Moving beyond Gun Violence - A Response to the Shootings at the Washington, DC Navy Yard

By Philip M. Hellmich, Director of Peace and the Summer of Peace, author of God and Conflict
Includes recordings from the Summer of Peace on how to move beyond trauma and violence

We are all heartbroken by the news of 12 people killed at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.  Our deepest sympathies go to all the people that were affected by this tragic event.  

Having lost loved ones in Sierra Leone’s deadly war - some killed by child soldiers -- I know the shock and horror of deadly violence all too well. It is devastating to know people killed by senseless violence; yet, such atrocities have become too common in the world.  Every person killed leaves family and friends in pain, asking why did this happen and how can we prevent it from ever happening again?

The journey of healing can be a long one for loved ones and communities.  

I also know from over 25 years of peacebuidling, including supporting projects in several war-torn countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, that there are thousands if not millions of people rising up out of difficult situations to help create a more peaceful world.

With that in mind, the Summer of Peace has been designed to highlight the practical ways to promote peace from the inner to the international, including how to face horrific situations head on and seek grounded ways to transform them.  

The Summer of Peace team would like to offer you the following recordings to help you deal with these shootings and other atrocities.  We hope these recordings will help you move from shock and trauma to a place of compassionate and wise action.  Together, we can explore how to move beyond gun violence or any violence for that matter.  

Please share these recordings with your family, friends, schools and community centers.

   Inner Peace is a Global Responsibility - Richard Miller.  Richard links deep inner peace practices with helping people overcome trauma, including veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  Moving Beyond Gun Violence Part 1 - Jamira Burley and William Kellibrew IV.  Jamira’s brother was killed in his sleep and William witnessed his mother and brother killed.  Jamira and William went through terrible trauma and emerged as powerful peacebuilders working to reduce gun violence.
 Moving Beyond Gun Violence Part 2 - Dot Maver, Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg.  Dot, Heart and Jeffrey have decades of peacebuilding experience.  Together, they created the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding - a community approach to reducing violence in Gainesville, Florida that can be replicated elsewhere.
   Restorative Justice on the Rise - Molly Rowan Leach.  Propelled by her mother’s imprisonment, Molly created Restorative Justice on the Rise - a telesummit series that highlights how restorative justice practices are helping communities heal after crimes and in the process creating alternatives to the prison systems.


Click here to access the recordings.

We hope these recordings will be of service to you, your family and friends.  Please know the Summer of Peace is available as a resource to you.  It has an audio library of free recordings with interviews of over 180 peacebuilders from around the world, looking at peace from the inner to the international levels.

Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in: 2013 Catalyst - Issue 16