Peace X Peace: A Mission Fulfilled
Peace X Peace CEO
This is a time of change for Peace X Peace (PXP).
As we look around at the peacebuilding landscape, PXP can proudly announce “Mission Fulfilled.” We feel that PXP has fulfilled its stated mission by increasing awareness of the power of women’s voices and bringing women’s wisdom to the forefront of the strategy and goals of many affiliated organizations. PXP believes its goals can be best furthered by now passing the torch to those other organizations and asking that they continue the work that PXP has started. You can find some of them here. So, it is with regret but also a strong sense of success and satisfaction that we announce that our programs will end but our vibrant website will continue to be the go-to place for social commentary.
As CEO, I am grateful for the extraordinary work we have done and impact we have made since our founding in 2002. It is time to celebrate our successes. We were a pioneer in using technology to connect women for peace, having a continual e-media and social network presence since our founding. We have educated over 150,000 women over the past 11 years on cultural, health, peacebuilding, religious, and other issues and broadened their understanding of key issues around the world. We have engaged hundreds of women in cross-cultural and interfaith exchange programs, fostering communication and relationships, specifically through our Connection Point program connecting women in Arab, Muslim, and Western communities throughout the world. We have shattered stereotypes, taught conflict resolution skills, and encouraged a new generation of women to play a role in alleviating tensions between Western societies and predominantly Arab and Muslim societies. As longtime staff member Mary Liepold says, we started with the hypothesis that women can establish real, deep, significant relationships across boundaries in virtual space, and we have demonstrated it beyond a doubt.
Our Mentorship program has enabled hundreds of younger women to gain skills and make advancements in their careers through one-on-one mentoring with seasoned professionals. Many of the mentors and mentees remain in dialogue and have created lasting cross-cultural friendships. We played an active role in the launch and implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, as well as in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the Afghan Women and Girls Security Act, the US Strategy to Prevent Gender Based Violence, and other key pieces of legislation. And our annual awards have empowered honorees to continue and expand their work. One Kenyan honoree told us “This award has made a difference for the women in Kenya.”
As former board member and life-long peacebuilder Louise Diamond says, “My prescription for change is to ‘extract the essence and release the form.’ The essence of Peace X Peace is the voice and vision it has given to women all over the world to take action for peace in their homes, their communities, and our world. The networks it has fostered, the hope it has engendered, and the skills it has strengthened are gifts that keep on giving. As the form of the organization changes, what it has accomplished lives on, and on, and on. For this I am deeply grateful.”
And so am I. I am grateful to you our readers for your ongoing commitment to build peace locally. I am grateful to our amazing staff – Mary, Yasmina Mrabet, and Nawal Rajeh – as well as many former staff members, for their dedication, passion, and professionalism. I am grateful to our board for their commitment and ongoing support, particularly to board chair Gail Montplaisir who has been with Peace X Peace for over nine years. Gail’s mantra has been “quantifiable outcomes.” We can proudly show that our work has had significant impact through an exponential growth in peacebuilding organizations from 78 in 2002 to over 125 today.
Most of all, I am grateful to our founder Patricia Smith Melton, who launched Peace X Peace with the world’s first peacebuilding social network for women, held its vision while she set it free to evolve, and helped sustain it through the last 11 years.
Thank you all and may we always continue this work together.