Pillars of the Dream, Vol. 2

The Power and Profit of Peace

 “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

― Jimi Hendrix

The month of August is celebrated as International Peace Month—as well as, Black Business Month, National Wellness Month, and Happiness Happens Month, among others. All of these are worthy of spotlighting, but we chose to recognize the contributions of peacemakers in this issue of Pillars of the Dream because it turns out that the act of making peace isn’t so peaceful.

When we think about the word peace, connections with tranquility and stillness, quiet and calm are conjured. Yet, the peacemakers we highlight this month are anything but. Their work is happening in a world where there are few periods free from civil disturbance, and freedom from oppression does not yet exist. Speaking truth to power to promote peace isn’t a very peaceful experience. It requires action that often causes friction—rubbing up against norms that glorify battle and the foundations of inequity. Yet, these peacemakers do it anyway. Understanding that actions to create peace will undoubtedly take them into the middle of war, they stand up for the right of humans to live in harmony.

Leslie Short

Show producer, corporate strategist, marketing and branding expert, Leslie Short is not at first glance the image of the peaceful peacemaker. Yet as founder, president and CEO of The Cavu Group, she has become an influencer for harmony in the workplace—not as a corny concept, but as a cornerstone of the successful company. The Cavu Group assists organizations in considering their company culture, supporting real conversations focused on issues of accessibility, race, gender, and sexuality.

Studies have found that surface compulsory training on diversity do not necessarily lead to inclusion, and in fact, may cause a backlash effect that hampers inclusivity. Ms. Short brings her diverse entrepreneurial background and expert councils to support deeper conversations to help employees and employers understand the negative impacts of bias and the positive impact of team inclusion. Ms. Short offers concrete evidence that peace can, indeed, be profitable.

Tamika Mallory

In what has been dubbed the “Speech of a Generation,” Tamika Mallory declared a state of emergency in America during a May 2020 protest following the untimely killing of George Floyd at the hands of careless police officers. Her words quickly went viral, as she plainly stated the impossibility of peace without justice, and the impossibility of justice within a system supportive of white nationalist ideology. As one of the co-chairs of the world-wide 2017 Women’s March, this was not the first time Ms. Mallory’s message would go viral (and it probably won’t be the last).

I Can't Breathe, Woman's Protest

Firmly rooted at the cross section of gender, race, and class, Ms. Mallory is a stalwart change agent for the adoption of universal equal human rights. Her nonprofit Until Freedom “is an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice.” Celebrating the inherent worthiness and necessity of each and every human being, Until Freedom supports everyday people in extraordinarily confronting inequality and forwarding the efforts of peacemaking at the local level.

Osheta Moore

Broken but continually being made whole,” peacemaking podcaster  Osheta Moore is real, raw, and ready to help restore and reconcile the wounded—and that’s everyone. Her message of healing without shame has been so powerful that her listeners refuse to allow her to shutter her Shalom Sistas podcast. Her ministry is summed up in her bio:

Living at the intersections of so many seemingly contrary ideas and identities has helped me confidently embrace the “middle”. The gray space where most of us reside and feel constantly tugged to be either/or. But life and people are messy and I’ve learned to love being in the middle.

Neither white nor black. Neither secular nor sacred. Neither conservative nor liberal.

Only me and Jesus.

Only Kingdom and the community of believers. Only peacemaking and barrier breaking.

You know, all that stuff Jesus talked about in all four Gospels.

Rooted in the reality that peace is a byproduct of vulnerability, Mrs. Moore opens her heart and her wounds for all to see. Surprised by her own life, Moore holds the space for others to explore the disappointments, trials, and surprises of their own lives. In conversation instead of confrontation, she invites the uncomfortable questions to support productive dialogue and forge deeper human connection.

Peace, Equality, Love

Tegla Loroupe

The Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation was founded by sports activist Tegla Loroupe who believes in the ability of athletes to promote peace through sport. The mission of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation is “to promote peaceful building, livelihood and resilience of poor people affected by violence and vulnerable to conflicts and civil strife in the world.”

Loroupe earned her place among world-class runners as the first African woman to win the New York City Marathon (1994, and again in 1995); and the first African woman to win the World Half Marathon Championships (three-time winner, 1997 – 98); as well as, winner of the Rotterdam, Berlin, Rome, and London Marathons, among others. She still holds several world records set over twenty years ago.

Loroupe stands in stark contrast to athletes who have been called out for falling far short of their idol mentor stature. In the true spirit of an Olympian (competing three times, 1992 – 2000), she has used her platform to carry the flame of freedom, peace, and equality.

As protests about race, privilege and police brutality have encouraged worldwide conversations, a spotlight has revealed the unimaginable hardships facing muted—not voiceless—communities. These peacemakers are turning up the volume, clearly articulating the virtue and value of peace.

Pillars of The Dream is a monthly message of motivation, featuring amazing dreamers from around the nation and around the world, who are using their gifts and skills to play bigger. Highlighting the creativity and talent of diverse people whose brilliance might fly under the radar, Pillars of The Dream hopes to kindle the sparks of your dreams. The world is waiting for you. 

*The information offered here is for informational and inspirational purposes only. Links are provided for the convenience of the reader should you want additional information. No affiliation exists with the persons or businesses discussed here unless specifically stated. No language is intended as an endorsement of any services, products or persons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.