Sunday, December 28, 2008

Observer Newspapers Reports Essay Contest

Today, the Observer Newspapers reported how Rosemary Doyle became a member of the Citizens For Peace organization and why she is committed to ways of creating peace and nonviolence in our world. Her commitment lead her to take a leadership role in initiating the Peace Essay Contest.

In the article Colleen Mills, Citizens For Peace president, said we want " raise awareness of how to create nonviolence through respect for others...."To read the column click here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Following is information on how to enter the contest to celebrate the "Season For Nonviolence".
Please join us in this celebration by entering.

Nonviolence as a Pathway to Peace

Citizens for Peace is sponsoring an essay contest for Michigan high school and college students to help promote The Season for Nonviolence. The Citizens for Peace is a grassroots nonprofit nonpartisan community organization whose mission is to create a culture of peace and has been active since 2003. ( For additional information call 734-525-4326 or email

The Season for Nonviolence began in 1998 when it was inaugurated at the United Nations. It was co-founded by the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and a group of ten ministers forming the Leadership Council of The Association for Global New Thought. Its purpose is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Season is January 30th through April 4th of each year.

March 10 , 2009, Mail to: Citizens for Peace, Essay Contest, 31648 Pembroke, Livonia, MI 48152

How do nonviolent practices reduce conflict and create pathways to peace?”

Sample approaches: compare and contrast the peace efforts of two or more peacemakers; discuss the causes of violence and what needs to be done to reduce it; focus on a specific area of the world and discuss how violent conflict was stopped and what steps were taken to secure peace.

8 ½ x 11” paper; margins 1”; double space; 500 word maximum. List all materials on the last page of your essay, using the standard bibliographic format that you use at your school. Quotations must be referenced. Essay must be typed in English.

Your essay must show evidence of relevant reading and thoughtful use of resource materials; treatment of assigned theme; clear and effective language; and a coherent plan of organization.

The sources for this essay must include at least two selections from the Peace Collection bibliography, which lists over 300 titles to select from. Most of the books are located at the Civic Center Branch of the Livonia Public Library. The complete bibliography can be viewed from the Citizens for Peace blog ( or at the Resource Desk at the Civic Center Branch. You may also view a partial listing at .

If you do not have Livonia Public Library Card, call 734-466-2491 to obtain one or to inquire about reciprocal borrowing privileges and interlibrary loan, available to most libraries in S.E. Michigan.

Both high school and college prizes will be $250, $100 and $50 each for first, second and third place.

Prizes will be awarded at the Season for Nonviolence celebration on April 14, 2009 at the monthly meeting of the Citizens for Peace in Livonia, MI. Each winner will be invited to attend.

List name, address, city/zip, phone number, email address, high school or college grade level and school name. If under 18, include parent/guardian signature along with yours.

Type the following statement on your cover page:

I am submitting an original essay to the Citizens for Peace essay contest, “Nonviolence as a Pathway to Peace” as they honor the Season for Nonviolence. I certify that this essay is my own work and that I have abided by all the guidelines and requirements of the Contest. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and will become the property of the Citizens for Peace to use at its discretion in activities related to the contest. I further understand that the judges’ decisions are final and that if I am selected as a winner of the contest, I will be available for a photo for a press release.

Then, sign your name along with your parent or guardian, if applicable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Unite for peace

Michigan has an opportunity to take part in a historical, inspirational and transformative day Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. Two visionary leaders will be traveling from opposite corners of the world and the country, to bring us all together in an experience of uniting for peace.

Michael Bernard Beckwith, the dynamic African American pastor from one of the largest congregations of Los Angeles, and Gandhi Peace Prize winner Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, from Sri Lanka, will lead us in meditation, prayer, dialogue and song. Their goal: to focus our attention and intention on the possibility of creating peace and harmony in ourselves, our families, our community and our world.

"Dr. Ari," as he is affectionately called, has worked for 50 years for the "awakening of all." He emphasizes practicing loving kindness, compassion, service and equality. In his words, "We are one human society ... we are all members of one living world." His message is very important for all of us.

Michael Bernard Beckwith combines the power of Martin Luther King with a force that motivates listeners to have confidence that a unified, peaceful future will be a reality.

