Press Release: Metta Center at the UN

Metta Center Named a Special Consult to the United Nations
Petaluma nonprofit granted status with the world body

PETALUMA, CA, May 10, 2017 – The late peace researcher Kenneth Boulding once articulated a tongue-in-cheek theory called “Boulding’s First Law.” It states that if something can happen anywhere, then it is possible everywhere. As far as the Metta Center for Nonviolence is concerned, the most urgent and possible “something” needed today is nonviolence. The United Nations seems to agree: it has granted the Petaluma-based Metta Center special consultative status with its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Consultative status permits the Metta Center to engage with ECOSOC, along with the United Nations Secretariat. The nonprofit may also participate in UN events and attend meetings at the General Assembly, Human Rights Council and other decision-making bodies.

One task high on the nonprofit’s consultative priorities is linking with organizations striving for similar aims at ECOSOC. For example, the Metta Center plans to support the international NGO Nonviolent Peaceforce in advancing unarmed civilian protection, a peacekeeping strategy that has shown to prevent, reduce and altogether stop violence in conflict zones.

Another top priority will be promoting a higher image of humankind, an image that values the true potential of every human being and realigns our social systems to work in harmony with the earth. “It’s not about putting the right person in power but about awakening the right power in people,” as Michael N. Nagler, the Metta Center’s founder and president, is noted for saying.

Even with its new role on the global stage, the Metta Center remains committed to collaborating with area organizations and individuals on making nonviolence a reality at the local level. To make deeper inroads locally, the organization recently moved from a rural Bodega Avenue location to a downtown office on Keller Street (205, Suite 202D).

“Petaluma, a town centered in family and agriculture, has everything it needs to build a nonviolent model for our schools, businesses, local politics and, most importantly, our interpersonal relationships,” said Stephanie Van Hook, the organization’s executive director. “Local economies and relationships of trust are grist for the mill of the nonviolence movement worldwide.”

Area residents are encouraged to participate in the Metta Center’s community-building initiatives, from its monthly Family Program to its weekly meditation group. The nonprofit also organizes a monthly Hope Tank, a creative antidote to the think-tank model. To help promote its mission, the Metta Center produces its own media, the biweekly Nonviolence Radio show that airs on KWMR and the biannual print magazine Nonviolence.


For questions about the Metta Center’s special consultative status at the United Nations, please contact our executive director, Stephanie Van Hook:

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