Elected Officials Endorse National Week of Non-Violence

Jun 29, 2014

Governor Martin O’Malley, State of Maryland; Governor Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee; and Mayor William Euille, Alexandria, Virginia, are leading elected officials in America, who support the National Week of Non-Violence, August 16-23, 2014, sponsored by Black Women for Positive Change, a national, civic network. In an official state proclamation Governor Bill Haslam stated, “On behalf of the people of Tennessee, By virtue of the authority vested in me, I hereby confer upon Black Women for Positive Change A Day of Recognition Honoring August 16-23, as a National Week of Non-Violence,” signed Bill Haslam, Governor. (Proclamations attached)

An excerpt from the State of Maryland proclamation signed by Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown states, “Whereas, America’s problems with violence within our society have escalated during the last decade, affecting families in every walk of life….and…Whereas, all Americans are encouraged to organize community-based events that teach non-violence, conflict resolution, parenting and promote the viewing of the youth violence prevention film produced by BW4PC called “On 2nd Thought” available on the web at www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org; Now, therefore, I Martin O’Malley, Governor of the State of Maryland, do hereby proclaim August 16-23, 2014 as National Week of Non-Violence in Maryland”
Mayor William Euille, City of Alexandria, Virginia, issued a Proclamation stating, “….high school, college students, community-based organizations and faith institutions in Alexandria, Virginia have been challenged to plan a day or event that demonstrates what a day without violence would be like in their communities.” Mayor Euille joined BW4PC at a June 16, 2014 press conference at a playground in Washington, D.C. to highlight the importance of safety for children.

In a joint statement, BW4PC National Co-Chairs Virginia Delegate Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers said, “We appreciate the support of Governor O’Malley, Governor Haslam and Mayor Euille for the ‘National Week of Non-Violence,’ August 16-23, 2014, and invite all elected officials to recognize the importance of teaching non-violence, anger management and conflict resolution, in their jurisdictions. We hope elected officials will join with their constituents to ‘Change the Culture of Violence in America.’ We invite concerned citizens to attend a Summit on Non-Violence in the District of Columbia, on Saturday, August 23, 2014, 9 am – 5 pm, during the National Week of Non-Violence. This Summit will discuss strategies to change the way youth and violence prone adults think about committing violent acts.”

BW4PC invites interested individuals to register for the August 23rd Summit on Non-Violence in DC at no cost, at ww.blackwomenforpositivechange.org. Citizens outside of DC, are asked to host non-violence or conflict resolution events in their own cities and share event details on the National Week of Non-Violence Calendar at www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org For more information contact Dr. Barbara Reynolds, Charter Member and Chaplain, BW4PC, at 301-899-1341.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Dr. Barbara Reynolds, Press Contact
Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC)
Tel. 301-899-1341; <reynew@aol.com>
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Black Women for Positive Change endorses Darrel Thompson for City Council, Ward 6, District of Columbia

Feb 18, 2014

Black Women for Positive Change, a civic network, announces their endorsement of Darrel Thompson
for Ward 6 seat, City Council, District of Columbia. In a joint statement National Co-Chairs Dr
Stephanie E. Myers, resident of Ward 6 and Daun S. Hester, stated, “Darrel Thompson is a home-grown
Washingtonian, partially raised in Baltimore. Having grown up in the inner city he understands the
challenges and obstacles facing today’s youth. We are impressed with his breadth of education as a
graduate of from Morgan State University and his Masters Degree from Harvard University. We
believe Darrel’s experience as a staff member with U.S. Senator Harry Reid will give him a unique
ability to bring federal resources and national connections to Ward 6, in the District of Columbia.
We are counting on him to focus on jobs and job training for the unemployed, economic development
and opportunities for small businesses.

Karen Carrington, Charter Member of Black Women for Positive Change and resident of Ward 6 stated,
“I am a homeowner residing on the Southwest Waterfront of Ward 6, and I am glad our organization is
endorsing Darrell Thompson for the DC City Council, Ward 6. I am confident that he possesses the
leadership and political savvy needed to propel Ward 6 to become economically viable through
education, training, and job creation. I like his plans to bolster small business and economic
development and to retain affordable housing by managing the impact of re-gentrification. Darrell
has empathy for people and sees the needs that are so prevalent in our community.“

Black Women for Positive Change is a civic network dedicated to preserving and expanding the
American Middle/Working Class and “Changing the Culture of Violence in America.”
P.O. Box 78211, Washington, DC 20013; Fax 202-403-3743
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
Black Women for Positive Change
“Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
For Immediate Release
Contact S. Myers 202-347-5566

“CHANGING THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE IN AMERICA”– A MANIFESTO

Jan 1, 2014

Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), a national civic network, declares it is time to Change
the Culture of Violence in America. The historic legacy of violence in America has created a
national obsession with violence that impacts adults and youth. Gun violence, physical violence and
abuse must stop because it is destroying the very fabric of the nation. Therefore, BW4PC calls on
national, state and local leaders to create programs and partnerships to educate the nation about
non-violent principles and methods that can promote non-violence in families, schools, faith-based
institutions, the workplace and neighborhoods.

