The Decade of Nonviolence
Houston, TX (2000-2010)
The Decade of Nonviolence—Houston, was a Texas affiliate of the United Nation’s Decade of Nonviolence for Building a Culture of Peace, Justice and Healing for the Children of the World. When Nobel Laureates reminded us that violence is not inevitable, they offered a solution in the creation of a decade-long initiative that said that individuals around the world could offer hope not only to the children of the world, but to all of humanity.
The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World is not just a continuation of the principles of IYCP. The mandate for the Decade specifically emphasizes the need for the international community to recognize and implement strategies to focus on and ensure assistance for children exposed to harmful and violent situations. In order to facilitate the Decade, children must be provided with the ability and opportunity to participate and to centre activities around their own needs. Clearly, decision makers who do not receive input and direction from those people affected by their plans and actions, in this case children, will not be able to provide an effective medium for the implementation of activities directed towards establishing a mentality conducive to non-violence. The participation of those affected by violence is necessary for the creation of effective policies and practices for the Decade.
By beginning to create and build a new “Culture of Nonviolence,” healing can take place. The heart of building this new culture is, as the Nobel Laureates expressed, that “nonviolence can be taught at every level in our societies during [the first] decade.”
The Six Point Commitment of 2000 started with six principles:
• Respect Life
• Reject Violence
• Share with Others
• Listen to Understand
• Preserve the Planet
• Contribute to Our Communities
At the end of the first Decade, many initiatives were born, while others were strengthened. Think Peace International is an initiative born out of a decades-long foray into telling the stories of peace in action. Many of the relationships developed were sustained by the work, and many of those individuals and groups are now part of the Think Peace initiative.