A just and peaceful world
Ignite Peace (formerly Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center) educates and advocates for peace, challenges unjust systems, and promotes the creation of a non-violent society.
- We believe: knowledge is key to affecting change and building power. In order for people to take action for change, they must know that a problem exists and understand the possible solutions.
- We will: educate the public about the realities of injustices, learn from those most directly impacted, and empower people to take action for systemic and social change.
- We believe: nonviolent action is the greatest way to create systemic change.
- We will: incorporate nonviolent principles into all aspects of our work and build the skills of the broader community to take action towards positive peace.
- We believe: racism is deeply ingrained in the foundation of the United States, its culture, and institutions, and must be actively dismantled.
- We will: work to end white supremacy, educate the public about how racism continues to harm people today, and build an anti-racist future.
- We believe: our liberation is bound together. No one is unaffected by systemic injustice and no one is truly free until we are all free.
- We will: take action to support others leading movements for their own freedom from oppressive systems and work to build power together.
- We believe: the way each person experiences the world is unique and not merely a sum of individual identities. The experiences of race, gender, class, ability, etc. are interconnected and cannot be viewed or addressed in isolation.
- We will: take into account the ways various systems of oppression work together to address them more holistically.
- We believe: people have the capacity for growth and change. People are more than their worst decisions.
- We will: show mercy for and advocate for all people.
Ignite Peace believes that racism is a system of advantage and disadvantage based on skin color that is both implicit and explicit, and includes race-based prejudice and institutional power. In alignment with our core values, Ignite Peace works through a framework of racial equity, centering the elimination of systemic racism and the creation of equitable opportunities for all humans. We believe these priorities are integral to our mission of promoting the creation of a nonviolent society. We recognize that people of color have and continue to experience oppression and that white people must play a role in dismantling and deconstructing racism. We do this by centering our work in:
- BELONGING. We strive to make Ignite Peace activities and events accessible and welcoming to all people by providing language interpretation if necessary, locating events with easy access, and calling people in, not out. Education and advocacy for social justice requires space to hold tension and accept some discomfort as a sign of growth. We listen, share, and challenge one another with new perspectives, holding the experience of those directly impacted at the center.
- SOLIDARITY. We aim to work collaboratively through intentional outreach and invitation. We support the work done by people of color, faith groups, activists, and other nonprofits working towards racial justice. We focus our social justice work through the voices of those most impacted and work in coalition and community.
- COMMUNITY. Our work is rooted in relationships and meeting people where they are. We hope to move people along the spectrum of engagement by creating strong relationships, building community power, and supporting plans created by community members in Greater Cincinnati. We value representation and diversity and work to expand our networks to reflect the diversity of our Greater Cincinnati community, as well as in our committees, volunteers, board, and staff.
- JOY. Seeking and finding joy is part of resistance. We celebrate wins and prioritize time to sit with one another unburdened by tasks but simply by reveling in the comfort of others.
Ignite Peace’s mission is to create a nonviolent society and Ignite Peace embraces nonviolent action as the pathway and strategy to systemic and societal change. Nonviolence is courageous and requires taking action in the face of injustice. Nonviolent practice seeks to understand perspectives, prioritizes restoration, centers accountability, and sees conflict as the opportunity for growth. As practitioners of strategic nonviolence, we recognize the power we hold when bringing people together to organize under shared values. We bring this lens to every level of our work, from shaping our own staff culture, to community building in grassroots settings, to working in coalitions. As an organization we live out nonviolent principles through:
- POSITIVE PEACE. Positive peace, as stated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice. Our mission is not only to eradicate visible and obvious acts of violence, but to address structures and institutions that perpetuate inequality and oppression to secure desirable outcomes for all people. This guides the strategies, solutions, and focus of our work to seek preventative solutions rather than reactive responses.
- CONTINUING EDUCATION. Working and living nonviolently in a society built around oppression requires continued practice. We strive to continue learning and challenging ourselves while also offering opportunities for the broader community to join us in that journey. We aim to build the knowledge and skills of nonviolent principles and action in our community by offering educational and engagement opportunities.
- DIRECT ACTION. Nonviolent responses to injustice must match the intensity of the harm being caused. We recognize that direct action is a critical tool to movement building and bringing attention to unjust systems. We commit to assessing tactics that align with our goals in our continued resistance against injustice.
- PRACTICAL APPLICATION. As an organization, our staff and board work to acknowledge and address the internal challenges we face when tension and conflict arise. We strive to be authentic with one another, give both positive and critical feedback, and seek support when we need it. We believe in centering healing, creating accountability when harm is committed, and focusing on restorative practices rather than punitive ones.
- BELOVED COMMUNITY. Systems of violence and oppression are able to maintain power by creating division and antagonism among those they harm. We aim to organize around shared interests and values, maintaining that power resides in the people. Relationships are integral to nonviolent resistance and combating systemic change. We actively lean into curiosity, seek understanding, invite others into our community, and love others even when it is difficult.