In Gratitude is dedicated as a page of thanks and gratitude for those who are making this project possible. As of today, not one person has been paid from any services provided to the 24 Peaces project. All services, time, talents and contribution have been in kind donations, and that truly humbles me. I am blessed. - GENE
Haj Ibrahim Abu El Hawa is one of the founders of Jerusalem Peacemakers and the head of a large peacemaker community in the Holy Land. He comes from a long line of community fathers who have lived on the Mount of Olives since the days of the Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. (7th Century). Haj Ibrahim and his wife Naïma, a quiet and steady grandmother and hostess, welcome a continual stream of visitors to their open home.
Born in Sargodha, the daughter of village school teachers, she grew up in a community of mainly landless farm laborers. Despite her limited access to resources and opportunities, she overcame every barrier courageously, emerged as a grassroots leader and proved that women can make their paths to leadership. Rubina is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership studies from the University of San Diego in the United States.
As a global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra is transforming the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. He is a prolific author of more than sixty-four books, including nineteen New York Times bestsellers. His book Peace Is the Way received the prestigious Religions and Spirituality Quill Award in 2005, and The Book of Secrets was awarded the grand prize at the 2005 Nautilus Book Awards. His latest New York Times bestseller, War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality (co-authored with physicist Leonard Mlodinow), successfully elevates the conversation between science and religion in a way that is thoughtful and constructive rather than polarizing and divisive.
"24 Peaces is an artist's journey to invite people to ask the question "What is peace?" and to powerfully connect them with their own ability to create peace such that they are inspired to action."
Desmond Mpilo Tutu began his career as a high school teacher but turned to theology after the 1953 Bantu Education Act enforced racial segregation in all educational institutions. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1960, becoming the first black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975 and the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches four years later. An outspoken critic of the apartheid government, he insisted that racial segregation was against God’s will. He soon became well-known internationally for his commitment to non-violence and for his support for economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa.
In an effort to promote education, reduce gang violence, and strengthen families in South Los Angeles, retired school teacher Millicent “Mama” Hill started Mama Hill’s Help Incorporated out of her home in 2000. Mama Hill’s Help is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides an after-school program to assist children between the ages of 5 and 18.
Peace practitioner and humanitarian Merlie “Milet” B. Mendoza of the Philippines has over two decades of peacebuilding experience ranging from the Office of the President in Manila to the conflicted frontlines of Mindanao. Currently Mendoza teaches social work and disaster management and provides technical support on disaster response and risk reduction to church-based social action organizations within the Catholic Caritas network in the Philippines.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1 New York Times Best Sellers. A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." - often misattributed to Nelson Mandela's Inaugural address - is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.
Dr. Michael Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building spiritual community. In the 1970’s he began an inward journey into the teachings of East and West, and today teaches universal truth principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality. Gifted with a vision of a trans-denominational spiritual community, in 1986 he founded the Agape International Spiritual Center upon his faith in that original vision.
Eliyahu McLean is the director of the Jerusalem Peacemakers, a network of religious leaders and grassroots peacebuilders in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Guy Laliberté founded Quebec's first internationally renowned circus with the support of a small group of colleagues. He recognized and cultivated the talents of the buskers from the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil in 1984 with the support of a government grant for Canada's 450th anniversary celebrations. Cirque du Soleil was originally set up as a one-year project. However, the government of Quebec wanted a touring event that would perform in other provinces.
Arvol Looking Horse is the 19th generation keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundleand holds the responsibility of spiritual leader among the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota People. He holds an honorary Doctorate from the University of South Dakota, and travels and speaks extensively on peace, environmental and native rights issues. He has been the recipient of several awards, including the Wolf Award of Canada for his dedicated work for peace. A skilled horseman, he shares his knowledge with the youth on the long distance rides that take place in South Dakota throughout the year.
Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell are environmental, anti-war and cultural activists in northern California. Their work centers on waking people up to the ‘cultural potholes’ that damage community and interpersonal relations. They co-authored a book, Seduction Redefined, which combines brain science, evolutionary psychology and personal experience to help women remember their critical role as equal partners in creating peaceful culture. Their current project is a documentary, The Eve Option, which advocates partnership of the masculine and feminine as humanity’s last best chance for survival.