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Community: Calvert County, Maryland
Partners: Broadview Church and Peace Through Action USA
Status: Activities being delivered as of December 2021
Purpose: Increase understanding, collaboration, and community among youth and adults in Calvert County, Maryland by providing civic and social engagement activities with a focus on peace.
Subject Areas of Focus: Environmental Degradation, Incivility, LGBTQIA Equity, Racism
Practical Peaceful Solutions: Civic Engagement, Cooperative Volunteering, Dialogue Groups, Social and Emotional Skills Development, Public Policy Advocacy, Youth Development
Calvert County in southern Maryland continues to evolve from an area once primarily rural in character. Prior to white flight migration from urban cities, which began in the late 1960s, the African American population comprised nearly 50 percent of the county’s then-15,000 residents. As the county grew to its current population of roughly 90,000, African Americans found themselves quickly marginalized with the percentage of the population falling below 12 percent. 38,000 residents commute out of the county each day – primarily to the Washington, DC area.
These demographic and cultural shifts have not been without consequence. Tensions between subgroups of the population, such as longer-term and newer residents, have surfaced and are felt. Certainly not to be overlooked are the inequities experienced by the county’s African American residents and which can be traced back to the county’s participation in slavery, but also to the attitudes of White residents who have moved into the county from suburban areas.
In 2015 leaders of several churches and community organizations concluded that time had arrived to address squarely the deep hurts and divisions of too many Calvert County residents. These community leaders determined they could accomplish more together. So, they started #OurCommonCalvert. #OurCommonCalvert brought Calvert community members together for learning, dialogue, and organizing action. The initiative ended in 2020 due to leadership transition and the coronavirus pandemic.
One of #OurCommonCalvert’s leading member organizations, Broadview Church, sought to continue and expand this community-building work. They invited Peace Through Action USA to join them in organizing and delivering the Calvert County Peace Project.
Peace Through Action has hired a peace agent who is managing this project by planning programs, activities, and events, promoting the project, and identifying individuals and entities who would be interested in participating in activities or serving on the advisory group.
- Training of youth in ethics, peaceful practices, civic skills, and project planning.
- Training of adults in peacebuilding fundamentals and personal goals setting.
- Service projects to bring community members together for common good.
- Civic dialogues on issues of importance to community.
- Book club, film discussion events, speaker events, and field trips on peacebuilding and peace-related subjects.
- Brief presentations on peacebuilding fundamentals.
- Peacebuilding experiential activities for children.
Project Target Impacts
Peace Through Action USA will measure impact of the Calvert Peace Project by tracking and reporting the following:
- Number of activities and events held.
- Number of attendees at activities and events.
- Increases in community member knowledge of and ability to practice social, emotional, and civic skills.
- Changes in community member knowledge, attitudes, skills, or practices about people of diverse backgrounds resulting from attendance at activities and events.
What You Can Do to Support the Calvert Peace Project
- Engage with the project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and track our accomplishments and activities in Calvert County and elsewhere by signing up for our email.
- Give money to support the project online, by texting “Give” to 202-410-0372, or by mailing a check to Peace Through Action USA, PO Box 73466, Washington DC 20056-3466.
- Volunteer your talent and time toward the project by sending a message to calvert @ peacethroughaction.org.
- Uplift the spirits of people working toward peace in Calvert through prayer, meditation, and healing.
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