THE 10 STEPS TOWARD A NONVIOLENT CITY
Create a local Steering Committee; write a mission and vision statement; and imagine and discuss what your community would look like if it were a “Nonviolent City.”
Find a mainstream institution that could become the base for your “Nonviolent City” project, such as the local library, community center, a major religious institution, or the Rotary Club.
Organize an initial public meeting/forum to discussion the idea. Make the meeting actually an organizing meeting, and come with future dates and meeting places ready to announce. Help people to start imagining what their community would look like as a nonviolent city. See that vision as a goal, and the years ahead as a journey toward that goal, which everyone can be a part of.
Study the violence in your local community in all its forms, and begin to systematically address these forms of violence, and how the violence can end, and how people and the city institutionally can become more nonviolent.
This will mean exploring every aspect of one’s local community and ways to:
end racism, poverty, homelessness and violence at every level and in every form;
dismantle housing segregation and pursue racial, social and economic nonviolent integration;
end police violence and institutionalize police nonviolence;
work to end domestic violence and violence against children, and teach nonviolence between spouses and toward all children;
teach nonviolence in every school;
help get rid of guns, gun shows and local weapons manufacturers;
work to end gang violence and teach nonviolence to gang members;
pursue more nonviolent immigration programs and policies;
take steps to oppose every form of structural violence, including sexism and homophobia;
get religious leaders and communities to promote nonviolence and the vision of a new nonviolent city;
reform local jails and prisons so they are more nonviolent and educate guards and prisoners in nonviolence;
put up signs calling for nonviolence everywhere in the community;
address local environmental destruction, climate change, and environmental racism, and pursue clean water, solar and wind power, and a 100% green community;
work with the local media to promote the vision of a nonviolent city;
and anything else that can be done to help the local community become more disarmed, more reconciled, more just, more welcoming, more inclusive, and more nonviolent.
Schedule a meeting with the mayor and city council, and the local steering committee and others members. Discuss with your local political leaders your vision of a “nonviolent city” and the concrete steps that together can be taken to make that vision come true.
Start to attend city council meetings as a group and to propose and inject ways that your local community can become more nonviolent. Help your city council adopt the vision of your community as a “nonviolent city.”
Set up a volunteer list, network and organizing base to spread out and reach out to everyone in your city. Assign tasks to everyone toward a systematic outreach. Encourage everyone to chip in and do their part to promote your community becoming a truly “nonviolent city.”
Organize a city wide launch that is inclusive, celebratory, and visionary, but also has concrete tasks for new volunteers to work on. We recommend that you launch your Nonviolent City with a week of events and actions as part of the national Campaign Nonviolence week of actions beginning every year on September 21st, International Peace day.
Set up a website and social media page to promote your nonviolent city. Set up a media committee to promote the vision of a “nonviolent city” in your newspaper, TV news, local talk shows, radio and social media.
Reach out to every sector of the community to help promote and build a more nonviolent city. That means, reaching out to everyone from the mayor and city council members to the police chief and police officers, to all religious leaders and communities, and all civic leaders, to all educators and healthcare workers, to housing authorities, to prison officials, to youth and grassroots activists, to non-profit community groups, to the poor and marginalized, and children and the elderly.
“By inviting people to imagine what their city would look like as a nonviolent city, people have begun to connect the dots between the various systems of violence, and work more holistically with every sector of their city.”
— Rev. John Dear