Saturday, May 29, 2010

“Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will be transformed,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. You water seeds of anger and violence by deciding to stay angry and act violently. You water seeds of joy and peace by deciding to be peaceful, no matter what is happening to you. Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart, and then respond in a nonviolent way

Thich Nhat Hanh.

Peace to You and Yours withLove

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hometownlife Newspapers Reports the 2010 Midwest Peace Conference

Thank you Hometownlife Newspapers for the very informative feature article in today's (May23, 2010) newspapers on the 2010 Midwest Peace Conference. The supporting photos depict the dedicated supporters of a Department of Peace and Nonviolence.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it."

Mark Twain

Peace to You and Yours with Love

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Midwest Peace Conference Was a Huge Success!

Livonia was the destination of choice as Peace emissaries from five Midwestern states and throughout Michigan attended the Midwest Regional Department of Peace Conference hosted by The Citizens for Peace. The May 14 – 16 weekend event, held at Madonna University, attracted more than 100 advocates of Peace and non-violence from all walks of life.
With the conference theme being “Making Peace a Priority: Vision; Experience; Practice,” conference organizer Colleen Mills created a weekend program that exuded passion and humor with several presentations evoking tears from more than one member of the enthusiastic audience. “We wanted a balanced program with hands on activities and useful ideas that they can return home with” said retired Detroit teacher Colleen Mills, President of the Citizens for Peace.
Highlight of the conference was auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton’s thought provoking and comprehensive analysis of the consequences of war and the history of peaceful overtures in the U.S.
A surprise guest was Congressman John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee, who came unannounced Sunday, and heard Bishop Gumbleton. Colleen Mills reminded the Congressman of the Citizens for Peace request that he work to get a “Peace and Non-violence” category added to the Library of Congress. He brought the house down when he promised to have Bishop Gumbleton meet with President Obama.
Focus of the opening Friday night activities was the need for legislation to prevent youth violence – The Youth Promise Act. Polly Anna Burnette-Egan, president of the Schoolcraft College Peace Alliance, recognized as the most active group in the nation, reported on the National Student Peace Alliance Conference in Austin, Texas. Hers as well as that of two other club officers’ transportation was funded by Citizens for Peace.
Colleen Mills opened Saturday’s program with the overview of the Department of Peace legislation. Other activities and topics ranged from “Students Empowering Students” by Northville’s Kevin Szawala to “Sharing - Idea Exchange” led by attorney Dennis Mazurek of Redford, who was responsible for initiating the first City Council endorsements for the Department of Peace, now numbering more that 38 nationwide.
A special video from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, author of the Department of Peace Bill, was viewed.
Restorative Practices, a technique of using peer influence in “Conferencing Circles” with adult facilitators, as a means of combating bullying behavior, was graphically demonstrated by Livonia resident Rosemary Doyle and a group of volunteers who played the roles of involved sixth graders and school personnel.
Chicago based journalist and Tribune Media Service Editor Robert Koehler led the group in putting their passion for peace into words. Another Chicagoan, Antony Adolf, author of the book “Peace: A World History”, discussed how we can prepare for a “Department of Peace.” Illinois State Coordinator of the Department of Peace Campaign, Karen Johnson, explained the Peace Alliance’s Strategic Plan.
Popular meditation teacher, Kathy Henning of Livonia, closed the main part of the day with a meditative experience.
The presentation of the Upper Penninsula’s Sue Belanger was by definition a unique “hands on” activity. She supplied all those attending with a 108 piece “Global Peace(s)” Puzzle, a depiction of earth from outer space. Then, working in teams of 6-8 members, the audience completed the puzzle as Sue narrated techniques for peaceful teamwork.
Westland participant Jeanette Scott described the conference as “awesome!” A Missouri PHD who attended with two of her students vowed to put into practice immediately her newly learned peace methods. One student said “This was a transformative experience for me. My life will never be the same!”
Another Livonia resident observed people from Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and all over Michigan will be talking about the wonderful hospitality shown here, as well as peace.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mourning and suffering -- with both experiences there is a loss or absence of something valued or precious. In suffering there is the absence and a rejection of the absence. Such rejection always involves a story or thought about the loss. In mourning, there is the absence held with the preciousness of that which is held dear. There is deep sadness, but it is held with an awareness of the presence of fullness of what is precious.

Robert Gonzales

Peace to You and Yours with Love

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Congratulations 2010 Essay Contest Winners !
High School Division
First Place Winner: Amany Killawi
Second Place Winner: Zeinab Bazzi
Third Place Winner: Doaa Al-Howaishy
All three winners attend Star International Academy
College Division
First Place Winner: Polly Anna Burnette-Egan, Schoolcraft College
Second Place Winner: Christa Mann, Davenport University
Third Place Winner: Rebekah Terry, Davenport University
Cash Awards
First Place Winners: $250
Second Place Winners: $100
Third Place Winners: $ 50

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Citizens for Peace Meeting Highlights the Work of Riane Eisler

The keynote presentation Riane Eisler gave at the National Department of Peace Conference last year will be viewed at the Tuesday, May 11th Citizens for Peace meeting at Unity of Livonia at 7 pm. The theme was “From Domination to Partnership: Building Foundations for Peace”.
As a young girl, Riane and her family narrowly escaped Nazi Germany. Her exposure to extreme violence led her on a quest to change the violence motivated by domination. Dr. Eisler is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children.

Dr. Eisler is internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future and her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics – hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking.”
In her talk, Dr. Eisler says “we must shift from the focus on family values to valuing families.” She believes the real wealth of a nation is caring for its people and nature. The emphasis on creating “caring economics” will be clarified in her talk.
The meeting is open to the public. It is an opportunity to learn from a brilliant woman who has dedicated her life to research and promotion of a better world. For more information call Colleen Mills at 734-425-0079.