. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .
An article by Frank Thacker from The Westerly Sun
In early 2018 the Westerly Area Peace and Justice Group learned about the International Cities of Peace. After some discussion we decided to submit an applicate to become an ICP.
Why? As you can surmise there were more than a few reasons, but the major motivation was rooted in the well-known slogan “Think globally, act locally.” ICP is a global association of cities acting locally, and since Westerly Area Peace and Justice is a group acting locally and thinking globally, it seemed like good fit.
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How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?
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Even before BEOC was formed, Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess, whose We were also very much aligned with their foundational vision of ensuring everyone’s right to safety, prosperity and quality, with their essential mission of building a scalable network of “in situ” teams committed to peace-building in cities around the world, and their essential goal of certifying and recommending thousands of self-organized municipalities as Cities of Peace in order to put in motion a tipping force for global peace.
In addition to the deep-rooted common values that motivated us to become an International City of Peace, there is an almost infinite array of resources available for members of ICP. These range from information of “how to” materials, to education including access to exhibits and teaching tools, to online learning via videos and documents. In addition, ICP provides a free website page for our community as well as a blog presence.
While the above is important and we are grateful for all the benefits of Westerly-Pawcatuck being an International City of Peace over the years, we have learned that the greatest benefit of being a member of ICP is the sense of hope and inspiration we have received as we learn about all the powerful work being done by hundreds of cities around the globe to create a culture of peace.
The writer is a resident of Westerly and a member of the Westerly Peace and Justice Group.