October 2, 2023
Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation (SCNTR) observed the International Day of Nonviolence with a Peace Walk. The Peace Walk took place in the Beloved Community-East Selma on October 2, 2023, also known as “International Day of Nonviolence.” The Peace Walk was sponsored by the SCNTR Street Outreach team, the Beloved Community Block Club Navigator the Peace Walk kicked off at Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church, 120 N Division Street, Beloved Community. The pastor of Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church, Craig Scott offered prayer to the walkers. He and the small group of walkers which included members of the Beloved Community Block Club walked through the Beloved Community chatting “Safe Street for Selma!!”, “Selma!!, Stop the Violence” and “Let there be Peace, and Let it Start with Me!!”. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department escorted the walkers for safety measures.
The International Day of Nonviolence, held annually on October 2nd, is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi whose philosophy of nonviolence inspired the Civil Rights leaders around the world. This observance was established on June 15, 2007, according to the United Nations General Assembly, “International Day of Nonviolence serves as an occasion to disseminate the message of nonviolence through education and public awareness. It is not a public holiday but is observed around the world in various ways. This year’s Theam was “Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals”
What is a Peace Walk?
A peace walk or peace march is a form of nonviolent action where a person or group marches a set distance to raise awareness for particular issues important to the walkers (Peace walk, Wikipedia, 2021). Here in Selma, we walk neighborhoods regularly to bring awareness that we desperately need to end all violence and build the Beloved Community. Killing one another is not the answer to any of the problems that we face. The answer is love.
The people involved understand that must work together to make Selma and Dallas County the place where all our children can safely grow up while thriving and becoming the very best that they can be. A Beloved Community, a transformed community where justice prevails, and people are equipped to fulfill their full human potential, is the way of the future.
Community Peace Walks are heald to:
Build relationships and trust with community members
Provide presence to deter crime and reduce violence
Give opportunities to share information about FREE community resources like
Giveaway needed items (sanitizer, masks, etc.)
Help to resolve minor conflicts or teach conflict resolution skills
Promote a spirit of unity so people know that they are not alone
Provide an opportunity to share and hear visions of a Beloved Community
Build better community spirit and spread kindness in our city
Build mutual respect & understanding
Provide a platform to promote anticipation and expectation to live abundantly—to DREAM BIG!
Promote positive peace and hope
How the SCNTR Prevents Violence:
The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation's prevents violence in multiple ways, one of which is by offering and providing Kingian Nonviolence and Conflict Resolution Training to in-person and virtual audiences from around the world. By building people up with the power of love, the SCNTR works to create a shift in our way of life. The SCNTR works in solidarity with all people of goodwill to create local sector-level changes in areas such as our justice system, economy, and social/cultural institutions that make Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community a defining part of our everyday lives in Selma, Alabama, and beyond.
The principle of nonviolent resistance rejects the use of physical violence to achieve social or political change. While non-violence (with a hyphen) is frequently used as a synonym for pacifism, nonviolence is an active process of changing the hearts and minds of your oppressors and has been adopted by many movements of social change.
As part of the Peace Walk, walkers' participants distributed cards from the SCNTR featuring the Six Steps of Nonviolence:
1. Information Gathering
3. Personal Commitment
5. Direct Action
If you are interested in being trained to lead a Peace Walk group in Selma or Dallas County or being a part of a group, please call 334 526-4539 or email FGill@SelmaCNTR.org. Peace Walk leaders and participants can receive free training in restorative justice and nonviolence conflict reconciliation as well as receive free materials and giveaway items to give to residents.