Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pass the Peace

Inspired by the children's book After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance, the Pass the Peace campaign is an effort to promote worldwide peace, tolerance, and nonviolent forms of protest.

Charlesbridge has distributed posters to local companies, started a blog chain with a Pass the Peace widget, and donated money to Wangari Maathai's organization, The Greenbelt Movement, to spread the messages of the peacemakers profiled in the book.

We urge you to participate by posting this widget to your blog, website, or social networking site, and forwarding it to others who may also wish to be involved.

The Story Behind
In November of 2004, Perry O’Brien accomplished what most consider an impossible feat in the military: he was granted an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector. Three years into a four-year enlistment in Afghanistan, Perry began having questions. “When you see a three-year-old child blown up, it forces you to ask yourself, ‘What would ever justify this?’” After long discussions with his unit’s chaplain and intensive study of philosophy and Eastern religion, Perry came to the conclusion that war had never, and would never, solve conflicts. At the age of 21, Perry was one of 31 servicemen granted conscientious objector status in 2004.

Upon his return to the U.S. Perry continued to campaign for peace. His mother, renowned children’s author Anne Sibley O’Brien, suggested that they combine her artistic ability with his knowledge of philosophy and history. Their collaboration resulted in the book for young readers, After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance, which highlights fifteen activists who chose nonviolent resistance as the path to change.

Today Perry continues to promote nonviolent paths to change through his work as a labor organizer in New York City, and through his website peace-out.com, where he provides information about how to obtain conscientious objector status to exit of the military with honor. Anne also continues her work as an activist, writer, and artist.

“The core of my activism,” says Anne, “is the knowledge that, across race, culture, class, and all kinds of differences, we all belong to each other.”

No comments: