Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What Next?

Many have begun asking what happens after we have stood together in May. What should we do next?

Our hope is that the very act of gathering and standing together in silence will inspire and energize all of us to take actions that will help realize our dream of a better world for our children, grandchildren and the seven generations beyond them.

The most important ideas for what comes next will come from you. We hope that in the discussions that follow your standing, you will develop ideas to share with all of us. We are in the process of creating a page on the StandingWomen site that will allow all of you to offer suggestions, tell us about existing organizations and efforts, and that will permit connecting links to occur by areas of interest.

We have great power to shape the world to achieve our dreams. Individuals, in deciding how to spend their time and where to donate their money, can have an enormous impact on the world. For example, students from a school in the Bronx, P.S. 52, made up of some of the poorest kids in the area, after seeing the water scarcity in a UN video hosted by rap star JayZ, got together their pennies, dimes and nickels and raised over $2,000 to send to the most drought affected villages.

In many countries we, as individuals, through how we cast our votes, can help our elected officials come to see that they are the guardians of our children's and grandchildren's future and that every decision they make should be made within this context.

In this internet age, we also can band together collectively. We suggest that you look at the work of these existing groups that already bring women together internationally to change the world:

Gather the Women

Women's Intercultural Network

The Millionth Circle

Circle Connections
Peace X Peace

UNIFEM www.unifem/org

For U.S. women, we also recommend

Mothers Acting Up

U.S. Women Connect

Moms Rising

Stand Up and Vote ONE: The campaign to Make Poverty History is a coalition of over 2.4 million supporters and over 100 of the nation's most well-known and respected non-profit, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. ONE is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans--ONE by ONE--to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. ONE is students and ministers, punk rockers and NASCAR moms, Americans of all beliefs and backgrounds, united as ONE to help make poverty history.

In our work, we can be guided by quotes from Margaret Mead and Helen Keller:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." Margaret Mead

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." Helen Keller


Anonymous said...

Hello, I am looking for photo documentation of silent protests of any variety. I will make a one hundred dollar donation to the charity of your choice for every image I am able to use in my project. Please contact me at for details. Thanks in advance. Please feel free to repost this anywhere applicable. Also note that the politics of this project would be mostly incidental (though entirely sympathetic). My work can be viewed at

Andre said...

Andre Sheldon
107 Withington Road
Newton, MA 02460
(617) 964-5267

April 6, 2007

Greetings of Peace and Love,

Thank you “Standing Women!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if women around the world, in every village, town, and city joined you? No one has to leave their own area. No one has to travel! Is it possible? I, like you, believe it is.

Over the past four years, I have been working with women's peace groups and have developed a "Global Strategy of Nonviolence." It is based upon people power with nonviolence as its strength. It states that the time has come for Nonviolence to be the doctrine of all societies and countries. Can we join together?

This past year, I was most fortunate to meet with Ms. Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and Ms.Yolanda King, the daughter of Martin Luther King. Both are working in their own way to promote nonviolence. What if they were to join together and lend their names to a world peace movement, led by women!? I have presented the concept to them. They are busy with their own work, but hopefully will formally endorse the project.

The strategy needs leaders. What if Gandhi and King were the leaders? Or, what if Helen Caldicott*, Eve Ensler**, Kavita Ramdas***, Meria Heller****, or Sister Joan Chittister***** were the leaders together? Or Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen and others?

The initiative is called a “Call to Women, a World Wide Unity Campaign.” The strategy calls upon the people of the world to join in a proactive, World Wide Unity Campaign. The strategy to accomplish this is the implementation of a three phase, global movement of Nonviolent Resistance to violence and war. The goal is to break down borders and build bridges. The method is for every country to create collaborative programs “For the Children (a basic common denominator) (like Standing Women)– (Phase three). To accomplish this, “Strategies of Conflict Resolution”(Phase two), must be implemented. To prepare countries to work together on these strategies, women are called to be the catalyst to lead the way for all three phases. In war, there is a Call to Arms. For peace, we respectfully issue a “Call to Women.” A “Call to Women” does not exclude men. Someone has to be first. This is a challenge to both men and women. The purpose of women leading the way is to exhibit an overt illustration of the power of nonviolence (Phase one).

May 13th is a perfect starting point. I read about it April 1st in an email from the Earth Rainbow Network, by Jean Hudon; a segment with the following headline: MOST AMAZING AND INSPIRATIONAL VISION! LET US MAKE IT HAPPEN WORLDWIDE!! It was from Margarete Brandenburg.

