Ashland (Oregon, USA): Culture of Peace Commission Launches with World Peace Flame and OSF Oracle


by David Wick

The Ashland Chief of Police, an Oracle from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the World Peace Flame from Wales come together to launch the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission. Monday, September 21st, the United Nations International Day of Peace is the introduction of the historic Ashland Culture of Peace Commission along with the hopes of many people around the world.

Ashland Community Tiles for Peace Wall – Ashland Library Main street

Ashland’s 1st Annual Culture of Peace Festival and Peacebuilding Resource Fair are being held 4:00pm – 8:00pm at the Ashland Elk’s Lodge, Basement Level and alley entrance (Will Dodge Way). Mayor John Stromberg provides a welcome at 5:00 pm, to be followed by an introduction of the Commission members, a lighting ceremony from the World Peace Flame in Wales (bring a candle to participate), predictions for the future of the Commission by the OSF Head Over Heels Oracle (Michele Mais), and a dedicated performance by Dancing People Company.

The Ashland Culture of Peace Commission is unique in the United States, and the world, and is acknowledged and supported by the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace at the United Nations. This culminates two years of work by a local citizens group working with the community and the Ashland City Council to create this one year pilot Commission.

Members were invited through the use of the Pathways To Peace, Peace Wheel ( This process attracted the current fourteen people from various sectors of the community and more will be added. This includes members such as Police Chief Tighe O’Meara, Amy Blossom Manager of the Ashland Library, Editor of the Daily Tidings Newspaper Bert Etling and Joanne Lescher, counselor in Non-Violent Communications. The Commission will soon include students from Ashland High School and Southern Oregon University.

The Ashland Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC), endorsed by the Ashland City Council, is a body of diverse citizens who have a goal of an Ashland that identifies itself as a culture of peace, both as a commitment to itself and a presentation to the world. Essential elements are working with City Government and the Community to maintain and enhance respectful and caring relationships between all sectors of society and the environment upon which they depend. The Commission will work with serious concerns that are facing the Ashland community now, and in the future.

The Peacebuilding Resource Fair will have information and demonstration tables focused on local Peacebuilding resources such as mediation, conflict resolution, Non-Violent Communication, Restorative Justice, Collaborative law, and inner peace practices. There will also be musicians, poetry, and a grand finale dance.

A press conference will be held at 12:00 pm, September 21st with Police Chief O’Meara, Legal Counsel Eric Sirotkin and other Commission members at the ACPC office 33 First St, Suite 1, Ashland (First St/Lithia Way across from the Post Office).

For additional information or contact Executive Director, David Wick 541-552-1061,

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