Happy International Day of Peace!
¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Paz!
Established in 1981 by the United Nations, www.internationaldayofpeace.org states that “International Day of Peace (‘Peace Day’) is observed around the world each year on the 21st of September as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”
I’ve decided to celebrate the International Day of Peace today through this blog post highlighting some extraordinary peacemakers. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to join me, no matter where you are, by taking a moment to honor the day in your own way, whether it’s sitting in silent meditation, lighting a candle or doing a good deed for a stranger.
MY BIG DREAM: GIVING VOICE TO MY VALUES
As a solopreneur, independent voice actor and singer, one of the things I most value about my life’s work is the freedom to use my voice to communicate my beliefs and intentions. Whether singing with my husband and our Latin band, Sol y Canto, or recording voiceover projects in our studio, I cherish and seek out alignment between my work and my deepest beliefs whenever I can. Today I want to take the opportunity to recognize a few people and organizations that I believe are making a valuable contribution to world peace.
PEACEMAKERS BRIAN AND I DEEPLY ADMIRE
This is a Pope who has made the centerpiece of his papacy to speak for the poor and victims of oppression. Brian and I are really happy to see the Catholic church get involved in trying to make the world a more just and peaceful place. ¡Qué viva el Papa Francis!
The Upstander Project & Coexist
Ever since I met her, I have deeply admired my longtime friend Mishy Lesser, who has dedicated her life to building peace. Her latest endeavor is the Upstander Project (UP). The story of the first truth and reconciliation commission to investigate Native American issues, it prepares teachers and their students to make “othering” socially unacceptable and to interrupt aggressive behavior in schools before it leads to violence. She played an instrumental role in Coexist, an extraordinary award-winning documentary about post-genocide Rwanda that fosters important conversations about how to promote forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. www.upstanderproject.org. I highly recommend it!
EMPOWERING WOMEN’S POLITICAL LEADERS GLOBALLY
Our remarkable friend Tanya Henderson recently founded Mina’s List, which seeks to realize women’s equal and substantive representation in national governments around the world. Check out this amazing article from the Huffington Post, and you’ll be blown away. Or visit www.minaslist.org
Where Social Justice Meets Nature
A gorgeous retreat center near Conway, New Hampshire, World Fellowship is a place to rest, play and learn from inspiring activists who are committed to opening up dialog about things that really matter. A magical spot on beautiful Whitton Pond, World Fellowship is near and dear to our hearts – Brian and I have been singing there one weekend nearly every summer since the late 80’s! Our daughter Alisa took her first steps on the lawn outside the main lodge, and this past August she took the step of doing her own concert there. www.worldfellowship.org
OUR GIFT FOR YOU! ~ UN REGALITO
¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Paz! Brian and I wish for peace globally and peace for you and yours! Here’s a gift of a song we recorded with our band, Sol y Canto in 2007 on our bilingual children’s CD, “El Doble de Amigos/Twice as Many Friends,” with a children’s chorus from our adopted city of Cambridge’s English-Spanish bilingual school, AMIGOS, by beloved folk singer Tom Paxton. We hope you enjoy it! Feel free to share it if so.