What happens next? A “Call to Women” presents a full schedule of events, developed in advance, and illustrates the final phase so everyone knows the steps and the objective. A Call to Women is a 3 year plan. The first year is completely for planning and creating awareness of the movement!

International leaders are needed to be ready to join at the same time, to show unity and lend credence to the vastness of the initiative.

An administrative team will be created to design specific plans for each segment of marketing, political planning, conflict resolution, communications, financing, and implementation of the mobilization of women.

An advisor team will be created with specialist is all fields to expedite and create the highest quality programs and initiatives.

The plan is to empower the women of the world, so everyone feels a part of the whole.
The strategy is to have millions of women stimulate thousands of peace and spiritual organizations to join forces and exert political influence on governments around the world. It is designed to capture the attention of the media and to raise billions of dollars.

There are hundreds of coalitions (a few as on the Standing Women website) waiting for a catalyst to bring all the world’s peace efforts under one umbrella. There are millions of people waiting for a catalyst. A “Call to Women” can be that catalyst! All the world’s peace orgs, NGOs, grassroot orgs, and religious organizations will follow.

It may surprise you that I am a man. I am a man, a person, who believes society can change from a male-dominated society to a partnership society (cultural transformation theory from the Chalice and the Blade) and am dedicated to help bring it to fruition. I hope to help facilitate women coming to the forefront for peace. To paraphrase Sister Joan Chittister: Women must be in the forefront because being first brings “courage and hope to others”. I believe we need “Women” to be first because if they are, they will have an advantage. The advantage is NONVIOLENCE. Women will be effective, successful and the world will be different. It is time to try a different method!

A “Call to Women” will be the “largest, nonviolent” movement the world has ever seen! The strategy states: We come in peace, we offer the olive branch, we are not a threat, we are not enemies, we are all part of the family of the human race, we have common bonds, we apologize for our misdeeds, we forgive your misdeeds, we need to heal the wounds, we need to start a GLOBAL ACTION to “break down borders.”

Thank you to Beck and Sapna S. for the website Please send my compliments to all the Standing Women. Hopefully, we can work together. The plans for a “Call to Women” are available for review. They are guidelines, constantly changing, to be molded and expounded upon. I am continually searching for assistance and constructive criticism. I look forward to our future communications.

Peace and Love,
Andre Sheldon
Member of WILPF, NOW, CODEPINK, Men’s Resource Center

Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan wrote, “Women, who know the price of conflict so well, are also often better equipped than men to prevent or resolve it. For generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental in building bridges rather than walls. They have been crucial in preserving social order when communities have collapsed.”

An extract from the writings of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, in a book entitled Women, states about women, “…when they form a conscious and overwhelming mass of public opinion against war there can be no war.”

Starhawk wrote about women standing for peace as the representation of a “vision of strength.” “Real security can come only when we weave a global web of mutual aid and support. As we make larger connections and take action together, we must assert what we as women know to be true: compassion is not weakness, and brutality is not strength.”

World-Wide Unity
Martin Luther King stated, in the Riverside Church speech, “Beyond Vietnam”, April 4th, 1967, “Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.”

Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States”, wrote, “We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.” Zinn also wrote, in describing national boundaries and war, “Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

* Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of Women Actions for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), Physicians for Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI)

** Eve Ensler, author of the “Vagina Monologues”, founder of VDay, foundation to
bring awareness and stop violence against women.

*** Kavita Ramdas, CEO, Global Fund for Women

**** Meria Heller, Internet talk show host

***** Sister Joan Chittister,
Co-Chair of Global Peace Initiative of Women,
Co-Chair of Tikkun

Global Coalition for Peace (GCFP) -

Anonymous said...

The link for story in hindi does not work.
The requested URL /pdf/hindi_story.pdf was not found on this server.

Anonymous said...

Mother Theresa said "I was once asked why I don't Participate in anti-war demonstrations. I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there." Well let me just say that no matter where I am that day, I'll be there!
Love, peace and light,
Kellie Brooksville, FL.

Chance said...

My sadness has been palpable since this horrendous illegal war of agression started. I will join the women in Portland, ME and stand. I stand on the bridge as often as I can, face burning with the humiliation that my nation has, again, done such a thing. A woman known as - Chance