained that our government now has the ability to gather everyday citizens’ private information, emails, and tap into
Further information can be found at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/498/si gnup_page/august-recess.
Buttar urged that each citizen take three actions: 1) Attend a Town Hall meeting or other public event, 2) Visit your representative's office, and 3) Organize a public action.
Special Edition 2012
Iraqi students discuss peace with North Texas peers By Saif Pardawala, DPC Intern, and Yonwi Bell, DPC Volunteer
The DFW World Affairs Council and the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, together with the Dallas Peace Center, hosted a group of Iraqi high school students at the Dallas Peace Center Monday, July 23rd. The event centered around a discussion between North Texas youth and their peers visiting from Iraq, and was followed by a reception and display of artwork made by the Iraqi students. Both the paintings as well as the discussion focused on a common theme of peace. The discussion proved to be most engaging for both the Iraqi visitors and the local youth. The discussion was divided in two groups with an equal number of participants from Iraq and North Texas. They were given a set of questions centered on seeking ways to debunk stereotypes and false perceptions. These questions opened a platform for dialogue aimed at establishing a better understanding on
both sides and differentiating between an idealist and a realistic approach to establishing peace. A dominant theme of the conversation was the way in which typical Iraqis view Americans. Given the controversial 2003 invasion and prolonged military presence in Iraq, the common assumption that Iraqis hold a negative view of Americans was shown to be untrue. In fact, young Iraqis throughout the discussion portrayed Americans citizens as friendly and open, while noting that the American government often causes significant distrust and anger. Someone asked how this view was shaped, considering that the military presence was the most direct source of contact these students previously had with Americans. The response was that they realized that the army did not reflect the average American citizen, who they considered mostly very decent, and even some held in very high regard. However, there was a view that the American intervention brought with it a lack of security. Though they agreed that there were certainly positive aspects of the invasion, such as bringing a more open society, it also led to increased sectarian violence and instability. This lack of security seemed to be the core issue around which the discussion in one small group was based. In this group, some young Iraqisâ€™ statements reflected a lack of hope because they saw the current state of affairs to be out of their hands.
Special Edition 2012
At the same time, the other small group reflected determination to make a difference in both of their countries’ outlooks of, and interactions with each other. Their burning hope for a better tomorrow for their countries stays on their mind and heart. They are determined there will a healthy and happy country within their lifetime, and they will play a role in making that difference. The Iraqi youth voiced strong determination for their group to take an individual stand. They vowed to help their country grow, and to obtain an education and the experience they will need to help rebuild Iraq’s government and economic system. This small group asked that the world, including their own people, understand that they are at a 35-year disability compared to Iraq’s neighbors that are oil-rich as well. The youth said that the American government could help to establish a better Iraq by helping the citizens provide for themselves with the limited funds and resources that are being provided. Possibly most importantly, they urged support for education for the citizens of Iraq of all ages, including post-graduate work.
In seeking to determine ways to counter the sources of instability, a number of requirements were identified. It was agreed that priority should be placed on education and promoting professional knowledge in the aims of advancing society. Furthermore, many Iraqi students believe there is a need for a strong, creative leader guided by the US, a direct reflection of their positive view of Americans and the hope that they can bring peace to Iraq. A point of contention raised about conflicting interests inherent in installing a puppet subservient to US interests was dismissed as the price they are willing to pay for security. An element of hope for the future of Iraq was still prevalent throughout the discussion. The group determined that “one united hand” of the people is necessary to unite the diverse groups and establish a just and democratic country. The discussion laid a foundation for understanding on both sides because voicing issues and needs, and brainstorming ways that they can be fulfilled, are the first steps toward long-lasting peace.
