Peace by Piece Slide Show

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Peace By Piece

A.F.S.C New Orleans, La


For the past three years, New Orleans has seen a decline in the city’s murder rate for the first time in almost 30 years.  Sources credit social programs, changes in ER procedures, a gang task force, effective prosecutions and a variety of other factors for the three-year decline.  Despite the dip, the city’s murder rate still remains above the national average according to 

Since 2010, Peace by Piece has been working to do its relatively small part (amidst countless local efforts) to reduce the incidence of crime in the city.  Facilitating conflict resolution workshops for youth; hosting community events that give young people artistic outlets as alternatives to violence; and organizing the Transforming Oppression Fashion Show, a platform for young people to creatively write their own narrative about injustice and its impact on their lives, collectively represent our traditional approach to promoting peace building and nonviolence.   

One event that attempts to rally the community around peace and nonviolence is the Peace is Power Parade.    On Saturday, September 20, 2014, Peace by Piece hosted its third annual parade.  The event featured a parade through Central City (one of New Orleans’ most affected crime areas) and a youth talent showcase in a park next to City Hall.  The parade is a community-wide event and a public pledge to make New Orleans safer for its young people. 


The fall event commemorates International Day of Peace in September.  International Day of Peace was established by the UN in 1981 to strengthen the ideals of peace around the world.  In 2001, a resolution declared it an annual day of cease-fire and non-violence.   

With the annual event, Peace by Piece intends to bring people together as a call to end the violence that affects the entire city, especially young people.  This year’s goal was to have 500 people pledge their commitment to a safer New Orleans.   New Orleans is a city that rallies around its sports teams, cultural traditions and rich heritage.  The parade and youth showcase are efforts to rally our community in the same spirit around peace and nonviolence.

Thanks to incredible weather, some willing community organizations, a host of volunteers and several committed residents of New Orleans, the parade was a moderately successful feat full of learning opportunities for next year.  Working with organizations like Cease Fire, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), Break Out, Grow Dat!, Rethink, Dillard and Tulane University students and The Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, will inevitably broaden the reach of the parade, increasing turn out in the future. 
Tragedy surrounds our city daily, sometimes several times a day.  A month after the event, the youth activist community lost a young comrade to gun violence.  A parade participant, George Carter’s 15-year-old body was found just blocks away from his home near Sampson Park where Peace by Piece interns work with youth from the Desire community. 



 George’s death and the insufferable deaths of so many African American boys and men speak to the needs of a demographic that is figuratively and literally dying.  Inevitably, Peace by Piece won’t facilitate, program or parade an end to violence, but will leverage opportunities like the Peace Parade to raise awareness, organize and influence local policies to create a safer New Orleans where young people don’t simply survive, they thrive. 

No comments:

Post a Comment