- Cambridge Peace Commission
The Cambridge Peace Commission promotes peace and social justice within Cambridge and in the wider world. It works to reduce violence and advocates ideas and programs that affirm diversity and build community within our city. It links peace groups, social justice efforts, anti-violence coalitions and the municipal government, and pays special attention to violence affecting youth.
The Commission builds community by celebrating local people and efforts with programs and events, and by organizing community forums on issues affecting the community. It supports Cambridge’s sister-city relationships, including those with Yerevan, Armenia and San José Las Flores, El Salvador.
Read more about who we are and what we do.
2015 Martin Luther King Day Commemoration and Remembrance
In this time of renewed focus on the challenges of racism and violence – and on action for peace and justice – please join us as we remember and celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Central Square, Cambridge:
* 11:00 AM to 1:45 PM: Celebration of Dr. King's Life and Work for Peace, Justice, and Transformation • inside St. Peter's Episcopal Church • 838 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
* 12:45 to 1:45 PM: Informal Lunch and Gathering at the Church • In the undercroft (basement) at St. Peter's
In 1967, Martin Luther King described what he saw as the most serious challenge to our society with these words: "We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered." Almost 50 years later, the United States still faces these three existential challenges to our values as a nation.
The City of Cambridge will honor and remember Dr. King and his legacy of peace and justice as we gather at St. Peter's Episcopal Church to hear Dr. King’s words calling for peace, justice and transformation, as well as remarks from Keith Harvey, Executive Director of the New England Regional Office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) since 1992. Keith’s father, James Harvey, worked with the NAACP and the AFSC, and over the course of Keith’s childhood, his family would be asked to integrate four schools. Keith and his sister were the only Black children in their schools, and their family was the only Black family in their neighborhoods. His family’s job was to become neighbors and to make friends. Keith is also the chair of the board of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and serves on the board of the Cambridge Friends School. He received a B.A. in urban and regional planning from Miami University of Ohio, where he also was a member of the football team.
In addition to the Peace Commission’s Commemoration and Remembrance at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, once again Many Helping Hands will sponsor volunteer activities for its Day of Service from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at City Hall, St. Peter’s, the YWCA, the Senior Center and other sites.
For directions to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, located at 838 Massachusetts Ave. at the corner of Sellers St. in Central Square, please, visit www.saintpeterscambridge.org
Cambridge's 25th Annual Commemoration of the Holocaust • May 7, 2014
Annual Martin Luther King Day Commemoration and Remembrance • May 7, 2014
Cambridge Community Conversation after the Trayvon Martin trial verdict • July 18, 2013
Peace Walk from Cambridge City Hall to the Cambridge mosque after the Boston Marathon Bombing • May 2, 2013
Gathering at the Cambridge mosque after walking from Cambridge City Hall • May 2, 2013
CRLS Strong Gathering at Joan Lorentz Park after the Boston Marathon Bombing • April 28, 2013
Candlelight vigil on the steps of Cambridge City Hall after the Boston Marathon Bombing • April 18, 2013
Summer of Peace Initiative
Be part of a Summer of Peace in Cambridge!
Every summer, the Cambridge Peace Commission works with schools, youth centers, community groups, churches and religious institutions, the police, artists and musicians — and young people across Cambridge — to create a Summer of Peace.
Take the Cambridge Youth Violence Survey
If you are under the age of 24 and live in Cambridge, you are invited to participate in this short, simple youth survey on Youth Violence. This is a completely anonymous survey that the Cambridge Peace Commission is conducting to hear about what is really happening from the voices that matter -- those of our City's young people!
Take the Online Survey!
Recent Activities and Initiatives
The Cambridge Peace Commission has addressed violence and promoted peace and justice in schools:
• Worked with the Cambridge Public Health Department, Police Department, Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP), and the Cambridge Public Schools to create the Cambridge Community Response Network (CCRN), as well as served on the network’s Steering Committee.
• Co-facilitated a Forum on Violence and Youth with the Cambridge Police Department and the DHSP City Peace program to help all three departments in efforts to address and prevent summer violence.
• Had an ongoing presence at CRLS, as appropriate, in support of students, faculty and staff in the wake of any incidents of violence affecting Cambridge youth.
The Commission has worked to promote peace and justice locally as an alternative to violence:
• Continued the Summer of Peace initiative to promote a summer free of youth violence in Cambridge by bringing together City staff, police, schools, clergy, youth centers, clinicians, academics and community activists to identify potential problems and sources of violence in the community, foster collaborations among the agencies, share information and report on accomplishments.
• Participated in the Domestic Violence Free Zone (DVFZ) Core Group (steering committee) for the City of Cambridge, provided strategic expertise, planned and supported systemic changes in city policy, guided the projects of the DVFZ and organized the City's annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities.
In the community, the Commission has fostered peace through building connections and community:
• Served on the Community Engagement Team, a multi-agency collaborative, which reaches out to underserved Cambridge families and connects them to community events and resources, develops community leaders, and supports agencies in working with a diverse community.
• Collaborated with community groups and organizations to create the North Cambridge Gathering, a neighborhood-based approach to promoting safety, fostering community and creating opportunities for neighbors to get to know each other and build relationships.
• Organized the 24th annual Cambridge Citywide Holocaust Commemoration, worked with students, musicians, communities of faith, school and library personnel, and City departments to create an inclusive and moving ceremony with music, remembrances and reflections from a survivor of the Holocaust.
• Organized the annual Martin Luther King Day Commemoration and Remembrance.
The Commission has promoted peace and justice through connecting Cambridge with the wider world:
• Coordinated the Cambridge-Haiti Sister City Committee, which leads the City’s efforts to establish a sister city in Haiti, organizing an initial working delegation to assess how to leverage the academic, financial and organizational resources of Cambridge to support and expand the educational, environmental and public health work currently being carried out in the Les Cayes region of Haiti.
• Participated in the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Cambridge-El Salvador Sister City Project, which brought community leaders from San José Las Flores, El Salvador to Cambridge so that local residents could learn about the ongoing connections to and support for that community.
• Provided a place in city government for people to examine the impact of conflicts, wars and natural disasters around the world in Cambridge; examining and strengthening the connections of communities in the City to other nations; and addressed them in meaningful and effective ways.