Special Edition 2012
The crisis in Syria: Dallas Peace Center position statement the wishes of many Syrians who are mounting nonviolent protests. When nonviolent protest turns violent because of "outside forces" it dishonors those who have gone before. The danger of Syria erupting into an all out civil war, similar to what a horrified world witnessed in former Yugoslavia, is too painful to imagine. As in Yugoslavia, many ethnic, sectarian and religious fault lines exist in Syrian society whose collapse could destabilize the country and possibly Freedom House the entire region. One of the neighboring states most likely to 10/14/12 The Dallas Peace Center conbe drawn into the conflict is Lebanon, demns in the strongest terms the atrocities where skirmishes between pro and anti being committed by the Syrian governSyrian supporters have already broken ment against its civilian population. Acout. The Syrian population is a mosaic of cording to media reports thousands have Kurds, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias been killed so far and thousands have and Sunnis. Civil and human rights been detained. Such actions might constiof all Syrians must be respected. tute war crimes and indeed crimes against humanity. We demand the Syrian governWe hope that the Arab League and rement immediately cease killing civilians gional powers such as Turkey, the United and stop the shelling of residential areas States and the European Union will activeespecially in Homs, Dara'a, Hama, ly seek a negotiated rather than a military Baniyas, Aleppo and suburbs of Damassolution to the crisis. We regret the resigcus. We further demand that opposition nation of Kofi Anan as UN-Arab League armed groups immediately cease killing of special envoy after prolonged attempts to civilians who are deemed to be supporters get Syria to fulfill the six-point peace plan of the Government. We condemn the atrocities being committed by all sides. We appeal to the Arab League, US, NATO and neighboring countries to help the fleeThe Dallas Peace Center unequivocally ing Syrian refugees and make their lives in denounces calls by American political their temporary abode safe and secure till leaders to further militarize an already dire they are able to return to their homes. We situation. The United States and its allies are hopeful that violence will cease in Syrmust refrain from injecting heavy arms and ia and the noble aspirations of its people ammunition into the country. We wholewill usher in an era of peace and prosperiheartedly support the courage and respect ty.
Special Edition 2012
The US must end its longest war By Aftab Siddiqui, DPC board member
The almost forgotten war against Afghanistan became a topic of the Vice Presidential and Presidential debates prior to the election. It was good to know that the candidates believe that the US combat forces must be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. It was sort of good news for the peace community that the longest war in our history is finally winding down.
the returning soldiers face PTSD and long adjustment to non-combat life.
The bill to the tax payer will be close to a trillion dollars eventually, if not more (if we stick to the 2014 deadline). According to The Christian Science Monitor of June 11, 2012, so far the Pentagon has spent more than $ 517 billion in military operations and the State Department has spent more than $57 billion in development aid in Afghanistan. More than 2,000 American soldiers have died in the combat operations. Hundreds more are injured and thousands of
The protagonists of continued war claim that Afghanistan will fall into the hands of Taliban once US troops leave. Letâ€™s look at the demographics of the country; 44 percent Pashtuns, 25 percent Tajiks, 10 percent Hazaras, 8 percent Uzbeks, and 13 percent other groups. The Taliban come from the Pashtuns but not all Pashtuns are Taliban. President Karzai is a Pashtun and no friend of Taliban. The first Government by the Taliban was not liked
It is a steep price for the country and especially, for those one percent of Americans who faced the deadly war and its consequences around them while the rest of the 99 percent went about their daily lives feeling no effects of war.