His 8,000-member Agape International Spiritual Center lives up to its name. Its congregation celebrates a love of humanity that seem boundless and world changing. With his wife, Rickie Byars Beckwith, who composes inspirational music and directs the 200-member Agape International Choir, Michael travels the world working for peace.

Maybe Michigan has more in common with Sri Lanka and Los Angeles than we think. We can follow the lead of Ariyaratne and Beckwith, and trust ourselves to make a better world, starting here. Sept. 21 is an opportunity to decide to not tolerate intolerance; to agree to recognize our common humanity; to support one another; and rise up together.

Come to EMU 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace. Join millions around the world. Make history!

Colleen Mills

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Citizens For Peace 2008 Fall Film Series

All films shown at 7 p.m.
Madonna University, Schoolcraft and Levan in Livonia,MI. Click Here for a map.
Donation: $5.00 per event. Parking in large, free, well-lighted lot.

"Blood & Oil" Friday,September 26 Shows how concerns about oil has fueled war for at least 60 years and calls for radical rethinking of U.S. energy policy.

"Election Day" Friday, October 3 Filmed in 14 different locations including Dearborn, this movie chronicles the ordinary citizen determined to vote, to turn out the vote, and to see that voting is legally and fairly done in the 2004 elections.

"On the Line" Friday, October 10 Inside look at the people behind one of the largest nonviolent movements in America today: the movement to close the School of the Americas/WHINSEC, a U.S. Army school that trains Latin American soldiers.

"Tim Wise: On White Privilege" Friday, October 17 Deeply personal and electrifying inside-out view of race and racism in America by providing a non-confrontational explanation of white privilege.

All of the above films will be shown at different times and dates at:

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Woodward at 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak, Tuesdays, 313-579-9071

Macomb Community College, South Campus, Warren, Mondays, 586-445-7378

Also don’t miss: Talk on Colombia, Cecilia Zarate with Bishop Tom Gumbleton, Oct. 16 at St. John’s Church

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

BEYOND WAR (1 of 8 study sessions)

Highlights of “BEYOND WAR” Study
Session I: An Introduction to Beyond War – June 2008
Social Change—how it happens, historical examples

(This is a compilation of “headlines” and excerpts from the 37 printed pages of Section I, “Beyond War”. Rosemary Doyle, Group Facilitator, Citizens for Peace, June 10, 2008.

Participating as a Change Agent, Gayle Landt(Change our way of thinking to build a world of beyond war). What would need to happen in the minds and hearts of how many citizens in order to achieve long-term, life-affirming change? Session I introduces the cornerstones of “a new way of thinking” and puts the work of building a world beyond war into historical context. People who are active in Beyond War are responding to Einstein’s 1946 quote “Everything has changed, save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” The thinking that Beyond War promotes is that war is obsolete in the nuclear age—and it is an ineffective response to terrorism—and that we all live on one planet and the means are the ends in the making. These are the ideas that people must adopt in order to build a world beyond war.

Beyond War: A New Mode of Thinking: (Make the shift and give up the habit of war.) This will require knowledge, decision and action…time has come to give up the ancient habit of war…war is here, not just over there…problem is our mode of thinking…change our thinking that war is inevitable…we are connected through our common needs and cannot separate ourselves…what is fear’s role in war…we must be the change…our intention must be nonviolent, nonwar…education is the most effective action…educate on the values of not having a war system but a peace system…history shows that governments and leaders will respond to the will of the people…to resolve a conflict, I must have an attitude of goodwill…I cannot preach peace while waging war at a personal level. THE SHIFT IS A PERSONAL ONE—A NON-WAR ATTITUDE.

(The Section I discussion group responded to the question of “Was there a point in my life when I began to question whether war might not be an option to resolve conflict?” with “during the Korean War; Vietnam War, current war, some were unsure, others never thought about it, and there was commentary on government integrity as it relates to ending wars.)

Beyond War is a revitalized organization which peaked in the 1980’s with over 24,000 members in 23 states and several countries. In 1991 it shifted its focus toward cultural and environmental issues and formally became the Foundation for Global Community, 1991.

