How It Started
In May 2017, a Ceasefire started in Baltimore as a city-wide call asking Baltimore residents to avoid having any murders from Friday, August 4th through Sunday, August 6th, 2017. It was also a city-wide call asking Baltimore residents to celebrate life during the ceasefire by joining with others to plan and participate in what we call life-affirming events.
The August 2017 Baltimore Ceasefire/Baltimore Peace Challenge was historical for Baltimore City. There were over 50 events, countless residents received the resources they needed, and there was no murder for a total of 67 out of the 72 hours. At a time when the statistic was one murder every nineteen hours in Baltimore, the beginning of the August 2017 Ceasefire saw 41 continuous hours without murder.
Baltimore mourned the loss of Lamontrey Tynes and Donte Johnson on Day 2 of the August 2017 ceasefire. This shook us down to our roots. People from around the world rushed to send love and support to both families. The loss of our brothers showed us that we had been numb in relation to daily murders in Baltimore… which led to new affirmations: #DontBeNumb and #VibrateHigher. These new affirmations remind us to honor every life that Baltimore loses, to use the pain to be better to one another, and to work even harder to heal violence. We decided to vibrate higher in Baltimore.
Goal & Process
The ultimate goal of Baltimore Ceasefire 365 is for everyone in the city to commit to zero murders. We are starting by calling ceasefire weekends, where we ask everyone to be peaceful and celebrate life. In doing the outreach for ceasefire weekends, residents are:
- helping each other get the resources they need in their lives
- having conversations with each other about how to handle conflict differently
- making commitments to one another to be non-violent in thoughts, words, and deeds, for AT LEAST the ceasefire weekend.
We know that there will come a time when everyone in Baltimore will honor that these are sacred weekends and will honor each ceasefire.
By agreeing to sacred weekends without murder, and by receiving the resources needed to help us avoid violent encounters, we all will eventually agree to honor the sacredness of EVERY day and put an end to murder.
Throughout the year, this movement serves as a hub for organizations and citizens to support one another, work together, and share resources with the goal of seeing an end to murder in Baltimore City.