This manifesto recognizes violence is necessary for national security and law enforcement. However,
it is the belief of BW4PC that America should incorporate non- violence principles in daily life in
order to create safe environments of peace and opportunity for children, youth, adults and elders.
Therefore, BW4PC calls on parents, grandparents, youth, mentors, politicians, hip hoppers,
faith-leaders, business leaders, unions, athletes, gangs, professionals, educators, entertainers,
etc. to STOP THE SILENCE ABOUT VIOLENCE and work to create a cultural change in America that
achieves the following goals:

  • Immediate passage of gun control legislation and gun registration in every State.
  • Creation of new industries of socially responsible, non-violent entertainment products including
    films, television, video games, music, hip hop, rap, and other forms of recreation and
    entertainment.
  • Creation of “Safe Spaces” in faith institutions, community centers, malls, parks, benches, homes,
    backyards, schools and other venues where individuals can retreat to calm down from confrontations,
    verbal abuse and anger, and to have the opportunity for “2nd Thoughts” before engaging in violence.
  • Creation of extensive state and local training opportunities in conflict resolution, mediation,
    parenting and reconciliation skills for children, youth and adults so, they can learn how to
    resolve confrontations using non-violence methods.

Respectfully submitted to the American People.
BLACK WOMEN FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
Dr. Stephanie E. Myers and Virginia Delegate Daun S. Hester, National Co-Chairs
January 2014

Black Women for Positive Change
“Changing the Culture of Violence in America “
P.O. Box 78211, Washington DC 20013, Fax 202-403-3743
Bkwomen4poschange@gmail.com, www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org

 

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AT MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of states and government, past and present; distinguished guests — it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other. To the people of South Africa — (applause) — people of every race and walk of life — the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and your hope found expression in his life.And your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

It is hard to eulogize any man — to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person — their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement — a movement that at its start had little prospect for success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would — like Abraham Lincoln — hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. And like America’s Founding Fathers, he would erect a constitutional
order to preserve freedom for future generations — a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term.

Given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, it’s tempting I think to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. (Applause.) Instead, Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. “I am not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection — because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried — that we loved him so. He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood — a son and a husband, a father and a friend. And that’s why we learned so much from him, and that’s why we can learn from him still. For nothing he achieved was inevitable. In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, and persistence and faith. He tells us what is possible not just in the pages of history books, but in our own lives as well.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. And we know he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people,” he said.

But like other early giants of the ANC — the Sisulus and Tambos — Madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity. Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and [with] equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” (Applause.)

Mandela taught us the power of action, but he also taught us the power of ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those who you agree with, but also those who you don’t agree with. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and his passion, but also because of his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and the customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depend upon his. (Applause.)

Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough. No matter how right, they must be chiseled into law and institutions. He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of unconditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”

But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. And because he was not only a leader of a movement but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy, true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African. And finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa — Ubuntu — (applause) — a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

We can never know how much of this sense was innate in him, or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary cell. But we remember the gestures, large and small — introducing his jailers as honored guests at his inauguration; taking a pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS — that revealed the depth of his empathy and his understanding. He not only embodied Ubuntu, he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.

It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well — (applause) — to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth. He changed laws, but he also changed hearts.

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for selfreflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.

We know that, like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took sacrifice — the sacrifice of countless people, known and unknown, to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle. (Applause.) But in America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done.

The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. We still see run-down schools. We still see young people without prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today. (Applause.)

And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. (Applause.) And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today — how to promote equality and justice; how to uphold freedom and human rights; how to end conflict and sectarian war — these things do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child born in World War I. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows that is true. South Africa shows we can change, that we can choose a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa and the young people around the world — you, too, can make his life’s work your own. Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man. (Applause.) He speaks to what’s best inside us.

After this great liberator is laid to rest, and when we have returned to our cities and villages and rejoined our daily routines, let us search for his strength. Let us search for his largeness of spirit somewhere inside of ourselves. And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, when our best-laid plans seem beyond our reach, let us think of Madiba and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of his cell: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

What a magnificent soul it was. We will miss him deeply. May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela. May God bless the people of South Africa. (Applause.)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release December 10, 2013

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
AT MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN
PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA

First National Bank Stadium
Johannesburg, South Africa

1:31 P.M. SAST
END 1:50 P.M. SAST

Black Women for Positive Change Mourn the Passing of Nelson Mandela

Dec 5, 2013

Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), a national, civic network of progressive, activist women
and “Good Brothers” extends condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela, the first Black President
of South Africa. “It is an honor to have lived during the same era as Nelson Mandela,” stated
Virginia Delegate Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, BW4PC National Co-Chairs in a joint
statement, “He was a giant of a man and the epitome of grace, dignity and leadership. Nelson
Mandela served as a role model of leadership for the world. He was a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, a
father, a husband and a diplomat, who in spite of spending 27 years in a South African Prison,
embraced men and women of all races and nationalities with humanity, compassion and a spirit of
reconciliation.”

