December 31st, 2019 at 6 am
The Rime Buddhist center will host the 34th Annual World Peace Meditation, an interfaith gathering on December 31, at 6:00 a.m. (*please arrive by 5:30 a.m.). The program will consist of religious observances from various cultures and faith traditions including Native American smudging, Tibetan Buddhist chanting and meditation, Christian prayer, devotional music, Sufi dancing, and the Muslim “call to prayer.”
Members of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council will offer a prayer for peace from each of their faith traditions. The Keynote Speaker is Imam Jamal Shakur. The Bodhisattva Award will be given to PeaceWorks Kansas City.
PeaceWorks started as part of All Souls UU church in the 80s. During the last dozen years it has opposed the new Kansas City nuclear bomb parts plant. It was proposed in 2006 and opened in 2014. There have been almost 150 non violent civil disobedience arrests for trespassing at the plant. Every Memorial Day the names, ages and diagnoses of the hundreds of workers of the plant who have died from cancers and other illnesses are read and a die-in performed. PeaceWorks was involved in a lawsuit which delayed the new plant being built for about 6 months. PeaceWorks also was successful in getting a ballot initiative before the voters to oppose further development of the plant. PeaceWorks does many other things in the community to promote peace.
Accepting the award for PeaceWorks will be Ann Suellentrop. Ann is a board member and past president of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a network of about 30 nationwide grassroots organizations around U.S. nuclear weapons manufacturing and waste sites.
For the past twelve years she has been the project director for Physicians for Social Responsibility – KC metro area chapter, which opposed the building of the new Kansas City nuclear weapons-parts plant that opened in 2014. She works with Maurice Copeland, a whistleblower from the Kansas City nuclear weapons parts plant, who addresses the concerns of sick and dying former workers from the highly contaminated former nuclear weapons-parts Kansas City Plant. She also supports the concerns of St. Louis residents who have been unknowingly exposed to radioactive waste dumped illegally from uranium processed for the Manhattan project that made the Nagasaki bomb and other early nuclear weapons.
Ann has been on the board of PeaceWorks-KC for twelve years, affiliated with the national PeaceAction organization formed from past SANE and Nuclear FREEZE movements. She has been arrested twice for trespassing while protesting at the Kansas City nuclear weapons parts plant.
Keynote Speaker Imam Jamal Shakur is the violence prevention supervisor at Aim 4 Peace. Aim4Peace is part of the Kansas City Missouri Health Department and works to cure violence, especially retaliatory violence in the Kansas City, MO East Patrol Division, using a public health model and a proactive team of first responders. Aim4Peace uses highly trained violence interrupters and outreach staff, public education campaigns, Neighborhood Action Teams and community mobilization to reverse the violence epidemic in Kansas City, Mo. Their message is simple: Stop Shooting! Start Living! Aim4Peace!
Highlights from a previous years celebration.