If everyone wants peace, why is there so much violence?
Real peace requires a change of culture. Instead of seeing the world in terms of conflict - us and them - peace requires us to see ourselves as part of a living tradition of humanity. We must search the world, our history and our own conscience for the good stuff - the stuff that unites us all rather than tries to divide people based on race, religion or gender identity. We're not just talking about philosophies, religions and the beautiful words written about peace. We mean the everyday actions that challenge hate. Actions that anyone can take, including you.
Without us, peace will not happen. We must work for it in our homes, schools, playgrounds, workspaces, community spaces and places of worship. Transformation is not easy. At Peace Vigil, we provide you with the tools to begin having the conversations - with yourselves and those around you - that will make this transformation easier and more effective.
Peace Vigil is an effort to channel our desire for peace into actual day-to-day actions which will change our hate-filled environment. This is a place to talk about the possibilities for peace, find inspiration from what others are doing, and work together to achieve more. It is a place of hope. Here, we learn tools and strategies, exchange information, share stories of hope and through all of it, and become more aware that it's not all useless. Life is worth it. Peace is possible. It needs you.
We provide tools to fight prejudice. This includes storytelling, videos, games, quizzes, talks and interactive sessions. We work with schools, universities, non-profits and religious organizations. As part of our work, we develop toolkits and learning material for people to use in their specific settings.
Our core principle is that peace begins at home, at educational institutions and at workplaces. We also work with organizations and individuals engaged in the promotion of social and economic justice, peace and conflict transformation, refugee and migrant rights, domestic violence, sexual violence and gender discrimination.
Our work started in 1975 in India during the national emergency imposed in that country. We used theatre disguised as everyday activity (our own form of Guerrilla Theatre) to raise our voice against the dictatorial government of the day. We have since worked in USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, South Africa, Mozambique, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Vietnam and Australia. We started working by our present name, Peace Vigil, in 2001 in Washington D.C.
Be tech-savvy: Use your gadgets to share our prejudice fighting peace videos, songs, inspirational stories, analytical essays, quizzes and interviews.
Stories of Hope: Send us your stories that can inspire others. For instance, perhaps you or someone you know was a victim of prejudice but then another human being stood up for you? Or you yourself may have helped another person who was being persecuted because of their skin color or religious background or language or any number of things that are used to divide us. Also check out our Happy News series.
Contribute to our fact sheet: We do a weekly quiz to promote peace and understanding. Look at the latest quiz. Do you have a surprising truth that questions prejudice? Let us know and we'll add it to our quiz.
Peace Discussion groups: Find others who are interested in safeguarding peace and form a weekly or monthly discussion group. It should be a safe space for people to talk and discuss issues pertaining to peace. It should be a space where people engage in dialogue in a spirit of finding common ground. If you live or work in a community where you sense growing hatred towards a group of people for their ethnicity, for instance, look for individuals who find it wrong. Talk to them about how the atmosphere can be changed.
Peace workshops: We conduct workshops, trainings and talks on peace and justice. A classroom is a good place to start and so is your neighborhood. We take pride in having organized these workshops over several decades. We also do this for non-profits and religious organizations. If you'd like to organize a workshop, contact us.
“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”