Special Edition 2012
by the population-at-large including many Pashtuns. In the face of such opposition, it is unlikely that the Taliban will take over easily. Neighboring countries are investing in the country and will not welcome any chaos or take over by the Taliban. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are trying to bring the Taliban and US to the negotiating table to facilitate a peaceful process. China has signed a multi-billion dollar contract to develop mineral resources; Russia, along with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, do not want to see civil war or the emergence of a Taliban Government. The US supports the construction of a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan (known as TAPI). Next door neighbor Iran is dead against rise of the Taliban and has interest in protecting the Shiite Hazara. Turkey and India are also investing in the country. Afghans by nature are pragmatic and open to trade opportunities. However, if attacked and occupied, they always fight back as Alexander, British, Russians, and now US have learned. Yet with so many interests converging, it will be almost impossible for the Taliban to overthrow the Afghan Government. Many supporters of women’s rights and well-wishers of Afghanistan feel the need to have continual US military presence beyond 2014 because they want to see Afghanistan as a modern liberal society. It will take many generations to change the Afghan society to the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy. American people have neither the will to keep on fighting in Afghanistan nor the resources for continued presence there. Once, Afghanistan had a cadre of highly educated professionals including engineers, professors, teachers, physicians,
Special Edition 2012
scientists, diplomats, and bureaucrats dedicated to making their country a modern state. These capable and liberal minded Afghans were trained and educated in the US, Soviet Union, France, Germany, and UK. There is a saying among Pashtuns: once elephants start fighting, frogs get crushed. The moment the US decided to arm the rural uneducated Afghans to fight a” jihad” against the “Godless Communists,” the first targets were the liberal and educated members of the society. Through no fault of their own, they became an endangered species in the so-called holy war. Many were killed for simply being in the Government, or being liberal, or perceived to be siding with the Soviet forces. The rest went into exile to be save their families and lives. By the time Soviets left, Afghanistan had lost its precious intellectual capital and the remaining population was made up mostly of uneducated and untrained Afghans with no expertise to run and manage a modern state. There is nothing that we can do in return to compensate for our policies and actions in Afghanistan. The only viable option left is to encourage the regional powers to help and assist the Afghans in developing and training a cadre of people who can manage the affairs of the state in an efficient and modern way. There is no shortcut to gain such expertise, but the good news is that the rest of the region is fed up with the instability of war, and wants to see a success story in Afghanistan. Of course, the US must keep on helping and assisting the Afghans in their efforts to rebuild their country and society. In conclusion, it is high time for US troops to come back home. It will be good for the US, Afghanistan, and the region to end the war as soon as possible.
Drone attacks: promise vs. reality By Don Dillard
The use of drones to pursue U.S. foreign policy is oftentimes promoted as clean, easy, effective, selective, and without unintended consequences. Nothing could be further from reality. CLEAN Legal: The legality of the use of drones to target individuals has been sidestepped due to the novelty of the mechanism. Those targeted may indeed be guilty of waging war on the U.S. but no court has convicted them and they have had no due process. The targeting of individual leaders of political factions that the U.S. considers enemies has the distinct feel of assassination. These extrajudicial executions may be someday come to be considered as war crimes. Permission: The U.S. use of deadly force over foreign territory without the permission of the legitimate government is a violation of sovereignty. If this “permission” is obtained in secret with the purpose of later deniability then the U.S. may be colluding with that government against the will of its people. Anonymous: At the moment there is little doubt that it is the U.S. or its allies that are responsible and should be held fully accountable for all results of drone attacks. Any attempt at deniability is ludicrous. EASY Targeting: Finding and verifying that a proposed target is indeed the same person on a list to be executed is not likely an easy proposition. It is laughable that U.S. personnel are checking I.D.’s.
Therefore, clandestine operations with spies and informants are of necessity to be “trusted” to correctly finger the targets. After the targets are correctly identified, relaying highly specific and accurate information about place and time are critical. Room for mistakes is obvious. Cost: I’m certainly unfamiliar with the costs of drones, missiles, intelligence, personnel to launch, and to remotely guide these attacks. Nevertheless, accounting most certainly underestimates the support functions of bases, battle ships, risks to local indigenous sources, and loss of political allies and the moral high ground. EFFECTIVE Executing advisories: Of course there have been several high profile executions that have been touted to laude the effectiveness of drone attacks. However, evidence that these executions have been effective in lessening the capability or resolve of enemy organizations is unconvincing. We know they have to replace the leader, but so far only a brief interim has resulted. Precludes the capacity to negotiate: Very few wars end with the total abdication of one side and the total victory of the other. Short of annihilation, the U.S. will ultimately need to have a partner with whom to negotiate, begin the peace process, and the building of a civil society.
