Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Resolution that Recognizes National Nonviolence Week and Mahoning Valley Student Group
Youngstown, OH – During Ohio Nonviolence Week, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) reintroduced legislation today to recognize National Nonviolence Week. The resolution highlights the Sojourn to the Past Program which brings middle and high school students to the American Deep South and Washington, DC to learn about the Modern Civil Rights movement and America’s struggles for Liberty. This resolution also praises the efforts of the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past students who successfully petitioned the Youngstown School Board, the Youngstown City Council, and the Youngstown State University Trustees to declare the first week in October each year to be Nonviolence Week.
In 2013, a law was passed creating Nonviolence Week in Ohio. This year, Ohio’s Nonviolence Week is October 3rd through 9th.
“National Nonviolence Week is an opportunity for our communities to promote values of peace, justice, and equality and to encourage the practice of nonviolence principles. I commend this group of students for their relentless advocacy and devotion to peace and justice,” said Congressman Ryan. “I’m proud to help introduce this resolution recognizing National Nonviolence Week, raising awareness of youth violence, and honoring the work of the Sojourn to the Past Program and Youngstown students who made a difference.”
“The Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past students are excited about the House resolution. These Sojourn students are steeped in Dr. King's Principles of Nonviolence and created an action plan to implement Nonviolence Week in Youngstown schools in 2009. Through their tremendous work and effort in 2010, Youngstown City Council, Youngstown School Board, Mahoning County Commissioners and Youngstown State University all passed resolutions permanently making the first full week in October Nonviolence Week. In 2013, the students’ Ohio Nonviolence Week bill was signed into law by former-Governor Kasich It is exciting that Congressman Tim Ryan has picked up the mantle from Congressman John Lewis in continuing to help spread this nationally. This shows the power of a small group of high school students advocating for change,” said Penny Wells, Executive Director of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past.
“Now more than ever we should listen to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and my friend and predecessor John Lewis, both of whom were champions of nonviolence,” said Congresswoman Williams. “Georgia’s Fifth District will always be a source of inspiration to create a nonviolent world. I am proud to build off of that legacy and introduce this resolution with Congressman Ryan.”
Ryan introduced past legislation with the late-U.S. Representative and Civil Rights legend, John Lewis.