World Peace Day: Whose side are you on?

 

When we look at the news and see conflict all around the world as well as in our own neighbourhoods, we can easily feel overwhelmed and want to turn away. But simple actions can help us cross divides and become peacemakers in our own communities.

I’ve often had young people walk past me and say ‘Fed’, ‘Evening officer’ or other similar remarks. I’m not a police officer, but as a tall white guy walking around our estate I tend to be assumed to be a plain-clothes cop by those who don’t know me. In Brixton, a place with a long history of conflict between police and the community, this isn’t great.

Both Sides

Taking both sides is at the core of CHIPS peacemaking methods. But how do we do that? And why?

// How?

Let's give you some examples....

In Ghana, two tribes have been in conflict for over 20 years, but three people from each side now live together in a shared house working together on practical projects. Together, that mixed team go out to run these projects and they work with people from all tribes in the area. 

Empathy and violence in Angell Town

Brixton team leader Josh Grear speaks about the complicated idea of redemptive violence found in the Old Testament, and how this continues to play out with young people today as he carries out detached youth work on the Angell Town estate. 

In recent weeks, Paul, Lucy and I have been discussing the myth of redemptive violence. I have picked up Walter Wink’s fantastic book Engaging the Powers and started reading about Wink’s ideas around the Babylonian religion of violence.

A week in the life...

Alex with team leader Josh in Hopton House

Alex joined the Brixton Team back in 2014, and here she talks about what day-to-day life is like as a CHIPS volunteer.

As a CHIPS volunteer team member I live in the Brixton flat and dedicate some of my spare time to volunteering on and around our estate, but I work elsewhere in London. I hope this gives a flavour of what it’s like to be part of the Brixton Team:

Monday

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