POPP NEWS

Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project

In 2010 Kit founded the Power of Peace Project. Using the experience he gained resolving conflict in some of the most dangerous areas in the world, he applies his principles to bring about change in prisons, schools, corporations and the faith-based community. On MLK Day, 2020, Kit was recognized by the NAACP receiving their Martin Luther King, Jr. Living the Dream Award for his contribution to civil rights and his work with at-risk youth and prison reform. He was also appointed to the Georgia House of Representatives Gang Prevention and Intervention Commission as a result of the passing of the anti-gang bill HB750 under Chairman Rep. Carl Gilliard. The majority of Kit’s work now focuses on interrupting and redirecting under-served youth. Kit has been in over a hundred prisons, jails, detention centers, and rehab facilities and worked with over ten thousand prisoners and offenders. He has journeyed on tours through Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, and has negotiated peace between some of the most notorious gangs inside the U.S. prison system. He delivered an address about his powerful peace projects at the Gandhi Global Peace Summit in Durban, South Africa to representatives from the Gandhi, King, and Mandela organizations, as well as other iconic peacemakers from around the world. Kit has taken his Forty Days to Freedom program into dangerous La Mesa prison in Tijuana, Mexico to teach prisoners nonviolence, as well as working with addicts and at-risk youth in some of the toughest areas of that cartel war-torn border city. Kit has planted seeds of peace all around the world. Kit has authored six books, including the award-winning Peace Behind the Wire, a Nonviolent Resolution which has been endorsed by the King Family. His latest book, The New Convict Code, Bringing Peace to the Streets from Behind the Wire, flips the script on prison reform and aims to shatter the pipeline from schools to prisons. PowerofPeaceProject.com KitCummings.com
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project2 days ago
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.”

– Pearl S. Buck

This is so true! And we can watch and guide, help and inspire. The young will always do amazing things!
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project3 days ago
Stoked!  Today we launched our Protect the Dream program with the Osborne high school soccer team.

These kids are aiming to do something very special this year. Huge thanks to Principal Morreale and Coach Foster for adopting me into the OHS fam!

Osborne territory is where I grew up, right here on Favor Road. Cardinal at heart!
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project4 days ago
Your best days lie ahead of you and the great work of your life has yet to be completed. Do you believe that?

Continue writing your story today and please don’t let excuses stand in your way.

By the way, for those of you who have been around the sun a few more times, dreams don’t have an expiration date. Peace! 🙏🏼❤️✌️
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project1 week ago
Instead of being irritated and frustrated with this young generation, let us rearrange our lives and help them.

They didn’t ask for this. What’s something you could do to encourage a young person today? 🙏🏼❤️✌️
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project
Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project1 week ago
I love Mentoring for Leadership! #MDJ

TESTIMONIALS

“The new convict code is a brilliant & unique book that starts by empowering men & women from the toughest prisons, jails, detention centers & rehab facilities to bring about peace from behind the razor wires! I’ve known Kit since 1996 where he studied the Bible with me, he was always a man of faith, conviction and honest passion. THIS is the man CNN, FOX, etc. need to have on to speak about real peace solutions. His 10,000 hours helping to turn around the prison industrial complex is evident on every page. A must read for those dealing race, violence, and addiction issues!”
Speech Thomas

Grammy Award-Winning Rapper, Arrested Development

“Your truth, your experiences, and the awareness that the skin you are in has provided a privilege not afforded to all of us is a catalyst for conversation.  A conversation that you are well equipped to turn into ACTION.  That is what is needed for a time such as this.  Even if people are unaware of your work and the trust that you have earned from all demographics, your genuine spirit is evident in every word.  I know that having you in the fight will help to open hearts and minds, cultivate understanding, and bring people together.  Thank you for your work!”
Joyette M. Holmes

District Attorney, Cobb Judicial Circuit

“These are troubling times we are living in, and keeping a cool head and calm demeanor in all situations is important to our Brain Trust members, all CEOs of Atlanta area companies. Handling conflict is now more important than ever before not only in our companies but in our personal lives as well. Kit Cummings spoke to our membership on this topic of conflict resolution and presented his 7 steps to achieving success. The feedback from our CEO membership was outstanding. I give Kit my highest possible recommendation, and please feel free to contact me to answer any questions you might have.”

Tom Cramer

Founder and Chairman, The Brain Trust

“Kit is intriguing, motivational, and meaningful. He got the KSU basketball team, my staff, and myself to see the light during a very dark time. He is thought-provoking, caring, and charismatic. The connection he has with his audience is bang on! Kit is life-changing, as he always keeps his eye on the ball and stays focused on the message at hand. Pure Inspiration! He’s a Game Changer!”

Agnus Berenato

Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, Kennesaw State University

“Kit Cummings provided the EPA with an outstanding motivational talk that included a range of situations and how to address conflicts. He provided us with engaging scenarios based on his personal experience. His teachings are applicable in many different areas because it comes down to good, simple concepts that include respect, compassion, commonality, and active listening. Thanks Kit!”

