Peacemaker Fridays: June 10, 2016

High school senior's charcoal portraits wage peace in Boston; Muslim doctors open free clinic and put their faith into action; and Minnesota Christians wish Muslims a blessed Ramadan.

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

High school senior sketches his classmates to wage peace 
High school boys don’t always have the best reputation for selfless acts of peacemaking. But Phillip Sossou, a senior at Boston Latin School, spent four months and hundreds of hours of his free time defying that stereotype. From February until May, he spent every evening after school sketching charcoal portraits of all 411 of his fellow graduating seniors. Last week, he and his friends hung them around the school as a graduation present to his peers. The response from his classmates was overwhelmingly positive. The past year at Boston Latin has been especially challenging, filled with racial tensions. Sossou said that the student body feels "really fractured." So he waged peace in the best way he knew how: by trying to "portray everyone in a positive light." Sossou hopes his work can "bring about a sense of community." (Thanks for the story tip, Branden Harvey!) Read more... 


Muslim doctors put their faith into action and open a free clinic in Oklahoma
The Shifa Free Clinic in Oklahoma City opened this past week, just ahead of the beginning of Ramadan. The clinic is staffed by Muslim doctors who volunteer their time. "Faith is useless unless translated into practice," said Dr. Zahid Cheema, a local neurologist. "We all know that healing is from God, God Almighty alone. We are instruments of the Healer." The clinic, which is operated in partnership with the Islamic Circle of North America Relief program, joins the already existing food pantries, educational programs, counseling, and refugee services as a way to "show that Muslim Americans are 'equal shareholders' in the nation, despite anti-Muslim rhetoric that says otherwise." Read more... 

Minnesota Christians stand with Muslims, wishing them a blessed Ramadan
Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, began this past week. For many Muslims, this time of fasting, prayer, sharing, and celebrating may feel overshadowed by vocal anti-Muslim sentiment . However, Christians in Minnesota are blessing their Muslim neighbors by sharing a visible message of love and peace. They are printing, distributing, and posting lawn signs that read, "To our Muslim neighbors: Blessed Ramadan." Watch here... 

Do you have a story to share? We would love to hear how you and your community are waging peace right where you are. And 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: June 10, 2016
Peacemaker Fridays: June 10, 2016
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