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A Grassroots Initiative for Peace – When A Name Doesn’t Matter
an article by Joanne Tawfilis

While attending an organizational meeting of a Southern California grass roots organization (, that didn’t even have a name, it occurred to me that support for a Culture of Peace is moving forward, despite dire headlines we witness from daily newscasts.

The meeting objective was to gather people together who lived in and around the geographic area to discuss the notion that an international multicultural center would be a good thing for their community and the world. This objective was thrilling and as an invited guest, I expected to see only a small handful of people to attend. Instead, a group of more than 60 people showed up to join the round table discussion and to decide what actions they might engage in.

Among them were citizens of all age groups involved in careers ranging from community organization and cultural leaders to local politicians, investment bankers, architects, technical people, artists, and teachers, to name but a few. What was most interesting however, was a proud visible difference in ethnic backgrounds that clearly illustrated a multicultural and interested population. During the evening, someone commented that they felt like they were sitting in the midst of a United Nations meeting.

The meeting was lively and substantive and a clear exchange of ideas was welcomed and ideas began to flourish as people readily signed on to form a coalition and for individual roles required for a series of committee work that needed to be done.

I am confident that they will build their envisioned gathering place of peace and cultural diversity—the group will accept nothing less. The community effort was truly inspiring and most of all, displayed that appreciating that people are different and that everyone has something to contribute to the community was one fine example why Rediscovering Solidarity is one of the eight peace keys.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?,

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Latest reader comment:

The peace movement can become stronger and more effective in two ways: recognizing peace movements in other countries such as Iraq this week, and in the US by continuing the momentum. On April 15th, several actions are planned reminding tax payers how much of their tax dollars go to fund the war machine, April 29, Bruce Gagnon's Global Network vs. Nuclear weapons in Space will meet in NYC, followed by the Mayors for Peace Non-Proliferation Treaty renewal rally in Central Park.
And Jonathan Schell will be speaking at the West Hartford Town Hall on Tuesday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. He is one of the leading philosophers of the peace movement.

This report was posted on November 26, 2006.