Volunteer Spotlight: Barry Sweeney

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 greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

Barry at left holding the WBW banner



How did you get involved with World BEYOND War (WBW)?

I took World BEYOND War’s online course in 2016 and and realised I needed to get involved. The world is full of nice people, but there is a lot of work to do. Being nice isn’t good enough; you need to get active.

What kinds of volunteer activities do you help with?

In 2016, I started out by organising a talk with World BEYOND War Board Member Bob Fantina at Shannon. The following two years I organised an annual regional peace conference in Ireland. The first conference focused on what I call the “shared edge” between ecological destruction and war. The second conference examined global governance and was titled “The Force of Law or the Law of Force.”

This year, the Ireland chapter is excited to host World BEYOND War’s 4th annual global conference, #NoWar2019 on October 5-6 in Limerick. The global conference is the 1 time a year that World BEYOND War’s staff, membership, and allies meet up in 1 location to network, learn, and strategise. Over the course of 2 days, we’ll sharpen our skills for creative activism, nonviolent civil resistance, youth activism, divestment, and more. And we’re concluding the conference with a rally at Shannon Airport to expose the U.S. military’s presence there. I am the lead organiser on the ground in Ireland lining up the logistics for the big event!

I am a teacher by trade, and after taking WBW’s online course, I am now a course facilitator. I also speak Italian fluently, so I help translate WBW’s materials. Finally, I manage WBW’s Irish Facebook page to share educational resources and promote upcoming peace events in Ireland.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with WBW?

Everyone has something different to give so it’s hard to give a generic answer. If you have time and energy to give, I would say contact a local World BEYOND War chapter or start your own.

If you have expertise with social media, blogging, videography, research and writing, teaching, fundraising, art-making, grassroots lobbying, event organising, etc., you can contribute to WBW. Sign the Declaration of Peace and check the boxes for how you want to help out.

If you don’t have lots of free time, you can still be part of this important initiative by contributing in small ways, such as sharing our social media posts, signing up as a monthly sustainer, or gifting a World BEYOND War present for birthdays and celebrations.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

The only constant in life is change. I want the changes that occur during my lifetime to be positive for humanity, so that is where I dedicate my energy. I want a more cooperative world, a world less divided, and a species in harmony working together – and not just among ourselves, but also with the millions of other species that we share this amazing planet with. I believe this is a possibility, and it inspires me. I don’t need to push myself to do this work; I couldn’t stop the pull if I tried!

Posted October 2, 2019.

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