Special Edition 2012
The Insider Brief
Many of those killed by drones have been totally innocent civilians without the target even present or they may have been traveling with the target, but not guilty of any offense worthy of execution. This use of drones is not only a “mistake;” it is the taking of innocent lives. A recent report says that no one really knows how Pan Africanhave News Wire many people been Pan-African News Wire killed by drone attacks. In the photo, a US Drone Assassination complicates and extends attack in Somalia earlier this year killed the time before negotiations can begin. 39. Assessing the outcome: Assessing the effectiveness of the outcome is complicated when a military operation is conducted from distance. We have to rely upon observers who are present. The aftermath of drone attacks regularly involves disputes as to the facts of who was killed and/or injured. We often distrust the assessment of those who were available to witness first-hand the consequences of the attack. SELECTIVE Mistakes/accidents: Our experience is that much too often the supposed target is misidentified or the missile is misdirected and those hit are not a target. The argument that drones are superselective or accurate is not born out by the evidence. We regularly learn that the target escaped or was not in the vehicle or house, and that he just minutes or possibly days before had been there.
Special Edition 2012
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES There are many possible unintended consequences of drone attacks. The outof-nowhere emergence of a drone from the sky without notice no doubt creates trauma, fear, and anxiety in a population that the U.S. wants as an ally. Many consider the use of drones as bad faith, and the governments that do not oppose the U.S. in drone usage will lose credibility with their people. The picture of a foreign government that resorts to drones is one that is weak, ineffectual and cowardly. The U.S.’s use of drones may be used to legitimize future drone usage by others. We have come to learn that the promise of the usage of drone attacks to pursue U.S. foreign policy is empty. Drone usage is not clean, easy, effective, selective, or without unintended consequences.
Hiroshima bombing remembered in Dallas By Mavis Belisle, DPC Board member
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Nam Myoho Renge Kyo More than 100 voices joined together August 5 to chant in honor of those who died August 6, 1945 in the bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and subsequently from the bomb's effects. The commemorative memorial service for the first use of an atomic weapon in war was cosponsored by the SGI-USA Dallas Buddhist Center and the Nuclear Free World Committee of the Dallas Peace Center at the Buddhist temple. The program began with music by Universal Rhythm and a dance performance by Tsurumi Bateman (pictured at right). Her story/dance is called “Akagi Komoni no Ura.” It is a man's song to his infant child whose mother has died, saying that the moon, like its mother, will watch over it. Attendees viewed video of a hibakusha, a survivor of the bombing, in Japan, and live video of another survivor, Mrs. Sayako Pass, now living in East Texas. Each related her experiences the day of the bombing, and in the days following. After an explanation of the paper cranes and incense offering, those at the service came solemnly and respectfully to add their cranes to the strings and their incense to the burner, filling the room with the sound of chanting and the fragrance of frankincense. Neil Mukherjee of the SGI-USA Dallas Buddhist Center spoke of the significance of the memorial program. Quoting the words of SGI president Daisaku Ikeda, he said, "Many of the young men of my gen-
eration were incited by the military government to go proudly to the battlefront and give their lives there. The families left behind were praised for their sacrifice as military mothers--a term deemed to carry high honor. But in reality, what a devastating tumult of pain, grief and misery swirled in the depths of their hearts! A mother's love, a mother's wisdom, is too great to be fooled by such empty phrases as 'for the sake of the nation.'" Mukherjee went on to describe the Hiroshima bombing by the B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay after the mother of the pilot, Paul Tibetts. Called “Little Boy,” the single bomb exploded at 8:16 a.m., "annihilating within seconds the entire city and its surroundings. An estimated 80,000 to 140,000 people died within 2 seconds, and the city was reduced instantly to rubble." The bomb, designed in the secret Manhattan Project, was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT, and used Uranium-235 as fissile material. "Its effects were devastating," Mukherjee continued, "and the bomb delivered its destruction in three successive stages."
