Thursday, January 8, 2015

We're nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!


What better way to start the new year than to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?  :)

I have exciting news to share with you, my friends.  One Billion Acts of Peace (http://www.1billionacts.org/), a campaign which I have the honor of co-chairing with Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by 6 Nobel Peace Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  One Billion Acts of Peace is a global campaign that works together with 13 Nobel Peace Laureates to try to inspire one billion acts of peace worldwide, in 5 years.

I received the news on Monday evening, my first workday of the year.  At first, I was a little shell-shocked (in a good way).  Then I was over the moon.  After that, the weight of the responsibility sunk in.  Wow.  I work with a wonderful team of more than 100 committed individuals doing amazing, Nobel-Prize-worthy work, and I get to pretend to be their leader.  I'm immensely humbled by the team.  I will try my best not to mess this one up (more than usual, I mean).

One Billion Acts of Peace needs you, my friends.  At this time, our biggest need is for corporate partners.  If you would like to consider being one of our corporate partners, we'll so love to hear from you.  You may email my fellow co-chair Dawn (who has been personally nominated 14 times for the Nobel Peace Prize, probably a world record of some sort) at dawn @ peacejam.org.

And here is the nomination letter signed by 6 Nobel Peace Laureates.  I'm told that this counts as being nominated 6 times for the Nobel Peace Prize, which I'm guessing is 6 times cooler than being nominated only once, assuming that coolness scales linearly.

(Update 2014/01/13: I've just been informed that Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams joined in the nomination, so that makes 7!)


=== NOMINATION LETTER ===

Norwegian Nobel Committee            
December 30, 2014
Oslo, Norway


"Dear Members of the Committee;

I am very happy to be writing to you today, to nominate PeaceJam Foundation Co-Founders Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, and their "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign, for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.  And I am very pleased that five of my sister and brother Nobel Peace Laureates are joining me in making this nomination.

When I first met Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, they had what seemed to be a crazy idea.  They wanted to create a program called PeaceJam, and they wanted to ask only Nobel Peace Laureates to serve as members of their board. Everyone must have told them that they were completely crazy to try to attempt something so unprecedented.

But here we are, twenty years later, and the PeaceJam Foundation now has 13 Nobel Peace Prize winners who are members of its Board, and PeaceJam has truly become our international educational outreach program to the youth of the world -- Nobels mentoring youth to change the world.  More than one million young people, from 39 different countries, have participated in the PeaceJam program, and these young people have created over two million projects designed to solve the most pressing problems in their own communities.  PeaceJam has carried out more than 200 Peace Congresses for Youth, where budding young leaders work side by side with Nobel Peace Laureates, and it is one of the most transformational programs for young people that I have ever seen.

Now Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjeff have come up with an even more ambitious idea -- a campaign to inspire people all over the world to work together to create One Billion Acts of Peace by the end of the year 2019.  They want to inspire global citizens to create high quality projects which are designed to tackle the toughest issues facing humanity.  There are ten core focus areas for this campaign:  Advancing Women and Children; Access to Water and Natural Resources;  Education and Community Development; Global Health and Wellness; Environmental Sustainability; Conflict Resolution; Ending Racism and Hate; Human Rights for All; Alleviating Extreme Poverty; and Controlling Weapons Access and Proliferation.

They have worked with leaders in the technology industry to create a cutting edge campaign that will empower average people all over the world to become effective agents of change.  People will be able to use the latest in technology to collaborate together to solve the world's toughest problems, under the leadership and guidance of Nobel Peace Laureates.  Non profit organizations, businesses, and institutions around the world are already joining in to become a part of the campaign.  PeaceJam launched its audaciously ambitious "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign at the Social Innovation Summit at the United Nations last summer, and they are working on such a grand scale in order to be able to truly change the course of the future for all of humanity.  Their goal is to create one of the most powerful global citizen's campaigns that the world has ever seen.

In the thirty years that have transpired since I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I have found that it is this sort of big thinking and courageous craziness that can truly make things happen.  I am nominating them and their "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, because I want to encourage this kind of audacity, and to support this effort to unleash the goodness and greatness of the people of the world.  Together, we truly can create a world where everyone has access to clean water, a decent place to live, enough to eat, a good education; and social justice and human rights -- the kind world that God wants to see for all of us.  We do indeed have the power to create this world, in our own hands.  The "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign will bring so very many of us together, to dream this dream together, and to begin to make it so.

Sincerely,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

President Oscar Arias

Leymah Gbowee

Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Betty Williams

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