There were passionate calls to be peacemakers – from arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, astronaut Mark Kelly, Senator Amy Klobachar, Representative Keith Ellison, Canada’s prime minister Trudeau, 2015 Nobel Prize laureates the Tunisian Quartet, and others. Ten WBUUC youth attended the Nobel Peace Prize Youth Forum at Augsburg College. They studied ways to reduce conflict, climate change, poverty, sexual violence, and gun violence.
Teens, join them Wednesday evenings after all-church dinner, for peace topics, centering, and service work. This is a chance for a mid-week recharge. Light a chalice, share some fresh fruit, and take time to check in. Often there’s a game to close the evening.
Excerpts from Keith Ellison: “These folks who get this award, who demonstrate this courage and this commitment, are setting an example for all of us. These Nobel Prize winners are not walking on water; they are regular folks. It is their ordinariness that makes them so extraordinary and proves that great things are within you too.
“If you believe in standing up for press freedom, we need you to do it right now. If you believe that artists should be able to display their art and freely inquire about artistic creation, we need you to do it right now. If you are willing to reach out to people who don’t agree with you, then we need you to do it right now. If you are going to study something that people don’t believe in as necessarily the right path, we need you to study it now. This is the moment for heroes. Because in the comfortable, sun-shiny warm places, that’s not where heroes are made. They are made in the tough, scary, dangerous times. And that in my opinion is where America is right now.
“The courage that the Nobel prize winners exhibit every day is the same courage that we need you to exhibit right now. Peace is worth the risk. If you will clutch to the idea that a better day is ahead and that the risk of making peace and building bridges is worth it, then a better day is ahead. Are you all ready to reach for that better day and take that risk? Who here will say I’m going to get out there, I’m going to do my homework and talk to folks? We need you to be that heroic figure right now.”
Consider: Heroism requires faith. What do you have faith in? How does that faith feed your hopes, actions, and service? Who are the heroes around you?
See plenary speeches, as well as recordings of past forums including with the Dalai Lama, Former President Jimmy Carter, and others: http://nobelpeaceprizeforum.org/live/