Peacebuilding in Perilous Times
MEDIATORS BEYOND BORDERS INTERNATIONAL’S STATEMENT ON THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE US
We are deeply saddened and outraged by the latest in a tragically long line of killings of black men and women in the United States of America. Our global community of peacebuilders stands in solidarity and mourning with those around the world who denounce the horrific killing of George Floyd.
As an international peacebuilding organization based in the US, Canada, and Australia, we have spent the last fourteen years addressing the systemic causes of violence and building capacity in communities around the world in order to prevent violence and heal from the wounds of trauma.
We believe that accountability is important and that if we are to address the root causes of violence, we are ALL collectively responsible to take meaningful action.
The US has been and continues to be celebrated throughout the world as the first modern democracy, indeed the leading democracy, and it is true that it has been the birthplace to movements that provided much-needed rights to laborers, women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.
We must, however, also remember its roots in a history of systemic violence through sexism and racism, as well as abusive labor conditions. The founding realities of the genocide and conquest of First Peoples, as well as the enslavement of black people, are integrally connected to the enormous growth of this leading economy of the world. This history continues to shape conflict dynamics and inequalities today.
The roots of the current violence, race relations, community safety, and structural inequalities, are all issues that require collaboration, not the weapons of war. At this time, we desperately need communication, compassion, and empathy; recognition and reconciliation, to address the light and shadow of historical trauma, without which we are doomed to repeat these destructive patterns.
Having spent the last fourteen years working at transforming conflict to collaboration, building capacity, and supporting efforts at the community level in the US and around the world, we have created spaces for constructive engagement and understanding grievances. We remain hopeful that we can amplify fruitful efforts and work across boundaries to create change and a shared vision. We can serve as allies and supporters, partners, and team members with all those working for a just and peaceful nation.
We are committed to creating a world in which “Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.”