In each biweekly e-newsletter, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers around the world. Want to volunteer with World BEYOND War? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Villages, Florida, USA
How did you get involved with World BEYOND War (WBW)?
I had been very active in our local Pax Christi group and heard about World BEYOND War from one of the Pax Christi activists. So, I picked up a copy of WBW Co-Founder David Hartsough’s book, Waging Peace. Inspired by his work, I decided to attend the 2016 World BEYOND War conference in Washington, DC. I learned so much and was inspired by the presenters and the demonstration for peace we did at the U.S. Pentagon. Then my wife and I decided to move to a very large “retirement and active adult community” in Florida. Knowing I’d be retiring, I was determined to spend my time devoted to causes that are important and to other ministries and charitable work.
What kinds of volunteer activities do you help with?
As the Central Florida Chapter Coordinator, much of my time is devoted to preparing for our monthly meetings and the presentations at those meetings. Our chapter focuses on education, so I prepare and present a variety of programs focused on abolishing war, the futility of war and the destruction of war. Our email listserv has grown to 180 and we add a few more people every month. We are also organizing a few fundraisers to support our chapter and the global World BEYOND War network. David Hartsough, Co-Founder of WBW and of Nonviolent Peaceforce, is coming to our community in January to give a presentation. I also do various pro-peace and war abolition presentations at local clubs and groups to get the word out about WBW. Plus, I have now attended three WBW global conferences. You’ll usually find me staffing the WBW table or helping out in other ways at the conferences.
What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with WBW?
Take advantage of all the resources that WBW has available. Look to WBW Executive Director David Swanson and WBW Organizing Director Greta Zarro for help!! Both of them are tremendously creative and helpful. Also, other chapter coordinators and WBW leaders are always willing to assist. Call on them.
What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?
When I get discouraged, I remember that we’re on the right side and that eventually peace, justice, and goodness will prevail. I am also inspired by the courage, dedication, and tenacity of activists who have been doing this work their entire lives. Lastly, the more I study and learn about peace and nonviolence, the more I’m trying to incorporate peace into my own lifestyle and behavior.
Posted December 1, 2019.