Special Edition 2012
"First, the bomb was detonated 1,900 feet above ground over the center of the city, releasing a massive fireball and mushroom cloud, along with a strong shockwave and blasts of wind that moved at the speed of sound and flattened buildings, turned windows into shrapnel, and swept bodies away. The blast wave was felt as far away as 37 miles. Then an intense heat wave of "thermal radiation" followed, which along with a very bright blast of light made the ground or temperature soar to temperatures of up to 4000 degrees Celsius or 7,232 degrees Fahrenheit. â€œEverything within 2km of the hypocenter was completely destroyed or burned, and the city was enveloped in a sea of flames. Finally, the released flash sent out powerful infrared radiation and gamma rays that could penetrate through walls of buildings and attack the cells in human bodies, thereby causing serious long-term injuries including malignant cancers, radiation cataracts, and deformities to the individuals who survived and to the generations of family members after them. As Hiroshima had disappeared under a thick, churning foam of flames and smoke, the co-pilot of the Enola Gay wrote down in his log, 'My God, what have we done?'" We must never forget," Mukherjee said," the devastation caused by such bombs, and we must re-determine to fight for better diplomacy and nuclear disarmament,
Special Edition 2012
with the clear recognition that today's nuclear bombs are over 30 times more powerful than those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki." The idea that nuclear weapons function to deter war and are thus a "necessary evil" is a core impediment to their elimination, he said. "It [the belief] must be challenged and dismantled." Mukherjee quoted President Ikeda's call for in inner transformation. "Crying out in opposition to war and nuclear weapons is neither emotionalism nor self-pity. It is the highest expression of human reason based on an unflinching perception of the dignity of life." Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam, also a speaker at the program, urged those present, to turn their commitment to political action to bring it to reality. Young adults of SGI-USA spoke of their commitment to peace and disarmament as well.
The Dallas Peace Center thanks our 2011-2012 donors
A&M Chiropractic, P.C.
Brewton, W. O.
Bucchianeri, Robert J.
Abaraoha, Princeton Abbas, Qaisar Ahmed, Basheer and Shakila Drs. Albertson Community Partners Program Albritton, Susan
Gindling, John & Karyl
Jezercak, Bernie & Peg
Daves, Rev Dr Michael & Patricia
Graber, Joel & Barbara
Grace Presbytery, Inc
johnson, J K
Davis, Richard & Marla
Gray, Gloria & Philip
Johnson, J Kendel
DeLeon, Jocelin Gus Gonzales Attorney at Law
Delphenis, Charles Dillard, Donald & Diane
Haigh, Patrick & Sandra
kaska, mary jo
Buresh, Keith & Laurel Hoitsma
Al-Habash, Ammar Ali, Farhana
Landress-Gillet Dallas Monthly Meeting of Friends
Dodd, Dr. Patricia
Church Women United in Dallas
EBS Family Trust
Hall, Mac & Joyce
Anderson Jr, German
Clarke, Rita & Edward
Eppes, Kenneth & Valerie
Harrison, Genifer Haymes, Cherry & David Heaberlin, Charles & Sue
Herbener, Mark & Donna
Anita N Martinez, Ballet Folklorico, Inc
Clayton, Rev Daniel J
Coleman, James & Lisa
Eugenia D Fritz Surviving
Baker, Rev Diane & Bob
Common Ground Community
Ferguson, Tom & Betty Jane
Bateman, David Gray & Nancy
Cooper, Rev Robert & Shirley
Bently, Earl & Carolyn
Berry, Bruce J. or Louis A.
