Saturday, September 24, 2022

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The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

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Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

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The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Community Peace Builders Instill Hope in Minneapolis

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Monday, July 25, 2022   

The summer season and violent crime can fuel narratives by the public and the media about safety in urban settings. But in Minnesota's largest city, an emerging effort aims to show that some youth want to firmly establish peace through communication.

Like many other places, Minneapolis has seen increases in violent crime in the past couple of years. On the north side, a group called Nonviolent Peaceforce is scaling up its Community Peace Builders program.

Will Wallace, a local mentor for the initiative, said a handful of young adults are trained in risk-assessment and de-escalation.

"I just think your tongue is your worst enemy," said Wallace. "They got this thing where they say, 'Oh, this summer is going to be hot, there's gonna be a lot of killing.' Well, we need to erase that."

The training emphasizes terms such as "listen" and "affirm." Peace Builders who are recruited are young adults who have overcome past issues tied to conflict in the streets.

Beyond easing tension among peers, they also provide unarmed security at local events.

Elijah O'Neal, one of the local Peace Builders, said he hopes to stifle narratives that area residents are only capable of violence.

He said he wants his peers to know they can overcome stereotypes and think about the bigger picture.

"We're not used to talking," said O'Neal. "All we're used to doing is yelling and screaming and trying to get somebody to hear us. But I'm trying to get them to understand that we could talk it out without getting so violent."

Fellow Peace Builder Markess Wilkins said one challenge is overcoming skepticism among his acquaintances. But he said he remains undeterred in convincing everyone about the path he chosen, hoping others follow suit.

"It kind of drains me a little bit," said Wilkins. "But at the end of the day, I know the work I'm doing. So, I don't ever let the putdowns get to me."

These Peace Builders began to hone their mentorship skills through the local organization EMERGE.

The training offered by Nonviolent Peaceforce has been used in conflict zones around the world.



Disclosure: Nonviolent Peaceforce contributes to our fund for reporting on Criminal Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Peace, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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