This bulletin is inspired by the recent article by Marianne Perez de Fransius who has started a "peace superhero series" on the Internet. This raises important questions for our time, "What is a peace hero? and What is good leadership for a culture of peace?"

Perhaps the best example of peace heroes and leadership at the present moment of history is "the Elders" founded by Nelson Mandela and including a number of Nobel Peace Laureates and former Presidents who work for peace and reconciliation around the world, and especially in Africa. In their biannual meeting, which took place recently in South Africa, they discussed the need for ethical leadership and what it requires. CPNN readers know the work of the Elders through articles concerning dialogue in South Sudan, recognition of Palestine, peace efforts by women in Great Lakes region, and protecting internet freedom.

Once again, as they have done now each year since 2009 to mark the campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the Nobel Women's Initiative provides biographies of 16 women leaders involved in local action for peace and justice around the world, and in particular to stop violence against women. CPNN carries articles in November from the first four women to be cited this year: Hania Moheeb from Egypt; Visaka Dharmadasa from Sri Lanka; Julienne Lusenge from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Marjorie Lafontant from Haiti.

Four other recent CPNN articles concern the work of other true peace heroes.

- In India, Ela Bhatt (actually a member of the Elders) who organized a trade union of poor, self-employed women.

- In Bangladesh, Fazle Hasan Abed runs the world's largest NGO, a creative self-help program centered on mothers and their families.

- In Afghanistan, Sima Samar established and manages the Shudada Organization which has schools and clinics focusing on women and girls.

- And the widely acknowledged ‘father of peace research", Johan Galtung, originally from Norway, is celebrated in a book of his key essays collected in a book for the first time.


The Elders debate ethical leadership (South Africa)

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All of these individuals illustrate well the description of good leadership provided at the meeting of the Elders by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and international leader for health and sustainable development: "To be bold; to have the courage of your convictions; and to think long-term, not short-term or for political expedience."

Last year, CPNN asked a group of young people who was their hero at the present time, and one name stood out: Julian Assange, for his boldness and courage to blow the whistle on the secrets of the culture of war and promote the free flow of information which is essential for a culture of peace. Recently, Edward Snowden has been recognized for the same reasons. He illustrates the fact that "The power of a single person can change the world."

The role of the individual to change the world is especially marked in our time by singers and musicians who devote their music to a culture of peace. In recent weeks, CPNN has carried articles on music for culture of peace by Rochy Ameneiro from Cuba, José Antonio Abreu from Venezuela, Gilberto Gil from Brazil and Norman Granz in the United States. One should also mention in this context the music for Israeli/Palestinian solidarity by Daniel Barenboim.

More and more people are providing leadership for a culture of peace, and increasingly it is women who are involved. This bodes well for the future as their consciousness will be transmitted as mothers, daughters and sisters. There are so many peace leaders now that one website lists biographies, quotes and links for one thousand "heroes for a better world."


The Peace Superheroes Series


Exploring new ways of connecting people with nature


16 Days of Activism: Meet Marjorie Lafontant, Haiti


Campaign: My Body is a Canvas, Not a Target

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on peace education

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on sustainable development

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on human rights

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on women's equality


Belém hosts First Culture of Peace Encounter (Brazil)


Building competences to fight hate speech online


Culture of Peace Congress calls for justice and equality (Bolivia)


Under the Same Sun: A film for Israel and Palestine

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on democratic participation

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on tolerance and solidarity

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on free flow of information

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on disarmament

Please send us articles about the work of your organization and other culture of peace news. (see We look forward to hearing from you.

Peace, through struggle,

The CPNN Team