Monday, December 24, 2012

"I AM" Film starts the new year

Citizens for Peace Show Film “I AM” at Jan. 8th Meeting

The public is invited to view the 2011 film “I AM” at the Jan. 8th Citizens for Peace meeting at Unity of Livonia at 7 p.m. The film asks two central questions: “What’s wrong with the world?” and “What can we do to fix it?” Successful Hollywood director Tom Shadyac wrote, directed and narrated the film after a bicycle accident changed his life. His journey from materialism to purpose took him from living in a 17,000 square foot mansion to happily living in a trailer.

On his quest for answers to the root causes of the problems in our world, Shadyac interviews scientists, psychologists, authors, philosophers, and others, including Desmond Tutu, Howard Zinn, Lynne McTaggert, Thom Hartman and Noam Chomsky. He discovers scientific evidence that we are hardwired for connection and compassion; and that our power comes by being able to cooperate rather than compete. Join us in viewing this thoughtful and uplifting film!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

AMAZING PEACE by Maya Angelou

It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war.  But true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait awhile with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.

We, the Jew and Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you to stay while with us
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look behond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To traanslate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace.  We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace.  We look at each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:
           Peace, My Brother
           Peace, My Sister
           Peace, My Soul

Rosemary Doyle

Saturday, December 15, 2012


                       May the spirit of peace fill your home 
                                       this holiday season!

                 Let's dedicate ourselves to work for peace 
                                       in the new year!

                     Thank you for being a soldier of peace! 

                                      George and Colleen 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Citizens for Peace on the Radio

What an Exiting Year of Peace We Our Planning!!

It was fun talking to Annette at Body Mind Spirit Radio yesterday morning.
I got to talk about all of the great plans the Citizens for Peace have coming up!
I'm very excited about sharing another year of peacemaking with you!
Click here to listen:

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kim Redigan Talk on Her Visit to Haiti

 Kim Redigan and a Book Exchange at our Dec. 11th Meeting!

An educator, activist, mother, writer and advocate of active nonviolence, discusses her passion for peace with the Citizens for Peace as well as the public at Unity of Livonia Tuesday, December 11th at 7 p.m.

Kim Redigan, of Dearborn Heights, who teaches at U of D High School, will tell of her recent trip to Haiti where she participated in a Peace Camp for the children living in Cite Soleil, a shantytown outside of Port-au-Prince. Her first trip to Haiti took her to the mountainous area for a celebration of the first college graduating class in rural Haiti.
With the two different perspectives of education in Haiti, Kim will share her experiences and impressions of education in Haiti.

Kim also teaches Social Justice at a two week Peace Camp every summer in Detroit. Her passion for peace has taken her to the Middle East with the Michigan Peace team three times in the last ten years. She is a nonviolence trainer with the Michigan Peace Team and writes for their newsletter. Kim serves on the board of Pax Christi MI; the Michigan Coalition of Human Rights; Southeastern MI Jobs with Justice; and is on the Coordinating Committee of the Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network. She is a peace ambassador with an extensive background of peace activism and will give a dynamic presentation on education in Haiti.

There will also be a Book Exchange after the presentation.  Anyone bringing a favorite book to trade can select another book to take home.  Unity of Livonia is located at 26880 Five Mile Road. All are welcome.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Steve Deasy Concert

Steve Deasy's  "Let Me Make Peace" Concert

Here's the link to our 9th Anniversary Concert with Steve Deasy!

Thanks Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala for recording this fun evening!

(Steve Deasy Concert)

Compassionate Citizen Award

Caroline and Jerry Trout Receive the First Compassionate Citizen Award

What a wonderful evening it was giving the Compassionate Citizen Award to Caroline and Jerry Trout!

Here's the link (thanks to Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala!)

(Compassionate Citizen Award Presentation)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank You Steve Deasy!

What a great concert Steve performed for the Citizens for Peace 9th Anniversary!!