The members of BW4PC feel sadness and express their sorrow to President Mandela’s family and to the
people of South Africa. Faye Morrison, Charter Member of BW4PC in Boston, Massachusetts said, “I
knew he was sick but, Nelson Mandela passing hurts.” Stephanie Myers, National Co-Chair stated, “As
college activists during the 1960’s, we demanded Nelson Mandel be freed from prison, and I can
remember dancing with joy the day he was released.” Patricia Duncan, Charter Member of BW4PC in
Denver, Colorado stated, “One of my favorite quotes from President Mandela was ‘I learned that
courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not
feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ He was truly a leader to all mankind and has earned his eternal peace.”

Black Women for Positive Change
National Civic Network Bkwomen4Poschange@gmail.com
P.O. Box 78211, Washington, DC 20013 www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org

For Immediate Release                  Contact: S. Myers  202-347-5566

National Day of Non-Violence Now Recognized In Nine States and the District of Columbia

Aug 17, 2013

Washington, DC – Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland and Governor Deval L. Patrick of
Massachusetts are the first Governors to proclaim August 22 as a “Day of Non-Violence.”
This national initiative is being spearheaded by Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC)
a national civic organization, and the Summit Council of supporters. BW4PC is a national
civic network dedicated to preserving and strengthening the American Middle/Working Class.
The network believes violence in America is threatening the very survival of the
Middle/Working Class and as a result BW4PC is focusing on “Changing the Culture of
Violence in America.”

In a joint statement Black Women for Positive Change National Co-Chairs Dr. Stephanie
Myers and Delegate Daun S. Hester said, “We are calling on national, state and local leaders
and Faith Leaders to actively promote the concept on Non-Violence in their cities and states,
churches, schools, recreation centers and in the workplace. There are too many acts of
senseless violence in America, and they must stop. We are proud of the elected officials who
have declared August 22, 2013, a “Day of Non-Violence” and the many Faith Leaders who
are educating their communities—particularly youth–about the power of non-violence as a
conflict resolution tool. This emphasis on Non-Violence is appropriate during the Week of the
50th Anniversary of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.”
Black Women for Positive Change is an official Partner in the 50th Anniversary of the March
on Washington.

The elected officials in nine States and the District of Columbia who have declared
Proclamations and Resolutions for a “Day of Non-Violence” and have sent Letters of
Congratulations include:
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland
Governor Martin J. O’Malley, Maryland
Governor Deval L. Patrick, Massachusetts
Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., City of Birmingham, Alabama
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver, Colorado
Councilman Marion Barry, City Council of the District of Columbia
Mayor Vincent C. Gray, District of Columbia
Mayor Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Columbus, Georgia
Mayor Mitchell Landreau, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commissioner Reuben B. Collins, II and County Commissioners, Charles County, Maryland

National Summit on Non‐Violence
“Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
Convened by Black Women for Positive Change and Summit Council
P.O. Box 78211, Washington, DC 20013; Fax 202‐403‐3022
Bkwomen4PosChange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County, Maryland
County Executive Rushern L. Baker, Prince Georges County, Maryland
Councilor Charles C. Yancey, City Council, Boston, Massachusetts
Councilor Tito Jackson, City Council, Boston, Massachusetts
Mayor Rita Sanders, Bellevue, Nebraska
Mayor Chris Beutler, Lincoln, Nebraska
Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, City Council, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mayor John A. Thompson, Borough of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
Mayor Marcus E. Knight, Lancaster, Texas
Mayor Annise Danette Parker, Houston, Texas
Mayor William D. Euille, Alexandria, Virginia
Mayor Will Sessoms, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Mayor Paul David Fraim, Norfolk, Virginia
Mayor Kenneth I. Wright, Portsmouth, Virginia

The National Day of Non-Violence is held in conjunction with the National Summit on Non-
Violence in observance of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic March on
Washington. The full-day summit will begin with a Youth Summit at 9 a.m., followed by panel
discussions from 1 pm – 5 pm. The Summit will be held at the historic Metropolitan AME
Church, 1518 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Faith leaders, community leaders, youth
groups, business leaders and elected officials are invited to attend. Registration is free at
www.blackwomenforpostiivechange.org

National Summit on Non‐Violence
“Changing the Culture of Violence in America”
Convened by Black Women for Positive Change and Summit Council
P.O. Box 78211, Washington, DC 20013; Fax 202‐403‐3022
Bkwomen4PosChange@gmail.com; www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
For Immediate Release Contact: Bernadette Tolson 202-997-0655
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