CEASE PROPOSES MAJOR CHANGES and COMES INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
Submitted by John Surr
At the annual CEASE retreat in June, we amazed ourselves by uniting in some major changes in our organization and activities. 35 years into our work, we need to honor our heritage while moving forward in order to meet new realities and resources. We recognize that change is difficult, but we unite in agreeing to update our purposes and actions to refocus CEASE’s efforts where they will be most effective, while supporting allied organizations where they lead in meeting our shared goals.
After deep reflection, we came to consensus that our primary shared interest was in peace education. From there we agreed upon focusing our organization’s own purposes and actions on three areas: Teach Peace, Respect Childhood, and Build Community. We propose that the “Take Action!” pages on our website, www.peaceeducators.org, will be adjusted accordingly. We feel that the new focus will enhance our effectiveness and accessibility. Please see CEASE’s revised Statement of Purposes, which will be submitted for approval along with our name change in November at our Annual Meeting in Dallas, as set forth below:
P.E.A.C.E. is a network of parents, teachers, and other concerned individuals dedicated to helping young children and their caregivers develop and thrive in peace and wellbeing.
To these ends we are:
- Working to create a nonviolent, just, inclusive, and respectful world;
- Striving to prioritize human services and environmental sustainability in government budget and policy decisions; and
- Advocating for government commitments to improve and expand high quality child care and child development programs accessible to all children.
For all these purposes, we are:
- Sharing information with the early childhood community through periodic publications, workshops and other peace education materials;
- Providing a supportive network for teachers and parents who share our concerns; and
- Supporting other organizations and individuals in efforts to achieve our shared goals.
We work to develop the attitudes, understandings and methods of nonviolent action needed to build peace, caring, justice and mutual respect within ourselves, others, and in our environments.
CEASE Proposes to Change its Name to P.E.A.C.E.
CEASE, Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment, originally got that name to emphasize its focus on ceasing the threat of nuclear war to our children. While that threat remains to some extent, the end of the Cold War and the passage of time have shifted our members’ attention to the positive goals of building peace in and for the next generation. When we introduce our organization of people these days, they often say, “CEASE what?” and we have to explain the history. In contrast, our website, www.peaceeducators.org, gets many “hits” from people all over the world who are seeking our insights about helping the next generations to live in peace.
So while we were realigning our purposes and activities to the new circumstances of our work, it was quite natural to consider a similar change to our name. After exploring alternatives we settled on Peace Educators Allied for Children Everywhere (P.E.A.C.E.), which seems to embrace our new and continued focus on peace and young children.
Proxy Vote: We hope you will join us in this new approach to our work, our name, and our purposes, as well as the changes in our By-Laws to reflect them, by voting “approve” in the enclosed reply form. The proposed changes are described in detail at http://www.peaceeducators.org/WhoWeAre_TheOrganization/changes.html. Thank you.