In 2003 I was working with a youth group, mostly teenagers concerned with the increasing violence in America. The students put together a musical and dance play called Victory Over Violence. With the support of parents and other community minded folks the theater and other
needed work was volunteered. The play was a success and every one who volunteered or attended
the play took the theme to heart.
Social status, religious affiliation, sex, race, nor any other challenge was denied the opportunity to
participate in some form to make the play a success. All received a sense of accomplishment and pride for their efforts.
Most every one signed a pledge.
My Pledge Of Victory Over Violence.
I James Weldon will value my own life. Recognizing that a lack of self-identity and hope for the future lay at the roots of all violence. I will reach beyond my limitations, taking concrete steps
each day to uncover my real potential. I will never give up on my dreams, even if they seem
impossible. I will respect all life. Recognizing that violence comes in many forms, I will not
isolate myself but will create an environment where others feel comfortable and can be themselves. I will see beyond superficial differences and reflect on my own behavior. I will
inspire hope in others. With courage I will resolutely stand up against violence, be it verbal, physical or passive and teach others through my own example. I will support others and encourage them to follow their dreams.
The pledge was thought about and composed by many persons who only wanted any one to be able to apply it to their life daily. Knowing it takes a village to raise a child. The pledge should be
taught to all ages and groups, no matter which culture, religion, race or life style they follow.
Is the pledge easy to follow daily? No it takes effort and commitment, that's why it works.
Nothing of any value is easy to keep or share, unless it becomes ingrained in your mind and
Will every one embrace this pledge? No but it's not your responsibility to force, only to offer
and encourage with your example. Is there a time limit for this to have an effect in America
and abroad? I'm not sure but it sure would help to spread the pledge.
Some will recognize the pledge, I take no credit on it's design nor verb-age. but appreciate those persons before me on their wisdom and desire to help mankind.
Pass it on! Benefit to you and yours. James Weldon