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CODE 22 — No Violence Day: What does it mean?

By Ovella Andreas

Codes of honor have been respected from street lords to biblical interpretation, military initiatives to sports tactics. It can be a set of rules or a system of communication. A moral code is a system of principles or rules. Can it be a successful tactic used to reduce violence? The United Communites of America (UCOA) and many citizens will be embracing Code 22 for that reason, a no violence day.

In November 2010, I proposed to the Detroit City Council to vote to adopt a “No Violence Day” in Detroit. Not just an annual day, but a monthly day. The vote was unanimous. All nine council members agreed that each 22nd day of the month be officially known as the Citywide Day of Peace and Healing. A testimony of resolution was issued to the UCOA with seven other cities immediately following. Romulus, Inkster, Hamtramck, Westland, River Rouge, Highland Park and Jackson have all adopted the 22nd as the official No Violence Day, a citywide day of peace and healing. Each 22nd day of the month, citizens are asked to mark their calendars and focus on ways to create peace and healing in their own circles of influence.

The 22nd is a day to seek forgiveness and to forgive. One day to stop all negative emotions and just let peace flow. No arguing, no fighting, no violence. Just like any other holiday, the United Communities of America seeks to have citizens honor the citywide day of peace and healing in Detroit and across America.

Code 22 is an attempt to reduce violence on the 22nd. The goal is to ask those who are engaged in violence to honor the code each 22nd. All leaders are asked to spread this message against violence. Referee Kelly Ramsey has adopted this message in her court room for juveniles. No violence for one day. “We know we can’t stop violence, but if we reduce it that’s progress,” says she says. Everyone is asked to honor the code.

Code 22 is a code for “peace.”

The UCOA organized in May and has been aggressively campaigning against violence. The Thou Shall Not Kill poster campaign and the Citywide Day of Peace and Healing monthly events are designed to help families learn how to forgive and heal. The UCOA’’s campaign includes a “one peace” handout that shares ideas to citizens on 12 ways to create peace. The organization distributes this handout each month on the 22nd to hundreds in the effort to promote peace. Visit www.theucoa.org to view the 12 ways.

“By spreading the word and honoring the code, we can begin to create and work towards increasing the peace in each of our lives,” Ramsey said. “Even if it’s just for one day.”

This month, on Sept. 22, Code 22 will host the City Wide Rap for Peace at Fellowship Chapel Church, 7700 Outer Drive — outside, weather permitting.

The Rap for Peace will feature youth presentations for peace through rap, poetry, mime, step, etc. To audition, call 313.736.7891 or upload to theucoa@yahoo.com

Pastor Ovella Andreas is founder of the UCOA, a community-based organization focused on the reduction of crime through the promotion of peace and healing. For more information, visit www.theucoa.org , e-mail theucoa@yahoo.com or call 313.358.7009

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