Barbara Alfano

Environmental Protection Agency

“Kit’s Protect the Dream program unleashes the leader within by teaching people that they can be agents of change and impact the world around them in a positive way!  Everyone has the power to protect their dreams and keep the hope for a better future. I have witnessed the fruit first hand and I am proud to be a sponsor and supporter of POPP!”

Wayne Dennard

Acworth Police Chief

“I first came to know Kit through his involvement in Douglas County Schools where I served as Superintendent. I was impressed with his dynamic motivational speaking and his ability to reach and inspire people. Since my retirement in 2017, I have had the privilege of introducing POPP to numerous high school principals and superintendents in the metro Atlanta area, which has opened the door for hundreds more students to be reached and changed!”

Dr. Gordon Pritz

Superintendent Douglas County Schools

“Being able to work with Kit Cummings is an honor. His passion fuels me to work harder and dream bigger. This man is changing the world and I am glad I get to be a part of it with him!”

Sharon Mashburn

Juvenile Probation Supervisor

“I am so excited to be part of this powerful partnership between Kit Cummings and North Cobb High School.  The peaceful resolution skills our young people are learning from Power of Peace will empower them to be successful in every part of their life. Thank you Kit!”

Tommy Allegood

Acworth Mayor

“I am so thankful for Kit Cummings and the Power of Peace Project and what the movement is doing to help young people. Four years ago, our family suffered tragic loss with our teen age daughter and our beautiful niece. Since that tragedy, my eyes have been opened to seeing things in the world differently. Kit Cummings has been a great mentor to me and my family and has come along side of us in our journey to help us navigate the unknown.”

Michelle Smith

Grateful Parent

“Kit has a unique ability to connect with people and communities that may have been left behind, discounted or forgotten.  POPP inspires individuals, groups, and organizations to be the influence and the positive change this world needs.  POPP is transforming communities through one young person, one school, and one community at a time.  This program is the real deal!”

James Albright

Director of Parks and Recreation of Acworth

“I really like the leadership focus that the POPP program has brought to our athletic teams at North Cobb High School. Under the guidance of Mr. Cummings, our Warriors have been educated on the characteristics that positive leaders can display each day in our school and community.”

Matt Moody

North Cobb High School Principal

“The first of Kit’s Power of Peace Principles states “I become what I see,” and oh what a sight this program is. Kit Cummings and his team help light a path to success for the brilliant minds of this community. This program illustrates the true meaning of guidance in the most powerful and uplifting way. I am so thankful to be a part of this movement.”

Shelley Elder

Elder Law Firm

“The Power of Peace Project is needed in every high school and University! Kit does an amazing job relating to today’s youth in a relevant and charismatic way. POPP is not a club or a program, it is a movement. Don’t miss out!”

Gary Sylvestri

Milton High Athletic Director

“Kit’s Power of Peace Project is a movement that is impacting many lives. As a law enforcement veteran of 30 years and the former Chief Deputy of a large Sheriff’s Office and jail of 2000+ inmates, I have seen first-hand how powerful this initiative can be for the young people in our community, the individuals in custody in our jails and prisons, as well as the impact POPP is having on our law enforcement officers as well.”

Milton Beck

Retired Chief Deputy, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

“Kit Cummings’s Protect the Dream program helps to empower our people to face challenges head on. POPP is an innovative and inspirational program that turns young men and women into positive role models, and we are proud to support this remarkable program!”

Jesse Evans

Chief Assistant District Attorney

“POPP made a HUGE impact on our football team this season. Kit was able to connect and engage my developing leaders in a way that made them think about important issues and ideas that are much bigger than themselves. Milton football will always be grateful for your dedication and devotion to our team and helping our young men to become better teammates!”

Adam Clack

Milton High School Head Football Coach (2018 7A State Champions)

“I have seen firsthand how Kit can help build up young people and adults alike.  The powerful tools learned in POPP have the potential to bring about long-term positive change for individuals and communities.“

Rich Austin

Milton Police Chief

“Kit Cummings’ POPP program is one of the most inspirational programs that the City of Acworth and it’s Police Department have been involved with. The program has allowed young people from Cobb County to realize they have a place in our community, and by utilizing their talents and getting involved as leaders they make our community a better place for everyone who lives here.”

Brian M. Bulthuis

Acworth City Manager

“POPP is making a difference in young people’s lives in a huge way! Kit Cummings has a passion for this generation and is making a mark by helping students become WHO they really desire to be, and giving them the HOW! Teams, campuses, and futures are being changed because of the passion of POPP. I am honored to be a part of this movement!”

Mike Linch

NorthStar Church Senior Pastor

“Kit is instrumental in making a difference in today’s youth. Our youth are challenged with constant pressure towards gangs, drugs, hate, and violence. POPP gives hope in countering those pressures while helping our youth navigate a positive path.”

