Women’s Peace Conference|PEACE Mural

Gem Fire Air
3rd International Women’s Peace Conference
marty kleva
April 26, 2007
permanent url

3rd International Women’s Peace Conference

~ Empowering Peacemakers ~


Exploring Peace is the theme of GemFireAir for 2007. My explorations have led me to many places and people who are also involved with Peace in one form or another; some are Waging Peace, others are Keeping Peace. The organization PeaceMakers Inc is Empowering Peacemakers at the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference July 10-15, 2007 in Dallas Texas.

GemFireAir is pleased to announce that I have been invited to present an interactive workshop at the Conference, titled, If The World Is Our Oyster, Then We Are The Pearl. In this workshop, together we will explore personal perceptions of Peace throughout the Body, Mind, and Spirit and examine the question: As Peacemakers, how can we attract Peace?

It is an honor to be presenting amongst an esteemed group of women speakers such as Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women Save the World, and Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, founding Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Betty Williams, co-founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement, and Rgoberta Menchú Tum, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work promoting social justice for the indigenous people in her native Guatemala.

Coming from all parts of the world, the over 4000 expected women and men attendees will meet, strategize, and share opinions and ideas with keynote speakers, grass roots organizers, elected officials, and expert panelists.

Peacemakers Inc was founded by Texas journalist-author Vivian Castleberry in 1987, and sponsored the first conference held at Southern Methodist University in 1988 that brought together 2,000 women from 57 countries.

It would be wonderful to meet and see some GemFireAir readers at this conference. Come and share your peace skills and be involved to design an action plan for peace. For further information and registration you can go to www.womenspeaceconference.org.

In the upcoming time to the 3rd International Women’s Peace Conference, I will be featuring articles on Peace and adding a permanent link to the conference.


My discovery of the mural photo above, PEACE, is one of those occasions that happens like magic in this town, About a year ago, I turned down a street and came face to face with one of the most beautiful murals I’d ever seen—and there are lots of those in Santa Fe.

PEACE is part of the Santa Fe Mayor’s Community Youth Mural Program that was inspired by Mayor Debbie Jaramillo in 1994. The artists in the program vary in ages from teens to early 20’s, and are guided by a lead artist. Together, they plan, design, and carry out mural projects presenting a theme, and paint them on public spaces, such as the metal electrical boxes we all see on street corners and sides of public buildings that are otherwise subjected to tagging or graffiti around the City Different.

The mural PEACE • Santa Fe is on a building that among other things, houses the administrative facility for Santa Fe’s in-service teacher training. The fourteen participating artists were multicultural students led by Santa Fe muralist, Tony Truesdale. This mural is a complementary one of two with an archetypal masculine/feminine gender theme—the other is on a corresponding wall.

PEACE • Santa Fe depicts the feminine archetypal aspect, and the mural is circumscribed by the names of 29 women figures that symbolize Peace throughout history; all chosen and researched by the students. Among the women named are: Chilean Mothers of the Missing, Santa Fe Mothers Against Gang Violence, Lucretia Mott, Maya Angelou, Indira Gandhi, Aung San Sui Kyi, Mother Theresa, White Buffalo Woman, Queen of Peace, Rosa Parks, Mama Pacha, and the very same Guatemalan 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rgoberta Menchu who will be speaking at the Third International Women’s Peace Conference in Dallas this July.

There are many of these murals around Santa Fe. Check my photo gallery to see some that I have already posted. I will be writing more about the history of these murals and featuring them in a GemFireAir project.

Such a youth oriented program came out of a concern for the young people of Santa Fe and addresses the absence of peace within the younger community. In 1994, Mayor Debbie Jaramillo called for a meeting with the youth of Santa Fe and put forth her vision to pay them for the use of their talents to work in a group process creating, designing and painting murals on approved sites rather than have them act out their anger and violent feelings by destroying the faces of public buildings with graffiti, or tagging as it is known today.

It is a widely known fact throughout the city that these projects are not just youth oriented, but that they are youth driven, and guided by an adult lead muralist with as light a hand as is possible. Although there is still some tagging that goes on, the youth of the city seem to honor the work of their peers and refrain from defacing or destroying it.

The program, which for the first nine years was under the direction of Rosa Reis, has evolved through the thirteen years since its inception. Presently, I am tracking a mural project in progress that will culminate in June under the leadership of muralist, Jennifer Costas. I will be following this group of artists as they go through the different stages of designing multi-murals for the Franklin Mills Baseball Complex located on the corner of Camino Carlos Rey and Siringo.

Blessed Are the PeaceMakers • They Shall Be Called The Children of God

Con Amore,

~ mek


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