Anti-Violence Day / Peace Day:
The first Anti-Violence Day/Peace Day events were successfully held on April 2, 1995 in a minority community. In April and May of the same year it was repeated in several private schools. Due to its tremendous success the project was in great demand throughout California. During 1996 the program expanded to meet the needs of those in the Jewish community, in the LAUSD's Jordan/Lock Cluster (including 25 schools), in South Central Los Angeles, in the Nickerson Garden Housing in Watts—a mostly African American, low socioeconomic area, and in Santa Barbara.
In April of 1997 simultaneous events were held for the Iranian community in three locations—two in parks in Irvine, CA and in Chatsworth, CA. A few days later another event was held at the Los Angeles Children’s Museum in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Health Department and LA Children’s Museum. During these events, children turned in their toy gun and weapons, and used them to create a giant collage with a peace message The art pieces created at the Children’s Museum, were kept at the Los Angeles Children’s Museum for two months for the public to view.
Children who did not have a toy gun to turn in were encouraged to write short stories or create art works about the dangers of guns and violence in society. Each child who participated received a certificate and a "Say No to Toy Guns/Weapons" T-shirt as a reward. The children would then be "walking billboards" to help their communities by discouraging the use of violence and the violent objects. The families also learned the immediate danger imposed on their children by real and toy guns.
Schools and communities in Oregon, New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Florida have expressed great interest in implementing this campaign. France, Canada, Brazil, and South Africa have also inquired about its use.
Prior to the Anti-Violence events/Peace Days, we provided over 35 lectures, workshops, and presentations for parents, educators, community representatives, and scientists. The statistical analysis of questionnaire data support that over 93% of adult participants determined the following:
• The event or workshop was very informative.
• The event or workshop taught new information
• They believe that this project should be presented to everyone
• They will not buy toy guns, toy weapons or violent plaything for children