“Week of Nonviolence” begins in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A “Week of Nonviolence” began Saturday in Memphis.

City and county mayors proclaimed Sept. 19 - 27 a week of nonviolence as Memphis and Shelby County " … along with our entire nation continue to confront the challenge of violence due to the effects of poverty, hunger, racism, brutality, domestic violence and other forms of inhumanity … will join cities and towns in all 50 states and nations around the world in the goal of building a culture of peace and nonviolence."

RELATED: City and county mayors proclaim “Week of Nonviolence” for Memphis Sept. 19 – 27

Activities are planned nationwide, and Memphis will host several.

According to Memphis police, the city has had 199 homicides this year, compared to 128 at the same time last year.

Three days of Peace and Harmony will kick off Monday, sponsored by the Pema Karpo Meditation Center of Memphis.

Local activist Charles Belenky will lead a discussion Monday at 7 p.m. entitled “Between WWII and the Death of JFK,” which focuses on peace movements and activists of that era.

On Tuesday, TM Garret, an ex-white supremacist and KKK member, will tell the story of his transformation into a human rights advocate at 7 p.m.

The Second Concert for a Nonviolent Memphis will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, featuring songs from 30 area singer/songwriters.

RELATED: Help is available as domestic violence cases are on the rise in Shelby County

The online concert is sponsored by South Main Sounds and the Memphis Songwriters Association.

The Youth Council of MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope) will hold a panel discussion Thursday at 7 p.m. called "We All Want a Peace of the Pie.”

The TD Yoga and Meditation Center will host a 30-minute “Meditation for Non-Harming” at 7 p.m. on Friday.

An adult panel from MICAH will present “Preparing for Good Trouble,” featuring a combination of clergy and lay leaders discussing why justice work is relevant and important. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

As murders continue to plague Memphis there’s a call for peace, but the violence continues.

RELATED: Memphis mayor challenges parents to help stop crime

Activities for a “Week of Nonviolence” kicked off over the weekend in Memphis.

Meanwhile, police are investigating at least four separate shootings overnight leading into Monday afternoon that left three people dead.

Organizers are using some very old methods to try to bring some calm.

Three days of peace and harmony started at 5:30 Monday.

The organizers are focusing on mediation because research shows mediation replaces fear and eliminates violence.

Paul Crum is one of the organizers of the events taking place this week in Memphis to help combat crime. The goal is to teach people that promoting peace and nonviolence go hand in hand.

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“We have, like I say, instruction mediation, on yoga, several ways that a person can cultivate peace within themselves, and hopefully that will be reflected in their outward life.”

Research shows yoga and meditation help children and adults deal with stressful issues in a productive way. It decreases depression, anger and even crime. Memphis police say most of the crimes that happen in our city come from parties who know each other. That’s why this week’s activities aim to help children make good choices.

“When they occur to parties that are known to one another, that tells me that if people were equipped with the set of skills to solve their conflicts, settle their conflicts peacefully, a lot of those conflicts, violent acts could be avoided,” Crum explained.

Crum’s organization works closely with Shelby County Schools to teach conflict resolution. He wants to see it taught in schools.

For more information about each event, visit http://www.cnvmemphis.org.