NATIONAL NETWORK FORMING TO OPPOSE THE MILITARIZATION OF YOUTH
Join the new national network of groups working to stop the militarization of schools and young people!
This network is an outgrowth of the national counter-recruitment organizing conference held June 25-27, 2004 named Stopping War Where It Begins: Strengthening the Movement Opposing the Militarization of Youth in Philadelphia. Below is a description of the proposed network; proposal details can also be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.youthandthemilitary.org.
In order to plan the first convening of the network, a group of organizations have initially volunteered to form an ad-hoc steering committee (a regular steering committee will be formed when the network first meets). Ad-hoc SC volunteers so far are:
- Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (Organization defunct)
- CHOICES/Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement (Organization defunct)
- Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft
- Human Rights Committee, UTLA
- Madison Area Peace Coalition (Organization defunct)
- National Youth & Militarism Program/AFSC (Program defunct)
- Not in Our Name (Organization defunct)
- Project YANO
- Resource Center for Non Violence
- Teen Peace
Finally, these are trying and yet exciting times for the counter military recruitment movement. Now, more than ever, the network needs to help shape the tone of anti-war & peace conversations to be more inclusive of our pro-active analysis opposing war. The network will also be integral in helping the nation understand that providing its youth with peaceful and viable alternatives to achieve success in life is an important sign of a civilized society.
I hope that you will consider your organizations role in the network as instrumental to achieving these goals.
NATIONAL NETWORK OPPOSING THE MILITARIZATION OF YOUTH (NNOMY)
(Final name to be determined by the sponsoring organizations)
Originally submitted by the planning committee for the June 27-29 Stopping War Where It Begins conference. Revisions made following discussion at the conference and further discussions by the post-conference committee.
In order to build upon the collaborative efforts that produced the counter-recruitment organizing conference in Philadelphia, we propose the following:
- The creation of a national networking body that would bring together national, regional and local organizations to oppose the growing intrusion of the military in young people's lives.
- The function of the network would be:
- to promote communication and the sharing of organizing skills and resources through regional and national meetings, conference calls, and other methods of communications;
- to stimulate collaboration between network members on projects that would advance our collective goals (e.g., research, organizer trainings, and production of educational and public relations materials and organizing tools);
- to facilitate nationally coordinated actions and campaigns;
- to strengthen youth-led efforts on campuses and in communities; and
- to educate the broader activist community and general public on the need to become involved in these efforts.
- The structure of the networking body will be decentralized and designed to minimize maintenance requirements. The networking body should be flexible enough to allow participating grassroots groups to address a variety of related issues and use different approaches based on their local organizing environment and constituencies.
- Goals and objectives would need to be determined by members of the network, and may include:
- acknowledging, encouraging, and facilitating youth activism and leadership;
- encouraging and facilitating the formation and development of grassroots organizations; - addressing the impact of the military on low income communities;
- working against the targeting of communities of color for military recruitment;
- raising awareness of the various forms of discrimination practiced by the military;
- developing and articulating strategies for demilitarizing schools;
- monitoring legislation and seeking to roll back laws that give the military special influence and power over civilian schools (i.e. the Solomon amendments and No Child Left Behind with regard to colleges and high schools, respectively);
- strengthening the leadership roles and organizing capacity of communities that are especially affected by war and militarization; and
- sharing information about alternative resources for college funding, job training, community service and travel opportunities.
Proposed Structure of the National Network
NNOMY (hereafter referred to as "the Network") is a network of local, regional and national organizations. It is not intended to function as an independent national organization, but rather as a coalition effort that can strengthen the work of participating groups.
There are two ways groups can participate in the Network:
- Become a sponsoring organization. Sponsoring organizations are groups willing to participate in a national organization that makes broad national network decisions. Sponsoring organizations may choose to carry out national actions. Sponsoring organizations appoint a Steering Committee for the Network (see Leadership). Participation includes submitting proposals to the Steering Committee for national actions and educational materials. Sponsoring organizations formally endorse the Network, may use and help develop Network resource materials, and thru a designated organizational representative make all Network decisions not delegated to the Steering Committee, including but not limited to financial decisions and recognition of caucuses. Decision-making will take the form of phone polling of sponsoring organizations, an attempt at consensus via the Network listserv, and if necessary, a 2/3 majority vote. Phone polling will be conducted by an organization designated by the Steering Committee and will require direct contact with a minimum of 2/3 of the sponsoring organizations.
If two-thirds of the sponsoring organizations approve the proposal, the proposal will move to an email listserv consensus process. If there are no blocks (an absolute refusal to allow the proposal to pass) to the proposal within 48 hours, the proposal is passed. If there IS a block, the decision will revert to 2/3 majority vote.
If at least two-thirds of the sponsoring organizations do NOT agree to the proposal, the proposal is considered "failed".
- Become an endorsing organization. Endorsing organizations are groups that may use network resources, and help publicize network activities but choose not to participate as a sponsoring organization.
There is also the opportunity for individuals to participate in and contribute to the Network:
While sponsoring organizations, through their designated representatives, make the decisions guiding the Network, individuals are encouraged to use the Network as a forum for discussion. An individual who wishes to propose an action or other item that requires a decision by the Network must request the support of an existing sponsorship organization, who may then officially submit the proposal to the Network.
For the full text: http://www.youthandthemilitary.org/bylaws.htm
National Youth & Militarism Program
American Friends Service Committee