Mona Shand, Public News Service,September 18, 2017
LANSING, Mich. – Faith groups, grassroots activists and community organizations from all over Michigan will come together this week to reject violence and work toward creating a culture of peace.
Terry Link, co-chair of the Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing, which is co-sponsoring several events, says it’s important to remember that in our increasingly interconnected world, peace is not just the absence of violence.
“If we don’t fix the ills, we won’t have peace,” he says. “So if we have people who are hungry, if we have refugees, if we have racism, it’s going to be very difficult to really have a true and lasting and meaningful and just peace. So all of those things have to be addressed at the same time.”
Events in Lansing include marches, interfaith prayer services and panel discussions on topics such as gun violence and understanding Islam.
Peace and nonviolence events also are planned in Ann Arbor and Detroit, as well as in every state in the nation and many countries worldwide as part of Campaign Nonviolence Week.
With politics, social media, and even interpersonal relationships growing more and more polarized, Link says taking the time to learn techniques to de-escalate anger can really pay off.
“You learn when you’re even in conversation with someone who’s looking at the world differently than you are, a way to diffuse the tension and to find some common space,” he adds. “So those things are really more applicable to everyday life, but they also obviously are important when you have community conflict.”
This Thursday, September 21, is recognized around the world as the United Nations International Day of Peace.