The Clinton Peace Coalition invited individuals, families, organizations, and people of all ages to attend this year’s Stop the Hate/Show the Love event on Thursday September 21 at Jefferson Elementary School.
Now in its 18th year, the Stop the Hate/Show the Love event is a fun and meaningful way for the community to come together and make a statement of hope and witness to peace.
This free event began with a time of gathering at Clinton’s Jefferson Elementary School, 720 Fourth Ave. South, where participants had the opportunity to make posters to carry on the walk and make a peace pole craft. At 5:15 p.m., a welcome was given by Clinton Community College President Karen Vickers. Following the welcome, Alma Mariano emceed choral performances by the Jefferson Elementary Choir, Clinton High School Choir, the Clintones, and the Clinton Community Children’s Choir.
Following the choral performances, participants joined together on a walk for peace along the Jefferson Elementary walking trail. Banners with signatures of students pledging their commitment to peace were carried by representatives from Clinton schools. Every student who signed the banner received a “Peace: It’s a Choice” wristband. Members of the public had the opportunity to receive a wristband at the walk with a free-will donation to the Clinton Peace Coalition.
The walk culminated at the Jefferson Elementary Peace Pole where Pastor Clark Olson-Smith shared closing remarks. The event concluded with an annual favorite, the monarch butterfly release. Immediately following the Stop the Hate/Show the Love event, the Sisters of St. Francis hosted a free showing of the 2016 award-winning film, “Disturbing the Peace,” at The Canticle, 841 13th Ave. North.
“Disturbing the Peace” is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. The film follows former enemy combatants – Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison – who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” the film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of combatants for peace. While based in the Middle East, “Disturbing the Peace” evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.
City of Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich signed the proclamation declaring September 21, 2017 International Day of Peace at the September 12 Clinton City Council Meeting.
The Sisters of St. Francis donated and read a book about peace (“Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class” by Eileen Spinelli) at preschools and kindergartens in Clinton during the week of September 18-22.
The Sisters of St. Francis brought a new campaign to Clinton to encourage a just and inclusive community and a safe place where everyone is welcome and valued.
Yard signs bearing the message “Hate Has No Home Here” in six languages; English, Urdu, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish are being made available to local residents in Clinton. The campaign’s simple slogan was coined by a third-grader in the Chicago area to counter the divisive nature of many of today’s conversations and divisive rhetoric. Today the signs are popping up all over the US–and have even landed on other continents.
The Franciscan Peace Center, created by the Sisters of St. Francis, is giving away yard signs with the positive message of hope. The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce has joined in the effort as it provides another reason to “Celebrate Clinton.” Ads on city buses and a billboard will be used to raise awareness of the campaign, and posters for businesses that cannot display yard signs are also available.
The “Hate Has No Home Here” campaign was scheduled to coincide with the International Day of Peace, the Stop the Hate/Show the Love Walk in Clinton, and Campaign Nonviolence – all of which took place in September.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire and to promote education and public awareness on issues related to peace. It is celebrated in over 200 nations worldwide. Campaign Nonviolence is a week-long movement organized by the organization Pace e Bene which calls for us to explore, study, and unleash the principles and methods of nonviolence in our lives, our communities, and our societies.
Lori Freudenberg, Outreach Director for the Franciscan Peace Center says, “It can be easy to hate people we don’t know. We see this as a powerful, positive message that is the basis for relationship-building, dialogue, and communal action. When we move past our differences, we start moving towards eliminating racism and intolerance, and pave the way for a better future for our community.”
This sign is a statement that, while it is okay to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not okay to intimidate or attack a person or group—verbally or physically—based on attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.
The colors of the sign—red, white, and blue—are the colors of the American flag, not any political party.
Maureen Miller of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce said she hopes the signs will help remind people that everybody in our community is important. “It’s a non-partisan campaign and message,” she said, “Stopping hate and prejudice from making a home here promotes a positive attitude and creates another reason for us to Celebrate Clinton.”
Area residents can obtain a yard sign or poster by visiting the Sisters of St. Francis Administrative Office at 843 Thirteenth Avenue North in Clinton between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge for the signs, but free-will donations can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Franciscan Peace Center.
The Franciscan Peace Center was created as means for integrating Franciscan spirituality with the mission of promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking and advocating for social justice issues and care for the earth.
The mission of the Clinton Peace Coalition is to promote a holistic approach to a peaceful lifestyle through the education, collaboration and cooperation of individuals, families and the organizations and agencies of the community. The Clinton Peace Coalition is composed of representatives from Clinton Community College, YWCA Clinton, Sisters of St. Francis, New Directions, Clinton Parks & Recreation and the Clinton Community School District Diversity Committee, along with individuals from local communities for whom the promotion of peace is a passion.
See pictures from this week of actions below.
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