Optimism of Uncertainty, Howard Zinn: (Super Powers have failed to accomplish their goals because they were unable to control what seemed to be the “powerless”.) (Headliners) Don’t let those who have power intimidate you…understand that the major media will not tell you all of the acts of resistance taking place every day in the society…power is fragile, it depends on obedience…see engagement as an ongoing struggle with victories and defeats…what leaps out from history of past 100 years is its utter unpredictability…Rosa Parks refused to move from the front of the bus…the Russian revolution to overthrow the Tsar startled most advanced imperial powers with its results…the Chinese revolution…Spain became an astonishment…the end of WIII left two superpowers, U.S. and Russia…the failure of the Soviet Union to have its way in Afghanistan…the U.S. sent an army into Korea but could not win…apparent power has proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience…no cold calculation of the balance of power need deter people who are persuaded that their cause is just…there is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue…pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act…the bad things that happen are repetitions of bad things that have always happened…the good things that happen are unexpected…people are not naturally violent or cruel or

greedy, although they can be made so…revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzags toward a more decent society. (This article appears in the book, The Impossible Will Take a Little While, copyright 2004, Paul Rogat Loeb.)

The Process of Social Change, Professor Everett M. Rogers, (Stanford Research Institute, Diffusion of Innovations, Third Edition, New York, MacMillan Free Press, 1983: (The phases of a new idea being adapted.) Studies at Stanford University tell us that when only 5% of a society accepts a new idea, it is “embedded”. When 20% adopt the idea, it is “unstoppable.” The studies also
show that it normally requires 50% of the population to be “aware” of the idea in order to reach the 5%
who will adopt it. (Related website:

Examples of the Process of Change, Leon Friedman, Civil Rights Reader, 1967; Alan P. Grimes, Equity in America, 1964: (A historical perspective of major social changes, time, and individuals who started the momentum.) It took 200 years to abolish slavery; women’s suffrage, 80 years; Civil rights: in 1896 with Supreme Court held that “separate but equal”; in 1954 the Supreme court ruled that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional; in 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed; in 1965 President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Dancing With Systems, (Donella Meadows, professor, Dartmouth College. The Sustainability Institute that she founded before her death will publish her uncompleted book: (Do not assume that technology and data analysis will predict and control results.) People in the industrial world are likely to make a terrible mistake in systems analysis, in interconnection and complication, and the power of the computer if they think that there is a key to prediction and control…The goal of foreseeing the future exactly and preparing for it perfectly is unrealizable…The idea of making a complex system do just what you want it to do can be achieved only temporarily at best…We can never fully understand our world, not in the way our reductionistic science has led us to expect. Our science itself, from quantum theory to the mathematics of chaos, leads us into irreducible uncertainty…The future can’t be predicted, but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being…We can’t surge forward with certainty into a world of no surprises, but we can expect surprises and learn from them and even profit from them…We can’t impose our will upon a system. We can listen to what the system tells us and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone…We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them…Get the Beat…Listen to the Wisdom of the System…Expose your Mental Models to the Open Air…Stay Humble, Stay a Learner…Honor and Protect Information…Locate Responsibility in the System…Make Feedback Policies for Feedback Systems…Pay Attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable…Go for the Good of the Whole…Expand Time Horizons…Expand Thought Horizons…Expand the Boundary of Caring…Celebrate Complexity…Hold Fast to the Goal of Goodness.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What Is The Price of Peace?

At the Midwest Regional Conference June 20-22, 2008 in Chicago the participants were asked to write something about peace within a 10 minute time period. The content was to come from the heart. It's been reported that there were several excellent pieces submitted and read to the group.

George Mills, the Citizens for Peace, Public Relations board member, submitted the following piece. George claims it's the first draft. For myself, I'm not sure this gem needs polishing. Colleen Mills, George's wife, said her tears flowed as he read his words from the heart.

June 24, 2008


Peace for Sale! Peace for Sale! For a nickel or a dime you can buy the price of peace.

I used to teach in the inner city—second grade—where students came to school eating

dry Cheerios from their coat pocket. Nickels and dimes was all it took to spark a

school breakfast program. No need any more for teachers to maintain a stash of peanut

butter and crackers for classroom snacks.

Peace for Sale! Peace for Sale! Two bits, four bits, even six bits will do—to shelter

a homeless person in a warming center and provide a meal or two.

Peace for Sale! Peace for Sale! See what a buck will do. Get friends and neighbors

behind you with this one—and give those battered wives and children a safe warm


Peace for Sale! Peace for Sale! Let’s raise the ante just a bit—say five billion dollars—

the price of a sleek new killing machine. The cost of Katrina would be covered in a

heartbeat by the cost of just one or two.

