Julia's Voice is the modern voice of Julia Ward Howe. Stand for Peace is our Mothers Day Event.
Organize a Mothers Day event in your own community! Make peace and ending war your top priority. We have the tools you need to get started right here!
We’ve already picked the date, time and theme - you just need to find help, a location and get the word out! With determination, a passion for peace and just a small group of dedicated helpers, you can organize an event in as little as six weeks in your own community.
First – Find Help and Leadership Don’t be a lone ranger!
Finding like minded folks to help you organize a Stand for Peace event is important. Talk to friends, church members, as well as other community and peace groups.Be sure to contact the social justice committee at your church and ask your friends to do the same if they are members of faith communities. One tool that could help you identify people to help with your Stand for Peace action (and get the word out about ending war!) is to host an event that will attract like minded folks. Host a film, speaker or art showing at your home, church or local library. Here in Kansas City we showed a few documentary films followed by a discussion in our church and in our homes.We also hosted a showing of a free anti-war art exhibit, Eyes Wide Open created by the American Friends Service Committee and availble for exhibit at your space on request (http://www.afsc.org/eyes/).
These events were all free to attend and were organized at little or no cost (see resources) and helped to create an interest in our group and our message.
Once you have your leadership group identified, it’s time to start organizing. Gather your group at your home, church or library and begin to discuss your event.
How will decisions be made for the group?
Will you have a leader that will speak for you to the media? How will that person be selected?
Will you divide into working groups or teams? What working groups?
How often will you meet? How will you keep the group informed between meetings?
How will you record your decisions?
Our group formed a Steering Committee comprised of our six most active members. The first year, we divided into four teams with a member of the Steering Committee on each team – Sponsorship, Program,Logistics and Marketing. Our Steering Committee meets regularly (every two weeks) while our teams meet in between.
The second year, we used individuals in each task area rather than teams and that worked just as well.
Sponsorship Team/Leader – This person or group of folks will help gather support and involvement from among your community.
Who are the other groups in your area that are doing peace work?
How can you enlist their help and involvement? Look for churches, veterans groups, student groups and others who are also passionate about peace.
Contact each group directly and ask them to support you by promoting your event among their membership.
Program Team/Leader – This person or group of folks will design any programming at the event itself.
Will you have a speaker? Music?
Who will introduce and conclude your program? How long will it last?
Do you have connections to a prominent and well known mother in your area that can serve as the guest speaker and media focus for your event?
Will you have any “street theater” as you stand?Will you use performers, musicians or re-enactors to keep the group focused?
How will you provide security? Will you have event marshals from among your group to help keep the crowd under control? How will you train them?
Do you expect to have counter protestors? How will this be handled?
How will you distribute signs, buttons and other materials?
What costs will you have and who will fund them?
Logistics Team/Leader – These are the folks that will manage the nuts and bolts of the event.
Where will your event take place? Is it highly visible?
Is the area safe for children and accessible to all?
Is there adequate parking?
Will you need permission to use your event site?Permits?
Will you need insurance?
Will you need a sound system? Stage?
How will people get there? How much parking is available?
Marketing Team/Leader – These are the folks that will promote your event to the general public and to the media.
How many people do you hope to attract? Who will they be? How will you reach them?
What will your marketing schedule be? (See our suggestions under the Press Kittab.)
How will you ensure media cover for your event? (See our sample by clicking the Press Kit tab on the left).
Second – Pick a Location
Pick a popular and visible location.
Things to think about …
Visibility – Be sure to pick a location that will be visible to those you want to see it such as the media, politicians aw well as the general public. This could be a town center, a mall parking lot or very busy intersection.
Accessibility – Will people with physical impairments or people that are dependant on public transit be able to participate? Where will people attending your event peace park?
Relevance – Is there someplace in your community that has some relevance to mothers or Mothers Day?Is this place also highly visible and accessible?
Safety – Be sure to pick a site where the participants will not be at risk.
While the governing policies for each public space is different, most parks, open public spaces and side walks have certain requirements about usage including restrictions about amplified sound or parking. Be sure to check with the governing authority for the site you have selected.