Our 9th Anniversary was a magical evening thanks to the wonderful music of Steve Deasy.
He designed the concert for the Citizens for Peace. He played the piano, guitar and harmonica;
and sang his own songs as well as songs from fellow songwriters. The concert was full of peace songs including his original song "Let Me Make Peace" and "Imagine". Steve sang some hilarious songs, as
well as songs that brought a few tears. If you would like to buy his CD, let me know.
Giving Caroline & Jerry Trout our first Compassionate Citizen Award was so special. Caroline was
surrounded by her family and friends. Let's hope we can follow Caroline & Jerry's example and be
more compassionate in 2013.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Steve Deasy Will Perform the Concert on Tuesday!

Steve Deasy will be singing the "Let Me Make Peace" Concert for the 9th Anniversary Celebration of the Citizens for Peace Tuesday, November 13th at Unity of Livonia at 7 p.m. Julie Beutel is too sick to sing on Tuesday. She suggested Steve might be able to do the concert; and luckily, he can!!  Steve plays the piano, guitar, and harmonica. He writes and sings funny, thought provoking, and inspiring music. His performance will both entertain and involve all of us.  Steve will have his CD's available for purchase at the concert. For a sampling of Steve's music, visit his website:
See you Tuesday!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Julie Beutel Concert for Peace

Julie Beutel Concert for Peace Celebrates 9th Anniversary of the Citizens for Peace

The public is invited to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the Citizens for Peace and enjoy a Concert for Peace with local peace troubadour Julie Beutel on Tuesday, November 13th at Unity of Livonia at 7 p.m.

Julie Beutel is a singer, guitarist, teacher, mother, and peace activist who spent many years living and working in several European and Central American countries.  She worked with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua during the war for almost two years. She has performed before 20,000 people in D.C.; and smaller audiences in her many concerts held in her home, coffee houses, schools, nursing homes, peace rallies, and numerous fund raisers for many charities. Julie has the ability to make you cry, laugh out loud, or squirm.  Her voice is beautiful and rich.  Her performances are personal, intimate and fun.  She tells stories, cracks jokes, and shares her passion for the truth. She loves to sing and perform more than almost anything else. Her audiences enjoy her and send the love back in a mutual exchange of joy.

The Citizens for Peace will present their first Compassionate Citizen Award honoring
Caroline and Jerry Trout.  When Caroline’s cousin and her husband were killed in an accident, they left five children including a toddler.  Caroline and Jerry adopted all five children to add to their family of two children. At Jerry Trout’s recent funeral service, their now adult children expressed their love, gratitude and admiration for both of their parents, showing that compassionate action is like a boomerang – it comes back to the sender. Telling stories of local heroes like Caroline and Jerry will hopefully inspire all of us to act compassionately in our own lives.

Following the concert, the celebration will end with participants enjoying an anniversary cake. 
All are welcome. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dr. David Connell Talk

Forgiveness: The Path to Peace

We enjoyed hearing Dr. David Connell's talk on forgiveness at our October meeting.
It is worth listening to again. Thanks to Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala, we have the recording.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Day of Peace Was a Very Special Day!!

Citizens for Peace volunteers show up to talk to the participants of the ONE PEACE celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace at the Livonia Civic Center Library on Sat. Sept. 22nd.

What a fun day it was! The Gemini Concert had everyone from toddlers to seniors smiling, singing, clapping, laughing, and enjoying the great peace songs, stories, and folk songs. Music was sure the universal language of peace at this event.

Participants enjoyed viewing the Peace Pals International Art Display, browsing the peace tables, and creating peace art.

Thanks to everyone who attended and a special thank you to the Citizens for Peace members who helped make it such a successful, friendly, memorable day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

ONE PEACE Celebrates the UN International Day of Peace with a Family Event

The GEMINI SONGS OF PEACE CONCERT is the highlight of the fifth annual ONE PEACE celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace on Saturday September 22nd from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Livonia Civic Center Library Auditorium.

The family concert begins at 2:00 PM. and is a fun performance that will delight everyone from preschoolers to seniors. Gemini's twin brother musicians, Sandor and Laszlo, have been sharing their joy and musical talents for many years. They will engage the audience with a blend of memorable songs of peace, as well as folk songs from around the world. It will be an experience that will move our hearts, feet, and voices!

