Teens Fast for Peace

Students at Alternatives in Action's Bay Area School of Enterprise (BASE) and West Alameda Community Programs began a "Season of Peace Building," which will last through Cesar Chavez Day on March 31. The students are responding to the escalation of gun violence in the East Bay, specifically the January killing of 5-year-old Gabriel Martinez in Oakland. They launched the Season of Peace Building in solidarity with their peers at Oakland's Alternatives in Action's Community Programs at Life Academy of Health & Bioscience. In order to demonstrate their commitment to building peace, the students and staff members are participating in a 40- day fast relay and facilitating a community "peace pledge."

Each day at noon, they will bless a new "faster," who ties on a fasting armband, and reads the peace pledge aloud in a public ceremony. The students have launched a blog (http://seasonofpeace.tumblr.com/) to chronicle the event and to share photos and reflections of the fasters' experiences.



0 #2 Venus E. Mesui 2012-02-13 20:03
Hello Just wanted to let you know that the "Season of Peace Building" was started at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience by our young Men's group "Be a Man/BAM" and our Women's group "Real Ambitious Women/RAW". We started our fast on Martin Luther King day and will fast for a total of 74-days. If you have any questions regarding our Season of Peace Building please check out our FaceBook page and you can also contact BAM's Co-Facilitator/ Coach Julio Magana at who did alot of work on this amazing and empowering student lead effort to build Peace in our community.
0 #1 Julio Magaña 2012-02-10 22:54
Thank you students and staff. As a longtime Oakland resident and educator i am consistently disappointed by the image portrayed of our youth.

What we have seen on our school campus is a profound frustration that the root causes of violence (broken schools, homes and communities) are not being addressed. Your action is truly improving these dynamics.

I applaud your dedication to doing something PROACTIVE to re-establish how people can restore a more peaceful living/learning environment. I applaud the fact that you are showing adults that youth DO CARE and are willing to sacrifice your bodies to promote a new angle on the OLD "stop the violence" language. As an artist, i thank you for reminding me that i am not alone in believing that youth can lead the way.

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