Share Power to Build Community
The sharing of power is a way of living with others that emerges from Native American thought and experience, and is also supported by state-of-the-art behavioral science which suggests that alternative ways to influence one’s world can reduce reliance on the exercise of coercive power. Peer, organizational, family, and community procedures included in the PEACE POWER strategy provide options to enable differing powers and gifts to be recognized, all to have strong voices, and all to contribute and share responsibility for collective outcomes. A culture of shared power relies on reinforcement and respect, and brings the potential power of diverse gifts and resources to the table. For youth (and the adults around them), the sharing of power teaches that there are nonviolent, non-coercive ways to influence their world, and guides them to discover and create their own power.
Evidence-based tools and activities to increase the sharing of power include:
  1. 1. Meaningful Roles (jobs)
  2. 2. Classwide Peer Tutoring
  3. 3. Mentoring Projects
  4. 4. Service Learning
  5. 5. Participation in Decision-Making (Family, Organizations)
  6. 6. Choices and Consequences
  7. 7. Families and Schools Together (FAST) and Other Family/School Partnerships
Additional tools and activities consistent with the existing evidence include:
  1. 8. Work with Political Figures, Business Persons, Other Adult Models
  2. 9. Service Projects
  3. 10. Participation in Councils, Task Forces, and Working Groups (e.g., PEACE POWER groups)
  4. 11. Group Work: Identifying Personal Power
  5. 12. Involving Youth in Political Action Related to Youth Interests
  6. 13. Community Development Activities (Community Gardens, Murals, Sculpture)
  7. 14. Community Organizing 101
  8. 15. Skills for Nonviolent Social Change
  9. 16. Family Community Servce
  10. 17. When is Coercive Power OK? A Dialogue
  11. 18. Leadership Skill: Planning and Leading Meetings