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Opening Statement by Carmel Mawle

Welcome to our first annual Writing for Peace Youth Summit! Our theme, “What I Would Say if I Knew They were Listening, Conversations on Peace” is an opportunity to open up, share your work and brainstorm with other artists. The summit is closed to the public because we know it takes a great deal of courage to share openly. It’s a safe place to speak freely, question freely, and see where your thoughts lead you.

This is a starting place. Let’s see where it takes us.

We are listening.

Closing Statements, by Carmel Mawle

First I want to say that, while these may be my “official” closing statements, this summit is by no means closed. This is true, not only because I’m still reading and contemplating and digesting all of the thought-provoking work and comments that emerged from this event, but also because this summit is a springboard for future action. I look forward to working with many of you as we develop the exciting new element of our program, Peace Journalism. I also hope to see many of your pieces published in our blog as we move to incorporate more young writers along with our advisory board contributors. More importantly, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on ways we can build on the successes of this first summit. How can we support your work and activism? We’re listening.

Special thanks to our four keynote speakers, who shared their hearts and lives with us this weekend. Each of you demonstrates integrity in action, inspiring us to look with new eyes at ways we can make a difference with our work, in our communities, and even in our own families. D.M. Aderibigbe, Nathan Blanc, Lyla June Johnston, and Amal Kassir, thank you.

Dr. Elissa Tivona, thank you for developing and teaching the course on Peace Journalism. This is a call-to-action that will lead to intriguing new possibilities for our participants, for Northern Colorado Writers, and for Writing for Peace. I will be incorporating the principles I learned in your course in my own writing, as well.

Dr. Erica Chenoweth, your research and message is empowering. Knowing that 3.5% of the population can lead a nation in a new direction makes anything seem possible. I know I’m not the only one who will approach my own work with renewed hope and a greater sense of the potential. Thank you.

Last, but not least, I want to thank Mary Carroll-Hackett, and the Summit Interns at Longwood for all the hard work that made this event possible. You’ve created something really beautiful here. Beasa Dukes, Semein Washington, Katlin Kitchen, and Chad MacDonald, I heard wonderful things about each of your efforts in this endeavor. And, for going above and beyond, Beasa Dukes, a heartfelt thank you for all you did to support your tireless professor, Mary Carroll-Hackett, in the final run-up to this summit. She wouldn’t be able to accomplish nearly as much as she does if her head had actually exploded. Much gratitude to each of you.

I look forward to meeting you all again at our next summit, and learning how your art has developed over the course of a year. Wishing you much peace, power, and love.

9 Responses to Home

  1. carrollhackettma@longwood.edu says:

    Thank you, Carmel, for creating the organization bringing us all together, for your heart, and vision, and commitment to peace.

  2. SarahGrace says:

    Thank you for providing us the space to have these conversations over the weekend. I am so glad to be a part of this

  3. Beasa Dukes says:

    Thank you so much for the opportunity and the space for these voices.

  4. Carmel Mawle says:

    Thank you all for your contributions to this amazing event! This is the result of a lot of hard work from everyone, and the brainchild of an extraordinary educator, artist, and activist, Mary Carroll-Hackett. I’m thrilled to be a part of it, and inspired by you all.

  5. Edwing Roldán says:

    Thanks so much for this opportunity. I’ve just got an internet conexion near home. Greetings from Ixtapan de la Sal. I’m gonna talk about this with my students.

  6. Jason Tsai says:

    Thank you to all those who made this space available and these conversations possible. Thanks as well to all the participants and speakers for so courageously speaking out for peace in their own unique shapes and forms. It’s a blessing to be here.

  7. Semein Washington says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share and participate, Carmel. Here’s to this format gaining momentum in the future and fostering more exchange and learning.

  8. Carmel Mawle says:

    I’ll drink to that (raising my tea cup to you now)! Thanks, Semein!

  9. Lyla June says:

    It was a true blessing to be a small part of this summit. Thank you , to all of you, for your kind efforts to make our world a better place. It is a joy and an honor to be a part of this movement!

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