- Cambridge Peace Commission
Cambridge Community Support Gathering
Thursday, May 16, 2013 • 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Cambridge Citywide Senior Center
806 Massachusetts Ave., Central Sq. Cambridge
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings and the other tragic events that followed, the Cambridge Peace Commission, Cambridge Public Health Department, and the Riverside Trauma Center are working together to provide an opportunity for Cambridge residents to gather and share their thoughts and experiences, and to support each other.
The bombings and the events that followed were traumatic. All of us may experience a variety of reactions and feelings. Some of us may be wondering how this could happen in our city and what it might mean for our community.
This will be a safe, supportive, confidential, and respectful space to share your story – and to help us all make sure that we have the support we need to take care of each other and ourselves. This facilitated discussion will be guided to help us find ways to talk about what happened, understand more about how people react to extraordinary events, share our own reactions, and look at how we can move forward in a positive way.
While an RSVP is not required, it is helpful. You can send an email to email@example.com or call 617.349.4694.
This is a scent-free event. Out of consideration for people with environmental illness and/or multiple chemical sensitivity, please refrain from using perfume or other scented products. For sign language interpreters or other accommodations, please contact the Cambridge Peace Commission at 617.349.6155 (voice) or 617.492.0235 (TTY) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the Peace Commission for Information on or Assistance with Other Community Activities
- The Cambridge Peace Commission will act as a community liaison for additional information related to other community activities being planned or with groups who may want to set up a gathering of some sort.
- The City of Cambridge will work to keep its Coping with the Boston Marathon Tragedy page updated with any community events or support groups that we are advised of.
- For more information, please contact Brian Corr at the Cambridge Peace Commission at 617.349.4694 or email@example.com.
Riverside Trauma Center Information on Resources in the Aftermath of a Tragedy
"In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday, we are receiving many requests for assistance from schools, hospitals, mental health agencies, and communities throughout Massachusetts. Caring adults are asking us for assistance to help them explain this unimaginable tragedy to young children.
"What we can do is listen to our children and monitor their reactions and behaviors over the next few days and weeks. We can remind them it is our job as adults to keep them safe. We can also turn off the television and spend time playing and reading together.
"For our teenagers, this horrific event can become a "teachable moment." What are their friends saying about the event? Discuss how they can increase their own personal safety. Listen to them even if you do not like everything they are saying.
"One of the most important things we can do as adults is monitor our own reactions to this event. If we are having a hard time managing our anxiety, we can be certain our children will be the first to notice. If we practice good self-care and take positive action, we will set a powerful example. Traumatic events can make us feel like we have lost control. One of the most important lessons we can teach our children is that we are vulnerable but not helpless.
"We are including a number of resources for talking with children about traumatic events and how to manage children's reactions to trauma.
"Our thoughts continue to be with the Boston community -- Riverside Trauma Center"
Here are the Riverside Trauma Center's information sheets:
• Talking with Your Children About Traumatic Events
• Children and Trauma
• Practicing Self-Care After Traumatic Events
Below is a brief list of resources from other reputable organizations:
• The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers Resources in Response to the Bombings.
• The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) offers Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope after a Disaster or Traumatic Event. This document provides specific information for talking to children of different ages.
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.
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 Community Crisis Response Network, 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.