We could go on and on. But you get the idea. No matter what the cost the price of peace

--it’s worth it. We are living in the alternative.

Monday, May 19, 2008

2008 Calendar June through August

Join the Citizens for Peace this summer at our meetings (second Tuesday of each month). We meet at Unity of Livonia at 7 PM.

Please mark your calendar & share this email with your friends.
Here's the schedule:

June 10 Citizens for Peace host the Beyond War Study Series. Group discussions include:1) Intoduction to Beyond War & Social Change, 2) Communication Skills (How to talk to people who think war is a good idea), 3) War is obsolete, 4) We all live on one planet.

July 8 Citizens for Peace host the Beyond War Study Series. Group discussions include: 1) What to do instead of war: Nonviolent Conflict Resolution Processes & Appropriate humanitarian Foreign Aid, 2) International Law & Cooperation between nations, 3) Practical experience in talking about what people & nations can do instead of war, 4) Effective Advocacy.

To read about the Beyond War Study Series--it's three guiding principles, three core practices and it's history click here.

August 12 Citizens for Peace present the film The Power of Forgiveness. You will be inspired & motivated to forgive after viewing this film.
Everyone is welcome.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"I Stand for Peace" Campaign News Center have posted a Peace Alliance press release announcing the "I Stand for Peace" campaign. Click Here to read the press release.

Also Peace Alliance posted a 30 second psa on YouTube to announce the campaign. Click Here to see the it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Film Series Spring 2008

Madonna University, Schoolcraft & Levan

All films shown at 7 p.m.

Donation: $5.00 per event. Parking in large, free, well-lighted lot.

“WAR MADE EASY” April 18 Click Here for trailer. This film shows that since the Vietnam era, the corporate media has played an integral part in building public support for military adventures. (Narrated by Sean Penn and features Norman Solomon). Science Lecture Hall

“BELOVED COMMUNITY” April 25 Hitting close to home, this film looks at Sarnia, Ontario who faces the toxic legacy of Canada’s petrochemical industry. Sure to generate discussion around the questions of how industrial communities can arrive at a healthy balance between a community’s economic livelihood and health and environmental impact. Science Lecture Hall

“AMERICAN BLACKOUT” May 2 A 2006 Sundance Film Festival winner, this film examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence voices of political dissent. Just in time for the 2008 election, this film chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement while following the story of former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Kresge Hall

“THE BIG SELLOUT” May 9 This political documentary depicts the stories of the everyday life of those who have to deal with the effects of privatization failures. Basic public services such as water supply, electricity, public transportation, and even health care are examined. Kresge Hall

PRESS RELEASE March 10, 2008



Livonia—Charlie King, “One of the finest singers and songwriters of our

time, according to folk legend Pete Seeger, will perform Saturday, April 5th at

Unity Church of Livonia.

A musical storyteller and satirist for 40 years, King sings and writes passionately

about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. As one of the pillars of American folk

music, his songs have been sung and recorded by other famous artists such as Pete

Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell, and Judy Small.

King and his partner, Karen Brandow, have been performing together in support

of numerous groups working for peace, human rights, and alternatives to violence. She

will not be accompanying him for this performance.

Peace Action of Michigan and the Livonia based Citizens for Peace are hosting

King as a fund raising event. Both groups have a combined membership that covers

most of Southeastern Michigan.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Students, $10. The performance

begins at 7 p.m. Unity of Livonia is on Five Mile Road between Middlebelt and Inkster


For tickets or additional information, please call 248 548 3920 or 734 425 0079.

Submitted by Colleen Mills, 734 425 0079

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Special Valentine for YOU!
Kathy Henning will lead us in meditations on Love & Blessings at our Citizens for Peace meeting Tuesday, February 12th. at Unity of Livonia. Kathy has been meditating and studying the writings of spiritual masters for over 30 years. Meditation has been proven to improve both physical and emotional health. If you have never tried meditation, this would be a wonderful introduction. We will start promply at 7 pm, so don't be late.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Military Spending

The president's $3 billion fiscal year 2009 budget request is put into perspective by Ben Cohen's Oreo cookie analysis.