ACTION ALERT: It’s Time for a US Department of Peacebuilding

July 5th, 2020 - by Nancy Merritt / The Peace Alliance

ACTION ALERT: It’s Time for a US Department of Peacebuilding

Declaration of Interdependence
Nancy Merritt / The Peace Alliance

In America we have a Declaration of Independence, but our history, our advancements, our global strength all point to an American declaration of interdependence. — Cory Booker 

(July 4, 2020) — Justice and peace are inextricably intertwined and interdependent. Neither sustainably exists without the other. And neither exists without peacebuilding. There is legislation in Congress to create a Department of Peacebuilding (DoP/ HR 1111) which promotes a shift from a culture of violence, racism, sexism and death to a culture of peace, justice, compassion, inclusion and life.

ACTION: Please add your organization(s) to the DoP endorser list.


On 7/11/2001, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH) introduced the first ‘modern’ bill calling for a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding in the federal government. This bill tied together the commonalities of causes of violence and conditions of peace at every level – family, community, national and international. This transformative bill, which has been introduced in every Congress since 2001, is currently sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA).

On 7/4/2020, the US celebrates Independence Day. It is increasingly evident that we are all connected and that it is time to declare and live interdependence. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “What affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. There is one interrelated structure of reality.”

We need your help. As we advocate for DoP legislation, we need your help to expand our list of nearly 200 organization endorsers. Please sign on your organization(s), seek endorsements of other organizations, pass this on to your communities. Currently civic, community, compassion, education, gun violence prevention, health/ mental health, nonviolence, peace, restorative, spiritual, United Nations Association, veterans and many other organizations endorse a DoP. For a complete list of current organization endorsers of a DoP, see Organizational & Key Endorsements

How to Add Your Organization

You may add your group(s) to the DoP Organization Endorser List by emailing to 1) the name of your endorsing organization(s), your name and title, contact information (email, phone, web address) or 2) fill out, scan and email this  Why endorse transformative DoP legislation.

DoP legislation provides for creation of a holistic, healthy, transformative culture. To do that peacebuilding must have an ongoing seat at the table of government. DoP legislation includes teaching peacebuilding to our young people; promoting peacebuilding in communities; ensuring that the criminal justice system is just; and providing that media is integral to peace and justice. See below for more details about DoP legislation, additional background information and other actions. 

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace and justice together,
On Behalf of the Department of Peacebuilding Campaign
Anne Creter (NJ), Karen Johnson (IL), Maggi Koren (CA), Nancy Merritt (CA), 
Kendra Mon (CA), Debra Poss (GA), Josh Roebuck (CA), Pat Simon (MA), 
Cetta Smart (IL), Jerilyn Stapleton (CA) & Others

More Details About Department of Peacebuilding Legislation

The Secretary of Peacebuilding will work proactively and interactively with each branch of the Federal Government on all policy matters relating to conditions of peace. (HR 1111, Sec. 102(a)) These are some DoP provisions:

•   Teaching Our Children about Peacebuilding. Ensure that peace education is incorporated into the schools and that each peace curriculum builds communicative peace skills, nonviolent conflict resolution skills and teaches/ forsters compassion, empathy, respect, inclusion, and forgiveness. (HR 1111, Sec. 102(g); Sec. 104) Promote restorative and conflict resolution practices at pre-kindergarten, elementary, secondary, university, and post graduate levels and in police academies, with funding for teacher training in nonviolence, restorative practices, and conflict resolution. (HR 1111, Sec. 105)

•  Peace in the Community. Collaborate with governmental and nongovernmental organizations and individuals to promote personal and community security and peace. Develop and support policies that effectively address personal and family violence (including suicide, domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, mistreatment of the elderly).

Develop approaches for dealing with the tools of violence, including handguns and assault weapons. (HR 1111, Sec. 102(b)) Promote community-based violence prevention programs, including violence prevention counseling and peer mediation in schools and unarmed civilian peacekeeping/ violence interrupters at the local level. Assist in the re-entry into the community by individuals who have been incarcerated, including training in anger management, conflict resolution, peacebuilding skills, life skills, and educational and job skills. (HR 1111, Sec. 105)

•  The Criminal Justice System. Address crime, punishment, and rehabilitation and police-community relations disputes. (HR 1111, Sec. 102(b)). Develop community policing strategies, mindfulness and conflict de-escalation training, and other peaceful settlement skills among police and other public safety officers. Facilitate formation of locally run and administered citizen’s boards to recommend any appropriate training to work compassionately and effectively with local populations and to review and hold accountable actions of all local police departments in the US (HR 1111, Sec. 105)

•  Role of Media. Analyze the role of media in the escalation and de-escalation of conflict at domestic and international levels, including the role of fear-inducing and hate-inducing speech and actions and make recommendations to professional media organizations to increase media awareness of peacebuilding initiatives. (HR 1111, Sec. 102(f))

•  For more information. To read the DoP bill, key highlights of a DoP and more, see Department of Peacebuilding .

•  Join National Department of Peacebuilding conference calls on the third Wednesday of every month at 5 pm PT/ 8 pm ET, 1-929-436-2866 or 1-669-900-6833, meeting ID 464 735 321 or, to be placed on the call notice list, contact

•  Other actions. In addition to endorsing a DoP as an organization, please take these actions. Each email and signature take only a few seconds. Each call to members of Congress takes mere moments:

•  Email your member of Congress/ Summer 2020

•  Call 

•  Summer 20 for 2020 Updated Congressional List

•  Sign on to the BLUEPRINT FOR PEACE endorsement statement

Donate to the Department of Peacebuilding Campaign

Peace Alliance, 2108 Military Road, Arlington VA 22207 (202) 684-2553