I was recently honoured by being nominated for and becoming a finalist for the International category of the YMCA Power of Peace awards.
See a YMCA Power of Peace clip here.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, who has a name like liquid poetry, was the captivating keynote speaker and winner in the emerging leaders category. Nazanin is a human rights activist, as well as the co-founder and President of Stop Child Executions which she started when she realized there is a sobering 140 children on death row in Iran alone.
The crowd was entertained by performances by local artists including Kunaka Youth Marimba, Miyanda (African Drumming and Dance), and Joe Given (a local award winning teenage singer, songwriter, and performer). It’s a toss up which is more captivating, watching Joe perform with his shaggy mane of curls or listening to his lyrics (he sings about drawing a bigger circle to be more inclusive).
I brought my family to the celebration and the true indicator of what a great night it was was when my 12 year old turned to me and said ‘mom you should be nominated every year, this is so cool’.
Peace to me is more than the absence of conflict. It’s the space and freedom for significant individual and community similarities to shine as well as the space and freedom for differences that make a difference to be respected.
What does peace mean to you?