The Institute for Peace and Justice launched its Families Against Violence Advocacy Network (FAVAN) in March 1996.  Fifty representatives of national organizations, most Christian denominations, and other faith traditions gathered in St. Louis, MO, at the invitation of the Parenting for Peace and Justice Network of the Institute for Peace and Justice.  These people committed themselves to work together for a comprehensive campaign that would address the violence in North America.  Over the next twelve months in 1996-1997, there evolved a five-step effort to break the cycle of violence.

Below is a summary of the five steps to end the cycle of violence taken from their publication, A Call to Peace: 52 Meditations on the Family Pledge of Nonviolence, by Jim McGinnis–

Step 1:  Have families, faith communities, and students commit to the Family Pledge of Non-violence and/or School Pledge of Non-violence

Step 2: Find ways to support those taking the Pledge by forming family support groups, circles of peace, and creating resources for faith communities and schools to teach the Pledge.

Step 3: Spread the Pledge and resources for daily living world-wide in many languages.

Step 4: Help local communities organize to address the many different manifestations of violence in their communities.

Step 5: Link local efforts with national advocacy organizations and campaigns that focus on the issues of gun violence, media violence, violence in schools, the violence of poverty, domestic violence, and hate violence.

Pledge resources are available free and for sale from the Institute for Peace and Justice.

Let us join together for a nonviolent transformation of the United States and a peaceful world–

“We are a rainbow people.

We are beams of golden light.

We are the bridge to the dawning of a new day.”

Source:  A Native American chant written by Mary Jo Oklessen and Susan Stark