Writing for peace

Opinion Piece Toolkit

New to writing Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor?

Check out these tips & tricks and resources on pitching & where/how to submit!
From our friends at the Op-Ed Project


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If you have a draft of your op-ed or letter to the editor, send it over to our team! We can help with editing and review. And, if your piece is published in the newspaper, send us a copy so we can share it!
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Getting started...

Have something to say, but not sure what? Let's work together to amplify our messages.
Right now, our team is focused on:

the call to consider safety at the polls

Key Points

  • With COVID-19 continuing to be a public health concern, voting by mail is the safest option, but we recognize that is not an option for everyone, so how can you stay safe at the polls? 
  • How can groups more likely to vote at the polls be supported including people with disabilities and those with a need for language assistance? 
  • The Federal as well as local governments can to take steps to ensure that polling locations are adequately prepared to protect the safety of voters. Read more here
  • There have been efforts to develop guides for safe voting. For example, the IDSA developed safety guidelines for those voting in person and, with participation from public health officials and voting experts, We Can Vote released Healthy Voting guides.
  • Additionally, in the midst of civil unrest and Donald Trump claiming he may not accept a loss to Joe Biden, COVID-19 is not the only safety concern during the elections this year.  
  • Early voters in Fairfax, Virginia were intimidated Saturday, September 19th by Trump supporters chanting “four more years” outside the polling location. An escalation of disruption at polling locations is possible and it is important to consider what safety measures should be taken. 
  • Nonviolent Peaceforce is one group preparing for potential election-related unrest through implementing UCP strategies at the polls, and if needed, after the election. We will continue to build relationships, and train civilians on de-escalation techniques as the election nears. 
  • Throughout, we remain committed to nonpartisanship which positions us to effectively respond to and protect civilian needs. 
  • Other organizations, including Hold the LineVoices for Creative Nonviolence, and Waging Nonviolence are similarly preparing for unrest following the election and have resources on how to best prepare and respond. 
  • “No American should have to choose between their health and their right to vote.” We can expand this to include that no one should have to choose between their safety and their right to vote. So, what can we do to have a safe, free, accessible, and fair election this November? 

the call to #RethinkSecurityUCP

Key Points

  • On May 25, George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis Police Officer prompting action around the world against police brutality and institutionalized racism.  
  • Nonviolent Peaceforce is considering the question, what might it look like if we addressed our communities’ needs as neighbors and creative problem solvers instead of relying on force and imprisonment? 
  • In 2019, 24% of all police killings were of Black Americans while they make up only 13% of the US population. This prompts the question, are our police really protecting all Americans? Is our current model for policing the best option we have for the safety and security of our communities? 
  • This work is an anti-racist endeavor, or an active opposition to racism. How else can individuals and organizations be anti-racist? What can you do? 
  • One alternative to a police-based security model is unarmed civilian protection (UCP). UCP is a methodology for the direct protection of civilians, localized violence reduction, and support of local capacities for self-protection. 
  • #RethinkSecurityUCP is our project for unarmed protection tips and trainings, imagining community-led safety and security, and for amplifying existing unarmed approaches. Unarmed civilian protection in the US is led by Nonviolent Peaceforce, Meta Peace Team, and DC Peace Team... and we are coming together for #RethinkSecurityUCP to uplift and support civilians in the call for racial justice and in the movement against police brutality and state-sanctioned violence. See what others had to say: What would need to change for everyone in your community to feel safe? Are there actions you can take (or you are already taking) to make this happen? 
  • Any anti-racist work must listen to and elevate the voices of Black activists from the most affected communities as an alternative, demilitarized security model is created.  


...now, go give 'em a peace of your mind!

 

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