Betzen, Bill donor Betzen, Stephen & Rachel Bhan, Romal Black, Hank Border Network for Human Rights
Hickman, Holsey First Community Church
Hill-Larson, Charlise Holy Cross Catholic Church
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Craig G. Matthew
Crawford, George & Jeannette
Fleming, Richard & Katherine
Dailey, George & Katharine
Irving, Henry & Mary Ellen Islamic Association of North Texas
Bowers, Martha Branch, Elizabeth
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Dallas County Community College
Horton, NaOra Howard, Bonita
Killelea, Joan King, Allen King, Sally klassen, David knowles, Collin Koch, Ryan
LaBauve, Kristen Lakshmanan, Shree
Lee, Dennis Legg, Julianne E Leon, Jocelin Lerma, Alex Levario, Gloria Lightfoot, Tiana Lon Burnam Campaign Luby, Theresa Lyman, Mary
Freed, W Curt Gillet Jr, Grover & Mary
Magid, Linda Major, Tracy Curts & Trish Mank, Evans Mann, Robert C.
Special Edition 2012
Marquis, Diana Marsh, Wendy Charity Chexk
Muslim Legal Fund of America
Richland College Peace Institute
Maryknoll Mission Education
Nides M.D., Rael
Matsuda, Amira & Ben
North Texas Jobs With Justice
Robertson, Cathy & Jack
Sokhansanj, Shanaz Soper, John & Marti Southern Methodist University Embrey Human Rights Sparrow, David
Northaven United Methodist Church
Roggson, Lorraine P.
Maxwell, Bill & Daleen
Obazee, Kelli & Tunde
McElvaney, Bill & Fran
Teatro Hispano De Dallas
Park, Jerald G.
Matthews, Bill Matula, Pat Maxwell Company, Inc
Midway Hills Christian Church
Sabour, Ameenah Safeway Inc. Sanders, Jan Sauermann, Albert
Parkman, Richard & Patricia
Mirabal, Joan Judge
Pax Christi of Dallas
Peace Action of Denton
Peace Mennonite Church
Shields, Joanna & Kenneth
Moran, Laurel Mr. Yeley, Daniel Murphy, Cynthia Museum of AfricanAmerican Muslim Community Center for Human Services Muslim Democratic Caucus
phelan, john Prats, Michael
Schlesinger, Paul Schnepp, Paula Schwarz, Kurt A. Scurry, Charles Shamsa, Mitra Shantz, Ruth E
Pratt, Marion Pyke, Danna
Rab, Abdul and Amina
Social Action Council of First Unitarian Universalist Church
Special Edition 2012
Vanderpool, Andrea Velten, Dirk Veterans For Peace Vicki Smucker Walid Ajaj Walters, Lynn Walz, Mark Warkentin, Gertrude H Wassenich, Linda & Mark
Texas Civic Engagement Table
Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Watkins, Donald Whaley, John
Texas Instruments Foundation
Wharton, John & Joan
Texas Tenantsâ€™ Union - Dallas
Theunissen, Bruce & Oeita Thomas, A J Thomas, Edward Thompson, Candace
Siddiqui, Aftab & Yasmin
Unity Church of Arlington University of North Texas
Tobain, Beverly TodaMedia, Trevino Toews. Anita Tommie Kinney United Nations Association of Dallas United Way Campaign
Wilhelm, Kim Batchelor & Ronald Wills, Susan Wilson, Diana Finch Wolff, Elizabeth Wren, Kayla Yeley, Daniel Zimmermann, Amber
Achievements for 2012 continued: 31 More Years of Peace and Justice…
Published RÉDA, Research, Education, Dialogue, Action, our quarterly online magazine, reporting the Peace and Justice issues of our community and our world. Co-sponsored “A Faithful Conversation on the Death Penalty” with Dallas faith leaders Launched the Coalition to Lift Every Voice and Vote, with canvassing, phone banking, and voter education efforts Hosted a fall dinner lecture, “A New Civil Rights Movement: From the Great Tradition to the Cutting Edge of Action for Human Rights,” with Mustafaa Carroll, Exec. Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Sponsored “Prayer Vigil for Peace in Syria” Co-sponsored “Shut the Door on War!” action Co-sponsored “Veterans Day-Veterans for Peace” action Co-sponsored Five Traditional String Musicians at the Human Rights Coffee House Co-sponsored a talk by Col. Ann Wright, “Illegal Drone Strikes in Pakistan: Failures in U.S. Policy” Partnered with Teatro Dallas on the production “A Gift to America: Voices for Peace and Justice in U.S. History” Hosted a discussion with Kristen Iverson on her book, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats DPC intern organized a “Protest