The International Day of Peace was dedicated by the United Nations as a day devoted to uniting people in pursuit of peace. We are so grateful to all those who help shine a light on the unsung heroes who work for peace by sharing essays, art, films and music with our global learning community. When we can join together and hear the stories of these real life heroes it is a powerful experience and one that we feel important to share...
MY HERO International Day of Peace 2014 @ Moss Theater - New Roads School
Mohammed Sidibay shared his unique journey from child soldier to peace activist. Forced into slavery as a child soldier at age 5, suffering humiliation, cruelty, abuse and violence, Mohamed Sidibay shared the stages of his own personal growth and enlightenment: forgiveness, compassion, purification, serenity, surrender and finally escape. As part of the program Mohamed Sidibay introduced the audience, "to some of the people who inspire me to be the voice of the voiceless, to be an activist, to keep the faith...the people who remind us, in Anne Frank's words, that "nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world."
"To tell the Truth," is the resounding answer to many of the questions posed at the MY HERO Peace Event, including what each one of us can do to achieve peace. At the Peace celebration, Robert Shutterly was introduced as a peace activist who, through his brilliant artistry as a portrait painter, tells the history of American heroes who have embodied courage, honesty, tolerance, generosity, wisdom and compassion throughout our nation's history by virtue of their "truth telling." These Americans, who "tell the truth" carry the legacy of what Shetterly explained during the MY HERO Peace Event, as "the responsibility of all of us, all of us, to try to make a safer and more peaceful world."
As part of the Peace Event, Mohamed Sidibay introduced his hero Erin Gruwell, the author of The Freedom Writers Diary, the first book Mohamed read after arriving in the United States following his rescue. Gruwell was praised for her educational program which teaches tolerance, compassion and peace in the classroom to students who, like Mohamed, are all too familiar with poverty and violence, but who, unlike Mohamed grew up in United States. Gruwell told Mohamed how proud she was of him and his amazing journey to peace.
As Sidibay points out in the MY HERO Peace Event, one of the biggest challenges facing humanity is how to forge peace, transcend boundaries and unite people in order to educate the human race on how to save our planet. He asks: how can we change our behavior so we learn to protect and preserve our earth's limited natural resources? Award winning filmmaker, musician, technology wizard and visionary Kenji Williams answers this question by offering up his multi media project "BELLA GAIA". Translated as "Beautiful Earth", Bella Gaia must be experienced to be believed. It constitutes a collaboration with institutions such as NASA, the Smithsonian, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It is being shown in venues around the world, changing lives one by one by the very experience it imparts to the viewer. Williams's concept is to combine in a synchronistic sensory experience photos, film, music, and scientific data including views of our planet from distinct vantage points such as astronauts in outer space, from the ocean itself, the rivers, the animals. The effect, which is magical, is to impart and transmit the sense of oneness between the observer and what is being observed.
The depth of this witness state gained by the observer, results in creating a direct relationship between the observer (earth inhabitant) and the living, breathing " Bella Gaia," which is being inhabited. Neuroscientists have discovered that this reduction- i.e. the observer and the observed become one, creates the neurological transmission necessary to create a loving relationship between our planet and its inhabitants such that each of us experiencing the connection, will forevermore be changed. We will gain respect, love, tenderness and empathy for our planet (as a parent has for its own child) and in turn will we be transformed into stewards of the earth. The end result is that each of us will become physically linked and will act toward our planet in a way to protect, defend and save our resources. Kenji Williams, through his brainchild "BELLA GAIA," promotes peace and has become one of The MY HERO PROJECT's celebrated Peace Heroes.
Ron Kovic, the Vietnam war veteran who became a peace activist upon his return home from Vietnam and whose life and heroism are the subject of the award winning film "Born on the Fourth of July", appeared at the Peace Event to announce this year's winner of The MY HERO International Film Festival Peace Prize. Kovic selected the film "Blessed is the Peacemaker" which examines a Baltimore outreach program in which former gang members mentor local youth to give up their tendency to commit crimes. The result of the program was to drastically reduce the incidence of violent crimes in that city. Kovic gave a moving speech at the MY HERO Peace Event , reminded his audience that the trademark of a peacemaker is courage, to stand up for one's beliefs, to take risks for what one believes in, to be willing to accept the consequences of one's truths.
Organizer created on 1/12/2015 2:13:18 PM by
Last edited 11/1/2018 12:59:33 AM by Jeanne Meyers