As we highlight the peace efforts of individuals and organisations across the globe, we start by looking at a peace event that took place in the United States of America.
On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, the community of Kansas City held a peace walk on Thursday to embrace the families of homicide victims in their city. The organisers said they wanted the families to know that they are supported by the community and that they are not alone.
Community leaders, law enforcement and anyone who had been affected by violence received special invites to join the peace walk.
Attendees were taught ways to help combat violence and they heard from guest speakers such as Kamisha Stanton who is the Violent Crimes Program Coordinator for Kansas City. Stanton’s message was that communities that are built to be strong have less violence. Therefore one of the purposes of the peace walk was to establish a sense of community.
Florida State University received a special visit from Yemen’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman today. She will spend the rest of the weekend with students from across the region of Florida who will be attending the PeaceJam’s annual conference.
PeaceJam is an international education program built around Nobel Peace Prize laureates who work personally with the youth to pass on the spirit, skills and wisdom they embody.
It aims to inspire a new generation of fearless leaders who will transform not only themselves, but also their local communities and the world.
Karman received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in the non-violent struggle for the women of Yemen to have the right to participate without limit in peace-building. She has since continued to support female journalists, as she herself is a journalist, and has spurred fellow Yemenis to peacefully protest against government corruption and injustice.
Pope Francis wants to host a peace retreat for the leaders of South Sudan. The leaders would be: President Salva Kiir, First Vice President (VP) and former rebel leader Riek Machar, and the other four VPs.
South Sudan is the world’s youngest country since they only gained independence in 2011. However, the glory of that independence was short lived as a dispute between President Kiir and First VP Machar led to a civil war only two years later.
In September 2018 the warring sides came together to sign a power-sharing deal that saw them amalgamate their manpower to form a national army in order to move forward and form a unified government. That, however, has not happened yet, hence the Pope’s idea of a peace retreat that he hopes will help the leaders realise their responsibility as politicians and authority figures.