Kathleen's opening remarks at the recognition ceremony, November 10, 2010.
First I want to share some words about the mission of the Network for Peace through Dialogue. Those of us who labor and are called to this work recognize that even though we see violence everywhere that violence it is not the way toward Peace.
We believe that dialogue, listening, accepting and respecting others (especially those who may be different from us) are essential elements in making peace. We know from our own experience that it is not an easy task to engage in dialogue. Often we find ourselves holding too hard to the conviction that we are right and cannot listen to another's viewpoint. At Network for Peace through Dialogue we have developed our programs to encourage, to promote, to teach, and hopefully to inspire all of us to engage in dialogue.
One of our former honorees Alice Rivlin, economic chief in the Clinton Administration and a generous contributor told us some years ago: "The whole world should be following the example of the Network for Peace-using dialogue, not violence, to reach understanding."
To believe that dialogue will win out over violence is an act of faith. It is in lashing out in anger and engaging in violent acts will only lead to more violence. If we listen, and try to understand, we will move toward creating a sense of acceptance of the difference in others and will be building community. We would certainly be less likely to commit violent acts toward others if we had spent time listening and trying to understand them.
We are grateful to all our contributors because you have made our work possible. Thank you. A long time supporter enclosed the following statement with her most recent contribution: "Keep up the great work that you are doing We need lots of dialogue-be it with the youth, the aging, or the leaders of religions, so let us sing our alleluias' as we go ahead in our Dialogue quest!"
The youth conference last spring was the fruit of six years of work by the Network for Peace through Dialogue's youth program. We are especially proud of that work and grateful for the contributions the women we will honor tonight have made to it and to the world.
Introduction by Laurence Berg. Board Member
Marcy May, Executive Director of Effective Alternative in Reconciliation Services - (EARS), an organization that has trained more than 24,000 youth and adults in Conflict resolution, leadership development and violence prevention over the past 25 years.
Marcy May is the founder of EARS She is the visionary, the one who makes the organization work and raises the funds to keep it going! She is greatly loved and respected by the conflict resolution people in this part of the world. She knows what empowerment means and she has related on the EARS website: "I have been amazed again and again at how creative, inventive, dramatic and innovative young people can be when you give them the reins and tell them to develop their own ways of teaching conflict resolution (and other) skills and concepts. Many of the young people continue to work with her for many years helping to empower other youth. We are delighted to honor Marcy May as an outstanding person committed to empowering youth to build Peace.
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