Game Changers Guest Post: OneVoice Movement

NOTE: We asked each of our 2009 Game Changers Awards finalists to write about their projects, what they’ve learned along the way and what’s next.  Submitted by Kim Walker and Erin Pineda of OneVoice.

OneVoice Movement

OneVoice (OV) is an international mainstream grassroots movement working to amplify the voice of the overwhelming majority of moderates in Israel, Palestine, and worldwide, empowering them to demand accountability from elected representatives and work toward a two-state solution guaranteeing an end to occupation and violence, and a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel. With offices in Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Gaza City, London, and New York, OV recognizes that the most powerful way to enliven moderate constituencies is by demonstrating to them that they have an engaged partner or the other side. The three offices in the region work within their own communities, as well as together on cooperative development and consensus-driven civic education through joint Palestinian and Israeli programming, such as regional college tours, which brings Palestinian youth leaders to Israeli campuses, and town hall meetings, which allow for the two sides to engage in face-to-face discussion of the issues.

OneVoice is a truly global undertaking and prides itself on being a very diverse organization, honoring a multiplicity of backgrounds, genders, nationalities, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and political affiliations. The makeup of the staff is indicative of how internationalized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become, and the belief – deeply founded in the OneVoice methodology – that resolution of the conflict will require dynamic, diverse, and dedicated local and global leadership. What unites the OneVoice team, from volunteers to youth leaders to staff and board members, is a passionate desire to empower the moderates and to make serious strides towards achieving an historic Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The Movement has 646,000 members in Israel, Palestine, and internationally – individuals who have pledged their support to core principles affirming the rights of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live in independence, peace, and dignity.  Through our Youth Leadership Development Program, OV has also engaged 4,000 Israeli and Palestinian youths, and fully-trained over 1,800 of them as active volunteers and advocates for the Movement. The public endorsement of high-profile leaders such as Tony Blair and Ambassador Dennis Ross is testament to our success in strengthening the role of civil society – regionally and throughout the world – in pushing for a viable and comprehensive resolution for both peoples. This year, OneVoice has engaged directors such as Davis Guggenheim and Doug Liman in our Imagine 2018 project (, in which foremost film directors will adapt essays written by Israeli and Palestinian youth on their vision for the future into a series of short films. OneVoice has been successful at using outlets such as the internet, blogs, YouTube and other alternative media in spreading the OneVoice message and helping grow our base of support.

In our 6 years of existence, we have learned the importance of a strong, undisputable message and of building a foundation of partners, supporters and board members who are willing to follow through with the organization, whether times are good or bad. OneVoice continues to be inspired by the small stories of cooperation and co-existence that exist in pockets throughout the troubled region. The successful bridging of relationships and compromise that we see from opposing sides on the ground, between our youth leaders and at town hall meetings, assures us that there is hope for an agreement in the future.

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