ONE PEACE began five years ago to bring people together to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace. The planning committee collaborated on the ONE PEACE mission: to inspire and motivate people to come together as ONE human family to generate inner peace and create a boundless world landscape of compassion, hope, love and PEACE.

Visitors will view the Peace Pals International Art Exhibit showing children's art from 65 countries. This colorful display expresses the vision "May Peace Prevail on Earth" from young people around the world.

There will be hands on activities for children including coloring a peace picture and decorating a peace sign.  Citizens for Peace members will be reading to children from the many books on peace from the Children’s Peace Collection donated to the library. 

Informational tables will be set up in the atrium.  The United Nations Association of Greater Detroit; The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Swords into Plowshares Peace Gallery; and the Citizens for Peace will have displays and unique items for sale.

ONE PEACE 2012 will be an opportunity to celebrate peace through art, music, stories, activities, information sharing, and more!  There will be something for families, friends, neighbors, teachers, students, and everyone desiring a more peaceful world.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

October 9, 2012 Meeting

Press Release

Contact:  Ann Abdoo
Organization: Citizens for Peace
Telephone: 734-748-8309

Forgiveness – the Path to Peace

Learn how to forgive yourself and others at the Citizens for Peace meeting on October 9, 2012 at 7 pm at Unity of Livonia, 26880 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan (east of Middlebelt).
Free yourself from the bonds of negativity at an experiential program conducted by Dr. David Connell. With over forty years of clinical practice, Dr. Connell will explain the psychological and spiritual aspects of forgiveness.  Using the teachings of native people and shamans, he will show you step by step how to achieve a state of forgiveness.  Come to this very special program to participate or observe. 

Dr. Connell is a clinical psychologist trained in and practitioner of Transpersonal Psychology,    a discipline which blends psychotherapy and spirituality.  His personal quest for spiritual growth includes seventeen years of formal Christian education, thirty-four years of training and practice in Siddha Yoga, utilizing meditation and Kundalini awakening. 

He has travelled to Europe, India and parts of the United States to study with Gurus, Mother Theresa, Ram Das, the Dali Lama and others who teach from a holistic perspective.  This perspective holds that we are all mind, body, spirit entities.  For the past fifteen years he has been training and practicing and incorporating the teachings of native peoples and Shamans.  

Come and experience your own forgiveness.   


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Colleen Mills on Body Mind Spirit Radio

It was fun talking to Annette on the radio about all of the great summer activities of the Citizens for Peace and the super events coming up! I'd love to hear your comments. Peace, Colleen
Click HERE to listen.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

September 11th Meeting Highlights the Nonviolent Peace Collection!

On this solemn day, Citizens for Peace members will share their readings and reports from a variety of the books donated to the Library Network. The Nonviolent Peace Bibliography contains over 630 titles! The books can be found at the Livonia Civic Center Library. The adult collection has its separate space on the second floor of the library. There are also many children's books in the Children's section of the library.
We have also donated books to the Commerce Township, Redford and Westland Libraries. It is one way the Citizens for Peace are contributing to making a shift from the focus on war to the many aspects of peace. Join us for an inspiring meeting at 7 o'clock at Unity of Livonia.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Citizens for Peace Dedicate a Peace Pole!

George & Colleen were happy to share their Peace Poll with the Citizens for Peace!
Citizens for Peace members read their favorite quotes as part of the dedication.
Peace Troubadour, Cecilia St. King, concluded the dedication ceremony with her beautiful songs.
We not only dedicated the Peace Pole, but we committed ourselves to continue
our work for peace!

We joined the 200,000 Peace Poles in over 200 countries with the wish "May Peace Prevail on Earth". Our Peace Pole expresses that sentiment in 8 languages: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Bantu (South African), Indian, English, and Lakota Sioux.

Thanks to everyone who participated!
George & Colleen

Great Article in the Observer!

Click Here to read.

Thanks to Lynda Herman, Sharon Brand, George Mills, Maryanne McCallister, Dottie Ochala, Linda Lieder, Paul Castillo and Janice Allen for their contribution to a fun day!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dottie, Janice, Linda & George preparing lunch for the participants in PEACE, LOVE & YOGA Day

PEACE, LOVE & YOGA Day was a big success!!

