Peace will be the flavor of the next week. The United Nation's International Day of Peace is next Friday, September 21, but things will get a little sweeter thanks to Ben & Jerry's, one of our partners (and a community favorite). They partnered with the Peace Alliance to hold a free ice cream scooping event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to urge members of Congress to support movements to reduce violence.
They'll be giving out free (FREE!) Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the Rayburn House Office Building in room 2226 on Tuesday, September 18, from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. ET. Representatives from the Conflict Stabilization Operations, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Complex Crises Fund will also be available.
Love ice cream? Interested in domestic and international peace-building? Join the fun on September 18—they could use some volunteers.
So what can Congress do to prevent violence and war right now?
For starters, Congress can enact the Youth PROMISE Act (H.R. 2721). (Senate bill pending.) The Youth PROMISE Act is a groundbreaking bipartisan piece of legislation that will give communities the support and funding they need to effectively address youth violence issues. If passed, the bill will help set up local infrastructure to support changemakers on the ground, which would help anti-violence activists save lives and give young people the opportunity to reach their potential.
As for the State Department, it can support a budget for international peacebuilding:
- U.S. Institute of Peace: $39 million - USIP works to save lives, increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security.
- Conflict Stabilization Operations: $56 million - This account funds the Civilian Response Corps and the new Conflict Stabilization Operations bureau, focusing on preventing deadly conflict in countries struggling with or at risk from conflict or civil strife.
Complex Crises Fund: $50 million - This account provides much-needed, unprogrammed money for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises.