Joe Sciarrillo is one of Nonviolent Peaceforce’s steady supporters whose generosity can be counted on to protect civilians from year to year.
Joe first heard about Nonviolent Peaceforce through the anti-war movement at Georgetown University. Joe wondered how he could protest against the Iraq war in 2003, so he joined an on-campus student group that collaborated with a lot of other anti-war groups in the D.C. area. He participated in several protests and sit-ins. That’s when Joe says he learned about the philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
“I see conflict as an opportunity to connect with someone else,” said Joe. “To me, nonviolence means seeing the light in the other person and finding another way to solve conflict.”
One way Joe builds connections between people is through his current legal work with African immigrants in San Francisco. After studying abroad and living with a host family in Senegal, Joe learned about the challenges their family members faced as immigrants and was inspired to advocate for immigrant rights. He pursued training as a paralegal and co-founded African Advocacy Network to meet the need he saw in the community.
“I want us to evolve towards more humane and civil ways of solving conflicts. My objective in this work is to be a bridge between communities that have a lot of disparity. I try to find more bridges between different places in the world and so there would be more interconnectedness across race, religion, any demographic.”
Joe was reintroduced to Nonviolent Peaceforce in 2014 after taking on a client’s asylum case. He worked closely with this former Nonviolent Peaceforce peacekeeper from South Sudan and learned more about the unique role the organization has in communities.
“I really got to understand Nonviolent Peaceforce’s goals and see their work after that. You’re taking a philosophy a lot of people have, that is, of being nonviolent with people and solving things in a nonviolent way. Hearing from someone who’s been through the work that Nonviolent Peaceforce does is life-changing because you see that change is really possible, in a nonviolent way. And once you see what’s going on, it’s impossible to not to want to help.”
Every gift counts. Generous donors like Joe Sciarrillo provide the financial support to have peacekeepers on the ground around the globe.
Thank you Joe!