The peace and love energy was palpable at the Peace, Love and Yoga Day sponsored by the Yoga Association of Greater Detroit (YAGD) and the Citizens for Peace on Saturday, August 25th at the Livonia Senior Center. Lynda Herman, president of the YAGD, Sharon Brand, yoga instructor at the Senior Center and other locations, and Colleen Mills, president of the Citizens for Peace planned and hosted the all day celebration.

Lynda Herman put out requests for yoga and meditation teachers to volunteer their talents for the special day. Karen Farkas, Lynda and Sharon’s yoga teacher, was asked to be the keynote speaker. Karen shared her story of how discovering the practice of yoga saved her life. After a very difficult time in her life, she responded to a notice about a yoga class. It was the inspiration she needed to turn her life around. As a yoga teacher for 40 years, Karen has influenced countless others to live mindfully through the practice of yoga and meditation. She encouraged the attendees to take the practice off their mats and into their daily lives by looking at all they see as if for the first time; really hearing as if it’s the first sound; noticing the taste of food before swallowing; appreciating the smells of the earth; being aware of the whole body in space; walking, sitting, moving with awareness; and paying attention to the wonder and beauty of the world.

The day, (8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.), included classes for all levels of yoga practice, from beginners to advanced practitioners. There was Mindful Yoga with Mimi Holland-Moritz; Sun Salutations with June McCarthy; Chair Yoga with Christine Walbridge; The Five Tibetans with Diane Siegel-Divita; and Flow with Peace, Love and Yoga with Sharon Brand.

Kathy Bindu Henning led a session on Present Moment Meditation. A devotee of meditation for 35 years, Kathy teaches classes at various places around the metro area, including the Livonia Senior Center and Schoolcraft College.

Lunch was prepared by George Mills and volunteers from the Citizens for Peace. After lunch, Colleen Mills shared some thoughts on her practice of yoga and meditation.

“Besides the obvious effect of keeping our bodies fit, flexible and balanced, yoga and meditation helps us to focus; reduce stress; block out the world; enrich one’s spirit; turn off the chatter in our brain; go to an experiential peace zone; and open the heart chakra – the seat of peace, harmony, laughter and love.” Colleen congratulated everyone on choosing love. She discussed the four needs of the heart: attention; affection; appreciation and acceptance. “Developing a yoga and meditation practice fulfills these four needs” she said.

After lunch, yoga teacher Jan Chekirda provided mandalas and markers to the participants. The result was a variety of colorful expressions, each as unique as snowflakes. It was a relaxing, artistic meditation. Also, The Happiness Prescription video was shown and viewers received the wisdom of Deepak Chopra on the keys to happiness. He shared the research that the happiest people are those who make others happy. Colleen Mills thanked everyone and encouraged participants to take the love and peace energy generated from Peace, Love and Yoga Day back to their families and communities and share some loving kindness with everyone they meet, starting with the easiest form of peace work: a smile!

For more information on yoga or meditation classes or the activities of the Citizens for Peace visit the websites,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TED Mark Bittman "What's Wrong With What We Eat"

Colleen Mills, Citizens For Peace president showed the TED video by Mark Bittman "What's Wrong With What We Eat". Several attendees wanted to see it again so this post is for everyone who would like to see the video again or for the first time. While the presentation was made in 2007 it is still relevant today.

Optimist Creed in Memory of Gerry Trout

Tonight we honored Gerry Trout one of our members who passed away last week by all in attendance at the vegetarian annual meeting reciting The Optimist Creed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Citizens for Peace Annual Vegetarian Potluck

Our Annual Vegetarian Potluck is Tuesday, August 14th at 6:30 p.m.
Every year we celebrate our summer bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables with
our vegetarian potluck. We consider the impact our food choices have on our
world. After our dinner, we will view a presentation by Mark Bittman on the
American Diet. Bring a dish to share. See you on Tuesday!

