In April, M.A.I.N. was involved with events in Maine at which Cheri Honkala, national coordinator for the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, spoke.
Economic Human Rights include the RIGHT to: quality health care; a job or income, living wages, equal pay, and the ability to join a union; affordable housing; adequate and nutritional food; free education, and a decent standard of living.
As a result of Cheri's visit, there are many in Maine who are hoping to have an active Economic Human Rights campaign in Maine that will work toward those rights as well as having a connection to national efforts.
We want you to join with us to make noise, make a difference, and make change.
(2) Attend a meeting on May 30, to plan strategies for making economic human rights a goal and reality for every resident in Maine. It will be held at the office of Maine Equal Justice, 126 Sewall St., Augusta (for directions, go to: http://www.mejp.org/about/maps.htm
Following the meeting at 12 noon, there will be a large "Feet on the Street" rally for "National Health Care For Everyone--For Life" across the street at the State Capitol Building in Augusta.
(3) If you can't attend the May 30 meeting but have ideas or want to be active on some part of an economic human rights campaign, contact Larry Dansinger.
(4) Attend the national conference on abolishing poverty on July 16-19 in Louisville, Kentucky that the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and the Social Welfare Action Alliance are sponsoring. Look for more information on the www.socialwelfareactionalliance.org web site.
For more information about this campaign or the May 30th meeting, contact: Larry Dansinger, 161 Stovepipe Alley, Monroe, ME 04951, (207) 525-7776, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools For Empowering Young Children, by Louise Derman-Sparks (1989), Washington, DC: NAEYC - includes both philosophical and theoretical overview and specific activities to use in a preschool setting.
Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (new edition in 2007) - a fabulous source book, although appropriate for the oldest children. includes both philosophical and theoretical overview and specific activities to use for adults and older children
That's Not Fair : A Teacher's Guide to Activsim with Young Children (2000) by Ann Pelo and Fran Davidson. Redleaf Press.
Writing for a Change : Boosting Literacy and Learning Through Social Action. This book is a collaboration between the National Writing Project (USA) and the Centre for Social Action (UK). The first half of the book describes a variety of experiences engaging in social action in the classroom. The second half provides specific models and activities to use. The book emphasizes creative and critical problem solving skills.
Heart Politics by Fran Peavey
What is Peace Education?
There are many dimensions to peaceful parenting, educating and living. Ghandi's famous words "Be the Change you Seek in the World" implore us to balance our work for a peaceful world with efforts toward finding inner peace. Yoga, meditation, writing love letters (instead of hate mail), sitting in silence, looking for the best in others -- these are peaceful practices that occur in our everyday lives and promote a peaceful existance. These are important practices - and easy ones for me to overlook. Yet they are not the only pieces. We also need collective action, creative problem solving and smart conflict resolution.
There seem to be 5 basic elements to peace education with young children:
1) Teaching children to calm themselves and develop a sense of inner peace, including teaching kids how to "cool off" when they are angry.
2) Teaching children a more expansive vocabulary around emotions and group process. There are many resources to promote social and emotional intelligence, and this learning helps kids develop empathy and to care about community.
3) Teaching children about social justice and diversity -- promoting anti-bias education and providing kids with information about "isms" (both historical and current) and tactics for challenging and resisting the status quo.
4) Providing children/community members with clear strategies for solving conflicts that allow all community members to maintain thier integrity and inclusion in the group. These strategies are non-violent and focus on win-win solutions. Confict is understood as normal, healthy and providing opportunities for growth and learning.
5) Education about peacemakers, peace movements and the possibilities of non-violence in social change. This moves the arena out of "skill building" and into content -- learning about the world of peace and peacemaking in a historical and global context.