Over the past several months, we have been reporting on "The End of Atrocity", our ongoing campaign and project to build a vision for what our world would look like if there were an end to genocide, crimes against humanity and atrocity.
On April 22, 2011 we successfully launched the first stage in which we gathered 14 visionaries on the front lines of activism against atrocity: Peter Gabriel, Ann Curry, Kathy Freston, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, John Prendergast, Carolyn Forche, Stephen Smith, Alex Stark, Scilla Ellworthy, Brian Steidle, James Smith, Jerry Fowler, Rachel Lloyd and Freddy Mutanguhua.
We asked each of them to answer the question, "What would our world look like without genocide?" Based on these visions we created the following Manifesto which we presented at the close of the project’s initial launch. The next stages of this campaign will be based upon the progression and fulfillment of this organic process.
FIRST: There is no "other." We are all one, irreversibly connected.
SECOND: Human beings are members of a global community, and we are connected. If atrocity can happen to one group, it can happen to any other, because when it happens to one of us, it happens to humanity.
THIRD: We must achieve universal respect for each other. Each generation must find ways to explicitly affirm and reaffirm its commitment -- through ritual, story, technology or practice -- that each individual will accept responsibility for the well-being of each other individual in the world, regardless of who or where that individual is, and that each of the billions of the global masses is accountable to all the others for safety, security and life.
FOURTH: We have always been connected, but technology and communication now connects us directly in ways that reduce the "otherness" of people. Access to the tools of technology and communication must be used to help us grow our collection of stories of being human and will put a human face on that which we used to view as "other."
FIFTH: There are always patterns and warning signs before an atrocity. Ensuring universal access to tools of technology and communication will help us collectively disseminate and listen to cries for help. We will pay attention to these patterns and signs and keep watching for them, to stem the possibility of devolution into violence.
SIXTH: We acknowledged there will always be hostilities, conflict, and perhaps even war. We must work toward building, supporting and enriching our growing culture of human rights -- through rational means of technology and networks, strong cross-border civil society interventions, institutional and governmental treaties and efforts, but also through cultural means, through humanism, emotion and sentimentalism, reflected in narrative, stories, art and media.
SEVENTH: We aim to create a new "soul" for humanity, one that is infused in a new path away from what we have been to each other and toward one that gives us the means to not inflict undue harm on innocent bystanders. We should aim to foster the creative in humans, and to encourage achievements that add to universal livability, prosperity and satisfaction, and we must invest in universal accountability and mass empathy to do so.
EIGHTH: Our history books and cultural narratives are a succession of leaders who led us to glory in war and subjugation -- and we've accepted it as the norm. We need to move away from that, to histories and narrative about the caring and nurturing of families and communities, of culture, art, commerce and design -- those things that bind a community to itself and create communities across borders.
NINTH: We must create and sustain balance among the genders, in roles of power and decision-making, and in true equality and respect. We must protect and integrate as equals those members of society we perceive as weaker, less successful, less worthy or capable, or living slower, simpler or lives connected to ideals that may differ with ours. We must invest in the economic prosperity of all, and acknowledge that any of our economic and political systems that create inequality in turn create instability and vulnerability.
TENTH, AND LAST: We aim to create and grow a global community that exists and works across national and regional borders, one that is at once bottom-up and top-down, that invests in commerce and institutions, as well as grassroots efforts and individual expression, and that embeds in subsequent generations a collective ethical code based on individual speech, shared and heard voice and reformed institutional leadership that moves toward end of atrocities.
What do you think our world would look like without genocide or crimes against humanity? Become part of the Movement: Imagine the End of Atrocity. We are currently planning the second stage of this project. We invite all of you to join in our efforts and share your vision and comments.
As always, thank you for your support. Together, we are growing closer to achieving a world without atrocity.