Grassroots Movements Will Converge This Saturday For Unique New Festival

by E. "Doc" Smith on May 28, 2004

This Memorial Day weekend, local members of the global peace movement will converge at Promise for Peace, a festival to unite the grassroots, celebrate peaceful living and inspire creative action. This first-time gathering will bring together activists and artists to create an interactive peace village integrating ancient wisdom with modern values. Low impact living structures will be space for intensives led by luminaries including authors and activists Dr. Kevin Danaher and Starhawk. Solar and vegetable oil-powered stages will be home to performances by artists including Hamsa Lila and The Mix, all-stars of Jerry Garcia Band and Dark Star Orchestra. Promise for Peace will be at the serene Stafford Lake tucked in the rolling hills of Marin County on Saturday, May 29, 2004 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

“We live in urgent times, but peace is already here,” says festival organizer Matthew Schmookler. “The time is now for humanity to share our knowledge and resources and become peaceful communities to transform a world at war. Our intention with Promise for Peace is to co-create a place that models life in a peaceful society, starting with one day.”

Dr. Kevin Danaher, co-founder of Global Exchange, will explore ideas about “The Local Green Economy: Our Greatest Weapon Against Empire.” Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, vice president for Science and Education at The Institute of Noetic Sciences (founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell) will share insights about “Emerging Worldviews: A Call For Creative Convergence.” Indigenous elder Corbin Harney will offer guidance on “How to take care of Mother Earth,” and The Ruckus Society will present an “Overview of the history, philosophy and tools of Non-Violent Civil Disobedience.” Not In Our Name will educate youth about resistance to military recruitment, and Starhawk will introduce “Reclaim the Commons,” an activists antidote to BIO 2004.

Promise for Peace will open with an interfaith invocation facilitated by Durwin WhiteLighting, a full-blood Dakota ceremonial leader. The village will come alive through healing, teaching, singing, dancing, sharing and inspiring. Among the collage of live acts on the Community Stage are Destiny Arts, a multicultural group of teens who create original performance art pieces that combine hip-hop, modern and aerial dance, theater, martial arts, song and rap. Their productions are a dynamic, creative forum for the young people to express their fears, hopes and strategies for confronting challenging personal and social issues. A children’s parade, inspired by The Mystic Family Circus and Wavy Gravy, will culminate in a prayer for peace led by the children. Durwin WhiteLighting will facilitate an indigenous round dance, a community building ritual. Hamsa Lila will offer up a live world trance experience on the Global Stage followed by a sunset ceremony with Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance. Native storyteller Robert Greygrass will open the way for keynote Elder Jene McCovy, of the Yurok Nation, who will inspirit the community to live the promise for peace. The Mix will shakedown the crowd for a closing circle ceremony of arts in action.

Promise for Peace, a benefit for the Oregon chapter of the Native American Church and its elders and youth outreach programs, is co-created by grassroots community groups including Global Exchange, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Ruckus Society, Not In Our Name, The Center for Indigenous Lifeways, Solar Depot, Global Cooling Collective, Guided by Grace, Rainforest Action Network and the Marin Peace and Justice Coalition among many others. The Inspirit Collective are grassroots artists and activists co-creating a peaceful culture. For more information visit www.peacegathering.com.

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