Peacemaker Fridays: April 15, 2016

One teen's powerful video steps across social lines; a Passover Seder honors Muslims in Chicago; an ex-diplomat's audacious approach to peacemaking; and celebrating Islam in Montana.

Here are the week's best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace...

Teenager's powerful video shows how to love anyway  
15-year-old Lindsey Hunter has made a powerful statement about what it looks like to step across social lines to lean into another. In her spare time, she created “Silent,” a short film about a bullied deaf student and one girl who steps out to make a difference. Hunter is not deaf, nor are the actors in the film. However, she wrote it based on her own experiences—her dad is blind. Hunter hopes her film will help kids learn to “remain silent” if they have nothing kind to say. Watch more... 


Passover Seder in Chicago dedicated to solidarity with Muslims 

Every year at Passover, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago—a “social justice organization founded by rabbis who marched with Martin Luther King Jr.”—hosts a Freedom and Justice Seder. This year, the Seder focused on Islamophobia “and the importance of standing alongside Muslims during a time filled with hatred.” The event featured Jewish, Christian, and Muslim speakers who discussed the importance of religious solidarity. “As Jews, our collective history of oppression makes us particularly sensitive to people today who face discrimination and bigotry,” says executive director, Judy Levey. “So we stand in solidarity… to say that we’re in this together and we care.” Read more... 

Diplomat: Peacemaking amid violence requires an audacious approach
Former Foreign Service Officer John Graham has had a long history of seeing military responses, diplomacy, and the vast range of government directed peacekeeping solutions. And the world needs something more: “Peace must start in individual human hearts,” he says. “Peacemaking is...not only hard; it can be dangerous,” he added. “The answers to violence can’t be limited to security forces and stable institutions although those are important… We need a… new narrative based on individuals and nations finding a deeper meaning for their existence, one based on service.” Read more...

Interfaith collaboration to celebrate Islam in Montana
At the end of April, the city of Missoula, Montana, will host Celebrate Islam Week. One of the celebration’s sponsors is SALAM, an organization founded by a Jewish student rabbi, Laurie Franklin. Salam is the Arabic word for “peace” and also stands for “Standing Alongside America’s Muslims.” Franklin says, “People can learn from each other if they’re willing to listen a little bit.” One of the driving beliefs of the celebration is that “you can’t make peace if you’re talking with people who agree with you all the time.” Read more... 


Stay tuned for more hope-filled peacemaker stories next Friday!

About Kristin Giuliani

Storyteller and program developer at PLC; wife to a would-be farmer; mom to three crazy girls, including one with a mended heart; lover of quiet, camping, and the Great Reconciler.

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Peacemaker Fridays: April 15, 2016
Peacemaker Fridays: April 15, 2016
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