The 5th Annual Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities will be held October 15-23, 2017, in major cities around the world, sponsored by Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), and a network of Partners. The Week of Non-Violence was initiated in 2013, in recognition of countless minority youth and adults, who are victims of gun violence and random violence. The goal is to help young people, law enforcement and violence-prone adults learn that violence can be prevented through anger management, conflict resolution, de-escalation, improved law enforcement/community relations and other evidence-based methods.
Mr. Belafonte is the Honorary Chair of the 2017 Week of Non-Violence, Justice & Opportunities. Joining him are Civil Rights Legends Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Chair of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Rev. James Lawson, who trained the Freedom Riders in the 1960’s; former Los Angeles Congresswoman Diane Watson; Kemba Smith, Criminal Justice Advocate whose unfair 24.5 year prison sentenced was commuted by President Bill Clinton in December 2000; Michelle Bernard, MSNBC Anchor; Lucy McBath, Spokesperson, Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence; and Chris Daniel, Project Management/Conflict Resolution Expert. Partners for the 2017 Week of Non-Violence are the National Black Nurses Association, Moms Demand Action, Next Generation Action Network, Highmark, Inc., United Steelworkers Union, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) Masjid Muhammad, the Nation’s Mosque, Wednesday Clergy Fellowship, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, D.C. and the Positive Change Foundation.
Dr. Bernard Lafayette, esteemed Civil Rights Leader and Honorary Co-Chair of the 2017 Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities states, “Training individuals and groups in the Kingian Nonviolence strategy is essential to accomplishing positive results. Charlottesville was a stark example of what could happen when individuals and groups of citizens are not trained in expressing their discontent in a nonviolent way. During the civil rights era, if we had not engaged in a strict nonviolent movement, blood would have flowed in the streets even more so than it did. Protesters must be trained to resist violence despite temptation and to look toward reconciliation.” Virginia Delegate Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, BW4PC National Co-Chairs commented, “We appreciate the dedicated leaders who are organizing non-violence events. During this time of global and national stress, natural disasters, and violence in communities we must work together to avoid conflicts and violence, with the goal of “Changing the Culture of Violence in America, and the World.”