By Jim Detjen
Some came to walk with peace signs in their hands. Others came to listen to protest music. Still others came to smoke a peace pipe at a ceremony led by Chippewa Native Americans or learn about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
All came to show their support for peace and justice issues.
More than 300 people gathered at the Union Missionary Baptist Church, 500 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Lansing, on September 18, 2016 to take part in the kickoff event of Peace Quest 2016.
Among Peace Quest 2016’s week of activities from September 18 to 25 were conversations between people of color and law enforcement; workshops on the power of nonviolence; talks on building immigrant-friendly communities; a lecture on the impact of climate change in indigenous peoples; and a concert to raise awareness about gun violence.
More than 1,000 people participated in events, which helped mark the International Day of Peace on September 21. The events were coordinated by the Peace Education Center and the Greater Lansing United Nations Association.
Among the activities at the kickoff on September 18 were petitions to sign, pledges to make, opportunities to buy buttons and bumper stickers and a chance to hear messages of peace and justice from religious leaders. Participants could also register to vote and learn about peace and justice groups.
Other activities included yoga, opportunities to make peace bracelets, a United Nations quiz, an art contest, a chance to learn about other cultures and lessons on conflict resolution.
Terry and Ellen Link led a peace walk around the grounds of the church on South Martin Luther King Boulevard in Lansing. The participants walked by signs showing the faces and quotations of famous peacemakers, such as Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 20 businesses, churches and organizations supported the Peace Quest events. People can learn more about Peace Quest events being planned for the future at peacequestgreaterlansing.org.
Printed in the October 16, 2016 - Ocotber 29, 2016 edition.