Colleen Mills
Thank you to the committee for organizing a series of events around the annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Day! The connection between our expenditures on maintaining and upgrading our nuclear arsenal and our current economic downturn was eloquently made by Rev. Bullock, Dr. Fred Pearson and Kae Halonan.

Here is the link to the Hiroshima press conference article in the Michigan Citizen.

Friday, August 03, 2012


Celebrate the Day!

The Yoga Association of Greater Detroit & The Citizens for Peace are presenting a special day of Movement, Mandala coloring, The Happiness Prescription Movie, Meditation, Guest Speakers Karen Farkas & Colleen Mills, Shopping & Lunch!

The day begins at 8:30 am with light refreshments & browsing the tables.
Karen Farkas will give a presentation at 9:00 am.
Session A, from 9:30 - 10:30 is a choice of Sun Salutation Variations or Mindful Yoga.
Session B, from 10:45 - 11:45 is a choice of Chair Yoga or Present Moment Meditation.

Lunch is included with the $35.00 fee. It is from 12:00 - 12:30 pm.
Colleen Mills will give a short talk at 12:30 pm.

Session C, from 12:45 - 1:45 is a choice of Mandela Coloring or Deepak Chopra's film
The Happiness Prescription.
Session D, from 2:00 - 3:00 is a choice of The Five Tibetans or Flow with Peace, Love & Yoga, followed by a 15 minute final relaxation.

To download a registration flyer click HERE.
After this special day, participants will be ready to share Love & Peace!!
For questions, call 734-425-0079.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dr. Harsha Jayatilake, Mary Albertson, Dr. Ari, Colleen Mills, Rosemary Doyle, Dottie Ochala &
Tada Gunter are all smiles at the Birmingham Unitarian Church after Dr. Ari's great talk!

Wisdom from Gandhi Peace Prize winner Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne.

Citizens for Peace members had a table at Dr. Ari's talks during his visit to Michigan. We first met Dr. Ari five years ago when his former student, Dr. Harsha, brought him to Michigan for the first ONE PEACE celebration for the U.N. International Day of Peace.

It is not often we get to experience a leader for nonviolence who has dedicated his life to putting loving kindness into action for over 50 years!

Dr. Ari encouraged our work with these statements:
"Evil is so well organized in the world, we should organize goodness;" and
"Serve the world in the same way as a mother loves her only child."

What a joy it was to experience Dr. Ari's wisdom and beautiful energy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thank you Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala for recording Mary Hanna's terrific talk on the Power of Nonviolence!

Here is the link to Mary's talk from last month:

This presentation engaged our brains and our hearts. I think we feel even more committed to our work to promote the practices and principles of nonviolence in our world after hearing Mary Hanna, the Operations Manager of our wonderful Michigan Peace Team!

Nonviolence takes courage but is so much more effective that the use of force!


Monday, July 09, 2012

Link to a great article in the Observer!

Reporter Sharon Dargay highlighted the Citizens for Peace in her article in Sunday's Community Life section. She intends to join us for our fundraiser "Peace, Love & Yoga Day" on Saturday, August 25th! Thanks Sharon!

Heres the link:


Friday, June 29, 2012

Nuclear Waste in Michigan Topic of July 10th Meeting

Keith Gunter and his "Fermi - 3 Wheel of Misfortune" Highlight of our Meeting!

The problem of what to do with the nuclear waste generated by current and

decommissioned nuclear plants in Michigan will be explored at the July 10th

Citizens for Peace meeting.

Featured speaker will be Keith Gunter, member of Alliance to Halt Fermi – 3,

and founding partner of the nationally recognized group, Beyond Nuclear.

He is currently serving as co-chair of Peace Action of Michigan.  Keith’s informative

and entertaining presentation includes an instructional “Fermi – 3 Wheel of Misfortune”.

(Any Way You Spin, You Lose).  Members of the audience might be invited to try their

 luck spinning the wheel.

