PEACE - People Engaged in Active Community Efforts - is a powerful justice ministry organization in Palm Beach County, Florida.
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PEACE is a justice ministry made up of twenty congregations from throughout Palm Beach County, FL. Understanding that Micah 6:8 and other biblical texts require us to do justice, the organization brings these and other congregations together in order to powerfully address the systemic causes of injustices happening in our community. After a process of discernment and research around commonly identified problems, we hold what we call a Nehemiah Action Assembly each Spring. We gather thousands of our members, and ask public officials to implement meaningful changes related to the problems upon which we are focusing.
Using the above described process, some highlights of the past several years are as follows –
1. Gotten the Board of County Commissioners to dedicate yearly funding to an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, to assist in the development of sorely needed affordable housing throughout our County. So far, in the two years in which funding has been allocated, $2 million has been allocated to this Fund.
2. Gotten the Board of County Commissioners to pass a Wage Theft Resolution, and the Courts to establish a Wage Theft Docket. The Resolution provides funding to the Legal Aid Society to take on cases of Wage Theft, and the Docket provides for a way for cases which are taken to court to be heard fast and free of charge. This process has, in its first two years, gotten $300,000 in stolen wages back for 300 victims of wage theft.
3. Worked with our Superintendent to achieve a 40% reduction in out-of-school suspensions, meaning more kids are in the classroom learning, and not dropping out.
4. Gotten our Sheriff to stop allowing ICE to deport undocumented immigrants from our County Jail – protecting families, enhancing trust between the immigrant and law enforcement communities, and saving valuable taxpayer dollars.
PEACE is an affiliate of the DART Network –the Direct Action Research Training Center. DART, headquartered in Miami, has 20 organizations nationally.