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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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Dena Merriam, Founder and leader of The Global Peace Initiative of Women to receive the Niwano Peace Prize
an article by Niwano Peace Foundation

The 31st Niwano Peace Prize will be awarded to Dena Merriam, for her leadership of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. The International Selection Committee and the Niwano Peace Foundation recognize Dena Merriam’s determined and creative work for peace, and her deep commitment to making the spiritual dimensions of work for peace an integral part of a rich and diverse set of activities that address many of the most critical issues facing today’s world. She is a global leader in bringing together the voices and energy of women who are inspired by their faith so that they truly form the nucleus of an unprecedented global movement. She works tirelessly to ensure that the insights of eastern and western religions come together in a wise balance. The Niwano Peace Prize honors Dena Merriam’s service to humankind in the search for wisdom and for a more just and sustainable world.


photo of Dena Merriam from Amritavarsham

click on photo to enlarge

The presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, May 16th, at 10:30 a.m. In addition to an award certificate, Ms. Merriam will receive a medal and twenty million yen.

To avoid undue emphasis on any particular religion or region, every year the Peace Foundation solicits nominations from people of recognized intellectual and religious stature around the world. In the nomination process, some 600 people and organizations, representing 125 countries and many religions, are asked to propose candidates. Nominations are rigorously screened by the Niwano Peace Prize International Selection Committee, which was set up in May of 2003 on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Niwano Peace Prize. The Committee presently consists of eleven religious leaders from various parts of the world, all of whom are involved in movements for peace and inter-religious cooperation.

Here are some comments by members of the Committee on the selection of Dena Merriam for this year's award:

·Dena Merriam seems to me to be an impressive candidate for the NPP in her work of creating new initiatives for inter-religious reconciliation and peace. I would imagine that the future will involve women as spiritual leaders more and more in bridging the gaps between faith communities. Dena Merriam will certainly eventually receive the kind of recognition she deserves, and the Niwano Peace Prize would bring her efforts fully onto the world stage. (by A. Unterman) • Dena Merriam, a founder of The Global Peace Initiative of Women, has played an important role through her work organizing interfaith dialogue and developing youth leadership programs globally. (by P. Doojai)

The Niwano Peace Foundation established the Niwano Peace Prize to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace, and to make their achievements known as widely as possible. The Foundation hopes in this way both to enhance inter-religious understanding and cooperation and to encourage the emergence of still more persons devoted to working for world peace.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)

DISCUSSION

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How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?,

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Click here for articles since 2016.


This report was posted on March 14, 2014.