Active in educating the public on the danger of nuclear energy for more than 30 years,

Keith was a Metro Times contributing writer on nuclear power and weapons issues,

and a guest commentator on WDET public radio. “The storage and isolation of high

level nuclear waste is but one aspect of a technology that presents us with fundamentally

irresolvable problems” says Keith.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at Unity of Livonia, located at 28660 Five Mile Road.
All are welcome. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Citizens for Peace have a booth at the Inner Peace Festival in Ann Arbor

What a warm, windy, wonderful day we spent at the Citizens for Peace booth at the 2nd Annual Inner Peace Festival on Sunday, June 24th from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor!
We had giant peace frisbees, peace snap bracelets, butterfly & lady bug masks for children. We had fliers for all of our upcoming events: Dr. Ari's talk & workshop on July 6 & 7; Keith Gunter's presentation on nuclear waste in MI at our July 10th meeting; our Peace, Love & Yoga fundraiser on August 25th; and the 5th annual ONE PEACE celebration of the UN International Day of Peace on Saturday, Sept. 22nd at the Livonia Civic Center Library Auditorium with a Gemini Concert! What a great line up of events!

Thanks to Linda, Gloria, Nancy Dottie, Colleen & George for working the booth, talking to people about peace & selling our books, puzzles, DVD's, yoga mats, peace art, peace pillows, heart necklaces, and other items. We were happy that the thunderstorms never materialized! We were especially happy to meet people appreciative of the work we do!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Carole Kersten, Rosemary Doyle, Colleen & George Mills at the Midwest Peacemaking Conference.

What a great time we had at the First Annual Midwest Peacemaking Conference hosted by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee!  A blend of Native Peacemaking, Restorative Practices and Mediation teachings presented in a beautiful setting. Click here for the article I wrote about the conference.  Oh The Stories They Told!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Argument for Nonviolence: Speaking to the Heart AND the Head"

 Join us for our June 12, 2012 Citizens for Peace Meeting 7 o'clock at Unity of Livonia

Mary Hanna, Operations Manager for the Michigan Peace Team,  will present the case for nonviolence by offering the strategic and statistical contributions of nonviolent social action, as well as recounting individual, personal stories of successful nonviolent peacemakers. An engaging speaker, Mary is able to connect with people from all walks of life.  Her emphasis is on encouraging others to consider nonviolence as a way of life by appealing to both the heart and the head. Hearing the stories of  Sophie Scholl, Captain Mbaye Diagne, Badshah Khan, Julia Buttefly Hill and Chiune and Yukkiko Sugihara will touch our hearts.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Robert Weir's Talk on India's Religious Diversity

Here's the link to the great talk Robert Weir gave at our May meeting.
A big "thank you" goes out to Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala for recording this !!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Arlington Michigan at Larry Nehasil Park on Memorial Day

Arlington Michigan at Larry Nehasil Park on Memorial Day

How will you observe Memorial Day 2012?

Ninety nine percent of American families spend Memorial Day getting together and having a barbeque or picnic.  Thinking of the warm summer days ahead with anticipation of vacations, walks on the beach, bonfires and concerts under the stars, makes Memorial Day the kickoff of good times ahead.

One percent of American families understand the meaning of Memorial Day.  They are the families with members who have volunteered to serve our country in the most unselfish way in our military.  Let’s support them this Memorial Day.

Michigan citizens have the opportunity to join with military families and visit the Arlington Michigan display to observe Memorial Day in a special way.  The Citizens for Peace is sponsoring the Veterans for Peace display comprised of symbolic markers, with the name, rank, age and photo of each fallen Michigan military man or woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country.
Created by the Michigan “Veterans for Peace” several years ago, Arlington Michigan was in Livonia for the first time last year on Memorial Day.  People came by all day and reflected on the cost of war.  One of the visitors was a Lathrup Village police officer and his wife. They stopped by to find the cross of Sergeant First Class, Matthew Lee Hilton, a Livonia resident.  He was killed in action at age 37, in Afghanistan June 26, 2008.  He was an Army National Guard Soldier from Selfridge; and was a Lathrup Village Police Officer.

Last year the Civic Center Park was renamed to honor Livonia police officer Larry Nehasil, who was killed on duty, on January 17, 2011. This year there will be chairs for visitors to sit and reflect on love, service, courage, war and peace.  Everyone is invited to stop by and consider the cost of violence, whether in war, or on the streets in our country.

