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Eight Peace Keys in Just One Day!
an article by Joanne Tawfilis

During a whirlwind tour through Southern California I encountered peacemakers who exemplified a complete Culture of Peace. These peacemakers belonged to two groups: My Heroes Project and PeaceMakers Community.

My first stop was at the My Heroes community in Laguna Beach where I met with Director, Jeanne Meyers and a group of activists. The mission of the PeaceMakers community is to enlighten and inspire people of all ages with an ever-growing internet archive of hero stories from around the world. There is overwhelming website participation and dynamic future plans. Participants write and post stories and articles and pictures about their "heroes" on a magical site encouraging research, reading, writing, creative technology use, conceptual thinking, and emotion. A hero can be a famous person or someone beloved to that individual. Check the website to see how participants view heroes representing each peace key, and how "Peace Begins With Them"!

After a two-hour drive through rush hour traffic, we found our way to a Los Angeles correctional facility to meet with PeaceMakers Community. The project is directed by James Beard and Lindsay Wagner (still the Bionic Woman in my eyes). Their vital program starts with training incarcerated men (perpetrators of domestic violence), who in turn participate in weekly "group" sessions. After release they continue seeking guidance, advice, and spiritual support. The stories of struggles and successes from these men (and their families) who maintain strong determination to rid themselves of violent behavior and reclaim their dignity, left me with the thought "Peace Begins With Me".

Although "My Heroes" has a treasure trove of heroes featured on their website, I met some incredible facilitators and participants from the "PeaceMakers Community"--Mighty Heroes in any book. When I tried to click on which of the Eight Peace Keys these groups fit, I just kept clicking on down the line.


Question(s) related to this article:

Groups that contribute to the culture of peace, Can we construct an inventory of them?

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Latest reader comment:

Such an inventory is being constructed for the report to the United Nations from civil society for the midterm of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

For more information, see the website established for the midterm Decade report.

This report was posted on November 22, 2004.