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The PEACE Foundation is creating a grassroots movement capable of harnessing the power of individuals, corporations, congregations, and organizations - across race, class and geography - toward the common goal of significantly reducing violence in isolated, local communities where pronounced disparities exist, starting in North Minneapolis.
While we work to support community-building efforts at the locations with the worst crime and violence, we will also attempt to obliterate the soci-economic isolation, systemic exploitation, racial disparities and regional apathy that breed the violence. We come together across all divides - black and white, young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural - to build relationships, strategize about public policy initiatives, find new solutions, and build community.
Through the PEACE Foundation's Neighborhood Engagement Zone initiative, our goal is to fully engage a larger cross-section of community members--particularly African Americans and other people of color who have traditionally been isolated by violence and poverty, and who tend not to respond to traditional organizing and outreach efforts. Through the engagement of these presently disconnected neighbors we hope to catalyze a grassroots movement to end local violence and create a community where families and children thrive in safe, vibrant neighborhoods.
The main tool for conducting effective outreach and engagement will be through a team of ten Northside Liaisons coordinated by our Northside Engagement Specialist.Saturday Outreach Sessions
Every Saturday between 10am and 2pm the Liaison team will doorknock on a rotation basis. The first step will be to doorknock to map the area, determine vacant houses, etc. Doorknocking will result in identification of PEACE Partners who self-select on blocks to be key contacts for the PEACE Foundation in the zones.Outreach Tools
- PEACE Partner Static Sticker that will include 1-4 lines from the pledge that relate to neighbors
- One-page doorknocking handout explaining vision of PF and what it means to be a PEACE Partner
- Sign up sheets to track PEACE Partners
- Northside Liaison t-shirts and winter gear
20 volunteers will be recruited from ally groups to serve as Zone Volunteers. Five volunteers will be matched with each zone and partnered with Liaisons in zone. They will commit to doorknocking/outreach 2 Saturdays per month with Liaisons team. They will build a relationship with the Liaisons and with the neighbor PEACE Partners.Message Strategy
Message during doorknocking will be framed according to:
Primary message - One page handout about PEACE Foundation and PEACE House vision will be crafted inviting neighbors to take part. This message will be carried to all new homes approached.
Event/meeting messages - Any new pertinent information based on activities coming up will be set weekly.
Lobbying messages - Public policy messages will be developed and framed, with specific actions related to them (such as calling elected officials, attending lobbying sessions).
Local organizing message - Issues specific to that zone will be addressed at the door within each zone, and may include scheduling block meetings.
With new resources brought to the Engagement Zones and active neighbor-to-neighbor outreach supported, we will create an atmosphere where crime and violence will not be allowed to thrive. When problem houses or gang activity arises, neighbors in the Engagement Zones will work with each other and utilize available resources to remove these threats from their blocks. And, in the end, the crime rate in the Zones will decline, and families and children will be safe and prosper.
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