Volunteers from Veterans for Peace and Citizens for Peace will be at the Larry Nehasil Park from 9 am. to 6 pm. Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th.  The park is located at 33223 Five Mile Rd. on the South side of Five Mile Rd., East of Farmington Rd.

For further information contact Colleen Mills at 734-425-0079 or Steve Saelzer at 734-674-0688.

(The photo shows the Citizens for Peace and Veterans for Peace members holding the banner at the 2011 Arlington Michigan.)

Link to Rudy Simons' Talk on Iran

Here's the link to the great talk that Rudy Simons gave to the Citizens for Peace on "War on Iran - Views from Israel, Iran & the U.S."  A big "thank you" to Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala for recording the talk and putting it on You Tube.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Link to Mike Whitty "Dr. Detroit" Talk

Mike Whitty gave a terrific talk to the Citizens for Peace about Making Peace With Detroit. Thanks to Jerome Sawyer for recording it, we can view a part of his uplifting talk at this link.

Monday, April 23, 2012

“India’s Religious Diversity: Stories of Respect, Peace and Harmony”

The religious diversity of India will be examined during a free public presentation by Michigan author, photographer, traveler, and speaker, Robert M. Weir at Unity Church of Livonia at 7 PM Tuesday, May 8.

Hosted by the Citizens for Peace as part of their efforts to increase public awareness of peaceful means, Weir is among a long list of notable, highly regarded speakers invited to speak during the group’s monthly meetings.

One doesn’t have to be religious to appreciate the religious diversity of the world’s second largest nation of over one billion people. Religious freedom is in the constitution of India. There are over 25 million Christians living in India. The Muslim population in India is the third largest in the world. Hinduism is the predominant religion in India and has had a big influence on the west with the influx of yoga and meditation. The other major faiths in India include Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism.

During 2011 -2012, Weir traveled the Himalayas, lived in a Calcutta Muslim slum, visited families’ homes, participated in festivals and interacted with people of all faiths. A Michigan native, freelance writer, editor, public speaker, authors’ coach, and communications consultant, Weir writes about people, peace, social justice, environment, and outdoor adventures. He has written several books and more than 130 published articles as well as editing the work of other writers. He strives to simplify and create. His motto is “Have Laptop, Will Travel.”

For further information contact Colleen Mills at 734-425-0079 or go to the website

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Thanks Colleen

Our president Colleen Mills does an outstanding job in leading Citizens for Peace.

What a Wonderful Westland Library Peace Celebration!

The Gemini brothers gave a moving concert at the Westland Library kickoff of our Peace Collection on Sunday afternoon! "If I Had a Hammer: Songs and Poems for Peace and Justice" was the title of this beautiful concert. Playing several instruments, the Gemini twins led the audience on a sing along of many popular songs such as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "This Land is My Land", "Kumbaya" and "We Shall Overcome". Included in their diverse concert were beautiful poems and songs of many languages.

Our International Peace Pals display of the art from children representing 68 different countries was a perfect visual to highlight the new peace books donated to the library since many of the new books are books for children.

Our thanks to Marilyn Kwik for organizing such a special day! She also has a Citizens for Peace display with our information as people enter the Westland Library.
Thanks to Bob Frank for making the initial contact with his library. Thanks to Rosemary Doyle for all of her work with the Collection of Nonviolent Materials. Our Season for Nonviolence Book Discussion at the Livonia Civic Center Library was a great success! Thanks to everyone who came to the concert and the Book Discussion series!

The photo from left to right shows the smiles of Colleen, Laz, Bob and San.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Songs and Poems of Peace and Social Justice
Westland Public Library: Faust Area
Location: 6123 Central City Parkway
Westland, MI 48185
Sunday, April 1, 2012
2 – 3 p.m.
Everyone is Invited!!

