Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Joins With Mel King and Ray Flynn to Launch Boston Peace and Democracy Discussions

What Is the Education for Democracy Institute?

  • a non-profit, tax-exempt educational organization
  • dedicated to preventing violence, promoting academic achievement, and fostering democratic voice
  • publishes educational e-books, digital games, and related educational curriculum
  • first initiative is to develop and launch “Peace and Democracy Discussions: A National Approach to Preventing Violence, Promoting Literacy, and Fostering the Growth of Democracy”
  • these discussions will be supported by developing and providing Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games which will provide digital versions of multicultural literature, along with digital games, activities and curriculum 
  • provides professional development
  • supports Voices Literature and Writing, Voices Leveled Library, and Voices 3C eLessons

What Are the Issues We Care About?

Increasing Income Inequality and Poverty

“CE0s at S&P 500 firms make on average, $12.3 million,

as much as 354 rank and file workers whose average pay is $35,000.”

–“Divided Nation” Boston Globe, March 29, 2015

Increasing Discrimination

“Black children were almost four times

as likely as white children to be living in poverty in 2013…”

–Boston Globe, July 15, 2015

Increasing Violence

“Four of every 10 kids and teens in the U.S. were

exposed to violence or abuse over the previous year.”

–Reuters, June 29, 2015

Decreasing Literacy

“Average reading score for fourth-grade students not significantly different in comparison

to 2013; eighth-grade students score lower than 2013″

The  Nation’s Report Card, NAEP, 2015

Decreasing Social Trust

“(General Social) Survey finds Americans losing trust in each other.”

–Boston Globe, December 1, 2013

What Are Peace & Democracy Discussions?

Discussions with Our Children

About How We Can Create a More Peaceful and Democratic Society

The goal of Peace & Democracy Discussions is to engage all children in discussions with family members, friends, classmates, teachers, librarians, social workers, youth workers, police officers, doctors, nurses, clergy, and/or religious leaders about how to create a more peaceful and democratic society.

What are Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games?

Transformative Stories and Story-Based Digital Games and Activities

That Can Help Us Discuss with Our Children How We Can Improve Our Country

Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games will provide digital versions of multicultural literature, along with story-based interactive digital games, activities, and curriculum, that can help children and adults discuss important social issues and work together to improve our society.

“. . . Peace & Democracy eBooks . . . seek to help children and adolescents develop several skills . . . developing their voices, all of the voices that matter to them, trying to prevent violence in their lives, increasing their academic vocabulary, improving their critical thinking skills, and, finally and most importantly, helping them to improve and to be meaningful participants in a vibrant democratic society.”

—Professors Ernest Morrell and Jodene Morrell
Institute for Urban and Minority Education,
Teachers College, Columbia University

What is the Peace & Democracy

Major Cities Pilot Project?

 Piloting Peace & Democracy Discussions

In Major Cities Across the Country

We have selected It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way: A Barrio Story (No tiene que ser así: una historia del barrio) written by Luis J. Rodríguez and illustrated by Daniel Galvez and published by Lee & Low to be the first of our Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games. It is a story about a Latino boy in Los Angeles who is being pressured to join a local gang and learns to stand up for himself and say, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” Students discuss the story, stand in the shoes of the characters, and then stand in their own shoes and express their points of view about what things in their neighborhoods and communities “Don’t have to be this way.”


We plan to pilot this digital prototype in a diverse set of cities across the country. We are currently developing plans in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago, and San Francisco. We are looking for two to three additional sites. In each site we will pilot the prototype with a diverse set of neighborhoods, schools, and community organizations. In each city, the goal is to give this eBook and digital game to as many children as possible and to use this story and related activities to discuss what are the things in their city that “don’t have to be this way” and brainstorm ways to solve these problems.

Free for All Schools and Organizations

Who Serve Children Living in High Poverty Neighborhoods!

How can you support 

the Peace & Democracy Discussions?

Please Support 

Peace & Democracy Conversations

Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games

The Peace & Democracy Pilot Project

Story about how family and friends help a boy to not get involved with gangs.Your contribution will support the launching of a far reaching national violence prevention program called Peace & Democracy Conversations, the development and testing of the digital prototype of the first of the Peace and Democracy eBooks and Digital Games, and the piloting of this digital prototype in 8-10 major cities across the country.

All contributors will receive access to this first eBook once it has been fully tested


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