of GM's Exploitation of Colombian Workers” DPC interns collaborated with World Affairs Council to host an “Iraqi Youth Leadership Exchange” Hosted the 8th Annual Summer Dinner Lecture, “Surveillance, Detention, and the New Normal: The Deteriorating State of the Bill of Rights” with Shahid Buttar, Exec. Director Bill of Rights Defense Committee Co-Sponsored with Pastors For Peace the “Friendship Caravan to Cuba” Participated in an action against North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage Co-sponsored "DALLAS SAYS NO TO TORTURE!" march and rally against torture, Guantanamo, & the NDAA! Participated in “Ya Es Hora,” a Dallas Metroplex Area Citizenship workshop Co-sponsored “Songs of Social Significance,” a benefit concert for the North Texas Peace and Justice Community with David Rovics Organized a teach-in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Co-sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership march and rally Co-sponsored Rally to Support Bradley Manning Co-sponsored with the DFW Defense Committee a “Discussion on Prosecutorial Defense” Sponsored the Nuclear Free World Committee, Middle East Peace Committee, Peace Education Committee, Liberty Defense Committee, and the Nuba Mountain Peace Coalition Sponsored the 2012 Roger Kallenberg Spring Lecture, “Transformative Actions: Building the Equitable Society," with Rabbi Michael Lerner Co-sponsored “Bust the Banksters!” Co-sponsored the “Justice for Trayvon Martin” rally Co-sponsored with the Iranian Democratic Society of Dallas, "A War with Iran and the Consequences" Co-sponsored the “Breaking the Chains of Violence in Mexico” talk by Juan Escobedo and Joy Strickland on the costs of the Drug War Co-sponsored the 2012 Social Justice Film Festival with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff Sponsored Town Hall Meeting on Community Engagement to Develop Strategies to Wage Peace through Justice Co-sponsored with the Texas Black Film Festival a presentation of the movie Fambul TOK by Sara Terry Co-sponsored “10 Years Too Many: National Day of Action against Guantanamo” Sponsored the “Concerns of an Attack on Iran Increasing” meeting to counter the threat of the war Sponsored the “Israeli and Palestinian Children Balloon Release” Co-sponsored with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff The First Tuesday Social Justice Film Festival
Deepen your commitment to Peace and Justice Your commitment to the values of Peace and Justice in our city and our world has never been more important. Those values are consistently being challenged in our world today by the deep inequities in our economic system, the targeting of undocumented immigrants, continued environmental degradation, and the continued attack on our civil rights and liberties. As you strive to live out your commitment to Peace and Justice in these challenging times, we invite you to deepen your efforts by joining the Dallas Peace Center. Your support throughout the year, together with the support of others, can build the base needed to transform our local and global communities. The Dallas Peace Center thrives when we support and connect with each other to voice our dissent; refuse to cooperate; seek alternative solutions; and intervene directly when necessary to ensure
that the shared values of Peace and Justice are upheld for all. Your membership in The Dallas Peace Center will help push for societal transformation. Your $35 individual or $65 family annual membership will ensure that there is continuity in the work of the Dallas Peace Center as we work toward a Nuclear Free World; ending the wars abroad and at home; fairness and equality for ALL; connecting the Human Rights struggles in the U.S, the World, and here in Texas; empowering the Rising American Electorate; and empowering todayâ€™s youth to chart their own destiny through peace education. Join us and become a member. Help maintain our advocacy work and capacity to influence our communities, where the values of PEACE and JUSTICE are enshrined.