In conjunction with the Citizens for Peace organization, the Westland Library is proud to present "If I had a Hammer - Songs and Poems of Peace and Social Justice," featuring folk songs of the 1960's folk revival. Gemini, twin brothers San and Laz Slomovits, nationally known for their music for children and families, return to the roots of their music - the classic songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Joni Mitchell, Malvina Reynolds, etc. as well as traditional songs associated with the 60's. Come hear songs like "If I had a Hammer," "Blowing in the Wind," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" - and sing along with them! The concert will also features poems by ancient as well as contemporary poets on the themes of peace and social justice which San and Laz have set to original music.
This is the kickoff of our Peace Collection donated to the Westland Library.
Call Colleen for more information: 734-425-0079

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

War on Iran?
Views from Iran, Israel & U.S.

Rudy Simons will be our speaker at our meeting on

Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 7:00 pm
at Unity of Livonia (28660 Five Mile Rd)

How do Iranians, Israelis and Americans feel about the prospect of war with Iran?

Come to the April Citizens for Peace meeting to hear the three perspectives from Rudy Simons, a well-known, long time local peace activist. Rudy has traveled to Iran, Israel and Palestine four times in the last six years with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. He will share his insight into the political mood of Iran and its people. Rudy provides viewpoints unavailable to the majority of Americans since he is one of a few U.S. citizens who has traveled throughout Iran.

A group discussion will follow his talk.

All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Citizens for Peace March 13th Meeting at Unity of Livonia at 7 p.m.

We invite you to a unique night with 'Dr. Detroit' lighting the candle of hope.

University of Detroit Mercy Professor Mike Whitty (aka 'Dr. Detroit') presents:

"Making Peace Detroit and Making Peace With Detroit"

Imagine peace in Detroit!
Practical action steps to protect Detroit neighborhoods.
Reflections on media and public perceptions.
But most of all making peace with Detroit - perceptually, psychologically, economically, politically and even spiritually.
Join us!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Unity of Livonia
28660 Five Mile Road

The panel will provide an update on the current workings and implementations of Restorative Conferencing and Restorative Practice Peacemaking Circles within
diverse school and community settings. A 7-min. video will highlight MSU student
participation in the process. Panelists will speak from their experiences as to what brought them to this work, describe results and achievements, and what
their vision is for the future. The panelists are:

Susan Butterwick, J.D.,
Consulting Director of Family Programs for Wayne
Mediation Center, where she directs the youth, juvenile court, and school
Conflict resolution programs and child protection mediation programs.
Currently, she is implementing the Restorative Practice process in Detroit
Public Schools to impact student absenteeism.

Marcia Lee, M.A.,
(Dispute Resolution), Co-Director for Cap Corps Midwest,
a 12-18 mo. Volunteer program, actively creating Restorative Justice and healing
networks; co-leading Detroit Asian Youth Project; and helping establish a
Detroit Area Restorative Justice Network as well as a Center in Southwest Detroit.

Nancy Schertzing, M.S.,
(Human Development and Family Studies) Seven years
as Restorative Justice Coordinator, first in a public school initiative and now with Michigan State University’s Department of Campus Living Services and Residence
Life. While working on a current Masters Degree in Community Services at MSU,
She is assisting in a comprehensive study of Restorative Justice long term effects
commissioned by the Michigan Supreme Court’s State Court Administrators Office.

Bill Sower, B.S.
, (Special Education) Director of The Christopher and Virginia Sower
Center for Successful Schools, former interim principal and Special Education Teacher. He is considered a school transformation specialist solving schools’ most disturbing and complex problems through Restorative Justice, Direct Instruction, and The Nurtured Heart Approach. Bill has spent over 20 years teaching Michigan’s most violent and delinquent youth. He is an IIRP Certified Trainer in Restorative Practice recently contracted by Hamtramck and Roseville School Districts as a consultant and has delivered trainings through Wayne-RESA for their 34 participating school districts.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our First Meeting of 2012!

What an informative and enjoyable presentation Kevin 'Mr. Peace' Szawala gave to the Citizens for Peace! It was an inspirational start to our peace work for 2012!

Here's a link to Kevin explaining the results of the Penny Poll that was a part of his Budget Priorities Road Show that he took all over Michigan this summer.

(Roadshow Summary Video)

What an amazing effort! Thanks 'Mr. Peace'!!!