Bill Westenberger

Kennesaw Police Chief

“Kit’s Power of Peace Project is an amazing program. I have witnessed the affect it has had on our youth of today. Letting them know how important their position in life is, giving them hope that no matter where they are in life, they can become a leader and make a difference in society. In other words, POPP meets them where they are, and that’s very important to young people. I am very glad and excited to play a small part in this fantastic program!”`+

Tim Houston

Alderman, Acworth City Council

“Kit’s Power of Peace Project has been a phenomenal blessing to us and the prison population at Earnest C Brooks Correctional Facility, as evidenced by half of our population of 1200+ prisoners asking, seeking, and desiring to be a part of the POPP movement. We have seen approximately 2000 inmates complete this powerful project, and violence decreased considerably. Kit keeps real, because Hope is the new Dope.”

Chaplain Onesiphorus Burrel

Michigan Dept. of Corrections

FEATURED ARTICLE

Shattering the pipeline from schools to prisons

 

Kit Cummings was surprised when they called his name.

He’d been invited to the Cobb NAACP annual awards celebration to speak, or so he thought.

The next thing he knew he was smiling for the camera as NAACP past president Deane Bonner and current president Jeriene Grimes placed the 2020 Living the Dream Award into his hands. “I was stunned. This means more than you can imagine,” he said.

It wasn’t the first time he’d taken a stage he wasn’t expecting. Cummings shook the hand of Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, after being asked to take the stage to speak at the Gandhi Global Peace Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Spoke with prison officials around a table in a Ukrainian prison about how the Power of Peace program could transform their population. Stood before a room full of the most dangerous convicts in Georgia as they offered him the opportunity for revenge on the man who had almost killed his son.

Now he has taken a seat at the table with the new Georgia House Study Committee on Youth Gangs and Violence as it seeks effective ways to address this threat in Georgia. Rep. Carl Gilliard, D-Garden City, leads the panel of experts who will take a hard look at how the state is dealing with gang violence and explore the most effective ways to take action, creating new legislation.

Their bill to create a Youth Gang Intervention Task Force (HB885) was presented to the
Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Human Services last week (2.26.20) where it is being amended before submission to the House. There are currently over 70,000 identified, active, affiliated gang members in Georgia, according to Cummings, and current programs are failing to prevent what has become a public safety crisis.

Cummings has also accepted a role on a Cobb County Gang Task Force helping to design a juvenile diversion twelve-month program called “RISING.” This gang accountability court is a first-of-its-kind pilot program designed to shatter the pipeline from schools to prisons.

In his small office upstairs on Marietta Square and next door to an Irish pub, he is surrounded by the totems of his journey. The “Living the Dream” award rests on a shelf directly behind him as he sits at his desk. “Roots” — a burnished, knotted walking stick — leans in a corner, never far out of reach.

Fashioned out of a discarded branch by a homeless man known as “Roots” and decorated with stripes of blood red, black and white, the iconic staff has become a touchstone of redemption. Students will call out its name when Cummings walks through the halls, and inmates gather around the symbol carved out of bent, discarded trash into a symbol of new life, emblazoned with a symbol of peace. The broken branch that went on a world tour.

His work with prisoners is a passion fueled by hundreds of hours spent with some of the most dangerous men behind bars. Men awaiting the needle or the electric chair on death row. Gang leaders feared by, well, everyone.

His Power of Peace Project brings hope where there was none. Using the words of this country’s most inspirational and effective advocate of nonviolence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cummings has successfully brought his program of 40 Days of Peace to prisons around the country. “It’s about the dream,” he says. “They must formulate a dream that’s bigger than themselves.” Instilling hope — whether that is seeing a son again, or finding peace in changing ‘hard time’ to time with purpose — can transform a convict’s life.

While the U.S. accounts for only 5 percent of the planet’s population, it holds 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated. Given these grim statistics, Cummings is also focusing his efforts on those years that come before razor wire and shanks.

The Power of Peace Project (POPP) also provides real world tools and methods to empower teens to achieve their dreams and protect them. “Teams, campuses, and futures are being changed because of the passion of POPP,” says Mike Linch, pastor of NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga.

“I have had the privilege of introducing POPP to numerous high school principals and superintendents in the metro Atlanta area, opening the door for hundreds of students to be reached and changed,” says Dr. Gordon Pritz, former superintendent of Douglas County Schools.

His programs are proof that the paths of the young can be changed, says Cummings.

Paintings crafted by convicts speak silent messages from the walls of his office. In one, a parade of men in prison garb walk toward the viewer down a green path littered with their discarded weapons, drugs, bottles, dice. They are young and old. Black, white, brown. A bearded man in a T-shirt and jeans walks in front, holding a white symbol of peace aloft.

The name on his shirt is Kit.

(By Ellen Kennerly, 404-202-1112)
For more information, call 770-355-4048., Kit@KitCummings.com

kitcummings.com, powerofpeaceproject.com
Kit Cumming’s most recent book “Peace Behind the Wire: A Nonviolent Resolution” is a Benjamin Franklin Digital Award Silver Honoree and the winner of the 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Honorable Mention for Memoir/Autobiography.