If you have grown dissatisfied with the way things work in groups to which you belong and find yourself thinking there has got to be a better way, you are not alone. And this website is for you!
Community. A word of many connotations—a word overused until its meanings are so diffuse as to be almost useless. Yet the images it evokes, the deep longings and memories it can stir, represent something that human beings have created and recreated since time immemorial, out of our profound need for connection among ourselves and with Mother Earth. —Helen Forsey (1)
This website gives you ideas for alternative ways to do things, as well as specific guidelines to begin doing things differently. Everything in this book is directed toward a single ideal—working with others to create a meaningful community where everyone is valued and respected, where you work collectively to get things done that are important to you, and where differences are handled in ways that create peace and solidarity.
Groups formed with a purposeful intent to enact “Peace & Power” fully will see enormous transformations in ways of working together. The core chapters of the book (Chapters 1-10, shown in the sidebar and linked on this sites pages) describe the ideal. Even in groups where it is only possible to enact the ideals in part, you will experience shifts that move toward the ideal. The last two chapters (Chapters 11 & 12 in the sidebar and at the top of this page) address adjustments to bring Peace & Power into many types of group settings
“Peace and Power” has been used in many groups world-wide – volunteer community groups, formal classrooms, committees, activist groups, and even in families! The process seems simple (and it is) but it is also very hard, because it challenges so many competitive and divisive ways most people have practiced for years. But in the context of a group of people who come together with the intent to change toward “Peace and Power,” it is a rewarding experience that becomes more and more “easy” as you go along!
This web site provides the basic principles and processes upon which action in a group is built. The pages of this site provide an online “handbook” companion to the 8th Edition of the book Peace and Power: New Directions for Building Community“. The new 2018 Handbook in the form of condensed PDF files of the book is available from the sidebar, as well as a PDF of each chapter.
This web site also provides a resource that the book alone cannot provide: discussion and interaction! The blog page is where you can see messages related to ideas of “Peace and Power”, and where you can comment freely on any of the ideas – I will respond!
Everyone is welcome to participate in this blog conversation. I intend to respond promptly, and will model values of “Peace & Power” in doing so. In this spirit, I request that as a participant you consider the “power of responsibility” and respect the following guidelines:
- Please identify yourself.
- Refrain from harmful flaming or name-calling. Negative feelings and thoughts are welcome as long as they are expressed without harming others.
- If you have a criticism (which is also welcomed here!) focus on also sharing alternative possibilities to consider.
- This quote is from a collection edited by Helen Forsey entitled Circles of Strength: Community Alternatives to Alienation (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1993), p. 1. This is an inspiring collection of stories of intentional communities, activist communities, and religious or spiritual communities—all groups of people forming different ways of living and working together.