As Americans look toward the New Year, there’s a universal hope for peace in a world so often troubled by conflict and war. Members of a group called Nonviolent Owensboro are working to create a little more of that peace, beginning in their own community.
Nonviolent Owensboro was founded a year ago by Mary Danhauer, a family nurse practitioner at the Green River District Health Department. She launched the group after hearing about a similar organization in Carbondale, Illinois. It's part of a national effort called ‘Nonviolent Cities’ that has the goal of creating more compassionate communities, a mission that matches Danhauer's long-time interest in social justice.
Danhauer says Nonviolent Owensboro works to create peace on three levels. The first level is within each individual, by becoming more aware of thoughts and emotional reactions and taking steps to make those more peaceful.
“The second thing is looking at the violence in our relationships and how we can move nonviolently and be able to talk to somebody who thinks differently than we do without moving into yelling and screaming,” said Danhauer.
She says the third step is to join a grassroots coalition that works to bridge differences and increase understanding. Nonviolent Owensboro is collaborating with regional organizations to promote respectful dialogue among people with differing opinions.
The Owensboro group had a film festival that included discussion of some important topics.
“The bullying situation, the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the victims of torture,” said Danhauer.
Nonviolent Owensboro does not promote any religious or political viewpoint. The group is sponsoring a day-long workshop called ‘Nonviolent Action Training’ on Jan. 20.