List the top three to five places that provide your Stand for Peace event with the best visibility on Sunday, May 12 at 3:00.Then take the time to research them all. Check each potential site to make sure that it has ample standing space, sidewalks and is safe for participants. While the best place might seem like your local town square, it also might actually be the seldom used sidewalk around a busy, suburban commercial area with lots of traffic where folks may be taking mom out for lunch on Mothers Day.
Once you’ve selected your location, check with your local police or parks department to see if there is anything you need to do to use the space before you begin to market your event. Third - Market Your Event Get the word out!
Who do you want to come to the event? How will you reach them?
Are there free resources you can take advantage of in your community?
Are there local talk shows that you can use to promote interest in your event?
Are there key local reporters that you can target for your press kit?
Can you buy local media ads? What are the best choices to reach your audience?
Send a forward able email message with all the event details to everyone you know.Be sure to target groups that maintain email lists.
List your event on this website and be sure to include www.juliasvoice.org on all of your materials.
Be sure to link this website and our Julia’s Voice Face Book page on your own personal social networking site.
Print out the business cards (print your local event information on the back), sign, flyer and poster found here under the Tools tab.
Add information about your event to the signature of ALL your email messages!
Need more help? Contact us and we will do everything we can to help you make you event a successful one. We have created a discussion blog at http://www.juliasvoice.blogspot.com/where you can post your questions and suggestions as we work together to make this a special Mother's Day.
And be sure to send us your experiences and suggestions so that we can add them to our Plan Your Own Event tool kit.
Suggested Meeting Agendas and Schedule
Meeting One - Jan/Feb
1. Invite your friends, church social justice committee and others to a meeting (at your home, church or library) at least a week in advance.
2. Show Julia's Voice: Loud and Clear, the video posted here at Watch OurDocumentary. Not enough bandwidth to live stream the documentary? Contact us and we will send you a DVD FREE!
3. Discuss Julia Ward Howe and the idea of organizing a Stand for Peace event in your community for Mothers Day 2010 at 3:00. 4. Review the elements that are involved in organizing this event.
5. As a group, create a vision for your event.Who will be there, what will happen, who will attend?
6. Discuss the leadership bullets listed above (how will decisions be made, who will speak for the group, etc.)Ask for volunteers to focus on key areas: sponsorship, program, logistics and marketing. Suggest that each person review the Julia’s Voice website and brainstorm and action plan for your event in these areas for your next meeting.
7. Before you adjourn, have the entire group brainstorm at least six locations in your community for your logistics volunteer(s) to investigate.
8. Hand out printed versions of the tools from this website.
9. Set the next meeting date.
10. Collect contact information for those who attend.You may wish to set up an email group (Google, Yahoo, etc) to stay in touch between meetings. Using your email group, stay in touch between meetings and remind the group of the next face to face meeting at least four days in advance. Meeting Two - Feb/March
1. Using your email group, remind the group of the meeting at least four days in advance.
2. Review the suggested locations for your event, discuss, and select one.
3. Be sure your marketing volunteer provides the information to be posted on our website.
4. Invite a volunteer from each key area (sponsorship, program, logistics and marketing) to report their initial event plan.Get group feedback and modify plans as needed.
5. Discuss hosting other events (documentaries, art showings) to find additional help for the event and promote the event itself.
6. Set the next meeting date.
Meetings Three and On - March to May
1. Hear reports from each event area and provide feedback and support as needed.
2. Set the next meeting date.
May 12, 2013 at 3:00
Host your Stand for Peace event!
The War Tapes (http://www.thewartapes.com) and War Made Easy (http://www.warmadeeasythemovie.org) are excellent choices for documentary films to show. Make sure the event is free and publicize it. Then follow the showing with a discussion and invite folks who are motivated to sign up to help you with your Mothers Against the War action in May.
The American Friends Service Committee hosts a traveling exhibit entitled Eyes Wide Open (http://www.afsc.org/eyes). This deeply moving exhibit features empty boots and shoes that signify the war deaths of both soldiers from your state and of Iraqi civilians.It turns the human cost of the war into stunning reality and may be hosted by churches and communities groups for free.
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