The Culture of Peace Initiative Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Virginia Swain
“Culture of Peace” Initiative to Launch in Worcester
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury to Visit November 13-14, 2007
Worcester, Mass., October 30, 2007 – A three-year Worcester initiative, “Culture of Peace,” will be launched by the Center for Global Community and World Law on November 13 and 14 with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former United National Ambassador from Bangladesh, and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the Least Developed Countries.
“The Culture of Peace Initiative asks people, groups and coalitions to take the time during the next three years to enter into dialogue with others who are different from themselves; live together, respect each other and be respected in return; live in safety; and act in solidarity to take care of the earth,” says Virginia Swain, President and Co-founder of the Worcester-based Center for Global Community and World Law. “Old tensions, turf issues and conflict must be forgotten or worked through to resolution. That way, we can go forward and create a sustainable global society.”
To kick off the new initiative, Ambassador Chowdhury will deliver presentations at the following events:
Tuesday, November 13, 1:00- 3:00 p.m.: Building a Culture of Peace. North-South Auditorium, Student Center, Worcester State College. For information, contact Dr. Carlos Fontes at email@example.com; 508-929-8716.
Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 p.m.: Culture of Peace: The Need of Our Time. Worcester Committee on Foreign Relations. Worcester Club, Oak and Elm Streets, $30 includes dinner and presentation. For more information, contact Hank Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-791-0761 by November 9.
Wednesday, November 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.: Building a Culture of Peace, Zecco Performing Arts Center, Anna Maria College. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Boover by November 9 at email@example.com or 508- 849-3431.
Additional events designed to engage as many people as possible in this initiative are:
November 17, 6:00-9:00 p.m.: A Community of Learning and Teaching Dinner for Scholars and Practitioners in Worcester. 32 Hill Top Circle, Worcester. RSVP by November 12 at 508-753-4172, ext. 3.
November 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Why Mission Statements Matter for a Culture of Peace, Virginia Swain at Fallon Clinic, 640 Lincoln Street. Sponsored by the Worcester Learning Group. RSVP by November 25 at Worcester@learninggroup.org.
December 6, 6:30-9:30 p.m.: Culture of Sustainable Peace Café, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. Introducing “Men Who Cook for Peace: Nonviolence, Respect, Tolerance, Solidarity and Environment.” Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. Facilitators: Michael Halperin, Director of Customer Service, Fallon Clinic, and Virginia Swain. For more information, go to www.theworldcafe.com. $10.00 for light refreshments. RSVP by November 30.
What is the Culture of Peace Initiative?
“Peacebuilding is like baking a cake,” Swain notes. “The ingredients of the recipe all need to be present to succeed. If the human rights, health, business, justice, conflict resolution, environmental and peace groups all work together, we will have a delicious cake.”
“We believe that only those communities that talk and think together and then collaborate will ever find peace,” Swain continues. “In a world whose news is dominated by war, violence and fear, the Culture of Peace Initiative can spark a respectful conversation among religious, environmental, peace and human rights groups, the business and nonprofit community, schools, college students and faculty members.” She adds that exchanging ideas in this way, in small-scale, more intimate settings, can leave a lasting impression and shape a person’s goals and vision for their own life path, as well as for their city, nation or even for our planet.”
The Culture of Peace Initiative builds upon a May 1 presentation Ambassador Chowdhury made in Worcester after he received the Lifetime Leadership Service Award. The first year of the initiative draws on five of the eight “Peace Keys” (summarized below) identified by a group of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 1995 and incorporated into the goals of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-10). This resolution was steered through the UN General Assembly when Ambassador Chowdhury represented Bangladesh. The initiative’s second year (2008-09) will build on the lessons of year one and highlight the next three Peace Keys. The eight Peace Keys are:
Respect all life: Respecting the rights and dignity of each human being.
Reject violence: Rejecting violence, obtaining justice by convincing and understanding.
Share with others: Developing attitudes and skills for living together in harmony, putting an end to exclusion and oppression.
Preserve the planet: Making sure that progress and development are good for everyone and for the environment.
Rediscover solidarity: Appreciating that people are different and that everyone has something to contribute to the community.
Listen to understand: Giving everyone a chance to learn and share through the free flow of information.
Work for women’s equality: Ensuring an equal place for women and men in building society.
Participate in democracy: Participation by everyone in making decisions.
Co-founded by Joseph Baratta, PhD and Virginia Swain in 1993, the Center for Global Community and World Law brings together highly motivated citizens, groups and coalitions dedicated to collaborative efforts to create a peaceful, just and sustainable global society. It conducts research, and offers education, conferences, publications and arts events through educational institutions, community-based organizations and the United Nations.
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