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Thursday, September 20, 2012

EDIGER MEMORIAL INTERFAITH CELEBRATION of ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE Las Vegas, Nevada Community Event, September 23, 2012



For Immediate Release                     September 17, 2012
               
From: Nevada Desert Experience.
CONTACT: Jim Haber, Coordinator (702) 646-4814

EDIGER MEMORIAL INTERFAITH CELEBRATION of ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE
Las Vegas, Nevada Community Event, September 23, 2012

(Las Vegas, NV). The Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada is partnering with Nevada Desert Experience and Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service to present a community event – The Ediger Memorial Interfaith Celebration of Active Nonviolence – on Sunday, September 23, from 3:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Islamic Society of Nevada, 4730 East Desert Inn Road.

The Celebration of Active Nonviolence comes on the heals of the International day of Peace, September 21. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend the free event (donations welcome) which will include a program of powerful panelists, useful exercises, heart-lifting music, stimulating dialogue and a complementary dinner. Childcare available.

About some of the presenters and prayer-offerers:
Vincent Harding, chairperson of the Hope Project; A Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic Renewal, will share the keynote presentation with Nobel Prize nominee Kathy Kelly. Co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly recently returned from another of many delegations to Afghanistan in coordination with the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Harding was a close friend of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. and is credited with drafting one of King's most outstanding talks, the April 4, 1967 Riverside Church sermon when he came out publicly against the war in Vietnam.

Mary Litell will share self-care techniques taught by Capacitar International in settings including refugee camps, prisons and schools. Rae Abileah of CODEPINK Women for Peace and Young, Jewish & Proud will talk about what inspires her to be a nonviolent activist today.  Ahmed Younis, Co-Author of the soon-to-be-released book American Blackness: Reflective Thoughts by Men of Faith, will offer reflections on the discussion from the perspective of an up-and-coming Muslim-American . The St. James the Apostle Catholic Church Gospel Choir will stir the audience to song. Prayers for Peace will be offered by representatives of many faiths, including Imam Aslam Abdullah, Bishop Dan Edwards, Pastor Gard Jameson, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Fr. Louis Vitale. Priestess Candace Ross, Sikh Teji Malik and Rev. Adolph Kunen.

As an expressive, community-building effort, a “Graffiti Wall for Free Expression” will be available for people to artistically share and blend their philosophies and hopes for a world free of wars, hatred and violence, and how we might create that here. A substantial library of hard to find nonviolence resources will also be on display.

The late Peter Ediger, local poet and peacemaker dedicated his life to the practice of nonviolence in many ways, both personal and political. Ediger's work in his final months was to organize this event to help the world to begin “celebrating faith, hope and love as alternatives to cynicism, despair and fear” by engaging (all) communities into passionate dialogue of the true meaning of active nonviolence – any creative alternative to either passive inaction or countering violence with more violence.

Jim Haber, who has chaired the celebration's organizing committee since Ediger's death in February comments, “Participants will leave the Ediger Celebration with useful tools for helping cope with violence in their lives be it due to war or other abuse. People's real-life stories will be discussed, of resisting violence without returning it and actually succeeding more than with violence and retaliation. The mass killings in Aurora CO, Milwaukee WI and elsewhere shouldn't be seen as isolated from the violence and wars our country is engaged in abroad, especially since the U.S. produces more weapons than any other country, is responsible for over half of global arms sales and spends over $2 Billion every day on the military.”

Gard Jameson, lifelong philanthropist, author, scholar and Chair of the Interfaith Counsel of Southern Nevada, shares, “Hopefully we can escalate the quality of our collaborations catalyzed by the tragedy in Libya and the hope of a better world. Our event on the 23rd provides great opportunity for community engagement.”

Vincent Harding offers, “Part of what gives me hope is that wherever I go in this country in the midst of all the temptation to despair, I find women and men and young people and communities working to create an alternative to fear and despair....”

Kathy Kelly warns, “Over the past six decades, U.S. activists have made significant gains in movements for civil rights, women's rights and labor rights. And yet, we must heed Dwight Eisenhower's words, spoken three days before he left the oval office:  "Be wary of the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex.  Our gathering will help us plan and act with tough minds and tender hearts as we work toward ending the scourge of warfare..

People can get more information or RSVP (appreciated for food preparation and childcare) Please Visit Nevadadesertexperience.org or Interfaithsn.org.  Contact Us at (702) 646-4814 or Visit Us on Facebook – Ediger Celebration of Active Nonviolence.

Peace, Shalom, Pace e Bene!

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