Stories

Read on to learn how your neighbors have made the world a better place.

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Your Own Destiny

I met Titus when I was a life-coach at Ivy Tech Community College. Titus had this vibrancy and determination about him. He oozed with positivity and had unbridled eagerness. When he shared his story with me, I was moved. Titus recalled being the “peacekeeper,” even in the broken and hopeless moments of his life. His … Continue reading Your Own Destiny

The Iraqi Student Project

As one looks at today’s world of international conflict and violence, it is important to consider what each of us can do to promote peace. Perhaps the example of a local group will provide a bit of guidance. Those involved will remain anonymous, with two exceptions, because participants are far too numerous to name. In … Continue reading The Iraqi Student Project

Songbird

He’s one of the numerous unsupervised kids in the neighborhood. Waving to us from the backyard of a derelict house, he flows into us steadily. I wonder what he thinks of us, upon seeing Kathy’s wide grin and my bird bones colliding to demonstrate flight. There we were, a white woman, a yellow girl, and … Continue reading Songbird

Image by essie, on flickr.com

Bringing People Together

A few years ago, Myles Robertson created the Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) campus garden. In the summer of 2014, Mike Staszewski, a current IUSB student, took a leadership role in maintaining and organizing involvement for the garden’s upkeep. In addition, Mike wanted to create campus awareness. He shared, “I wanted to communicate and get … Continue reading Bringing People Together

Giving Back

I met Darion Gates at the Fremont Youth Foundation Stop the Violence Back to School Block Party. He had laser-light focus, a can-do spirit and a contagious attitude. “You’ve been working hard all day. Tell me why you are here today.” “I grew up over here. I am giving back to my community because when … Continue reading Giving Back

South Bend Code School

This summer the South Bend Code School (southbendcodeschool.com) launched it’s pilot program which consisted of teaching Children at the Robinson Community Learning Center how to code. The kids we worked with built web applications for the City of South Bend centered around preventing violence. Four applications were built in total. 1) Positive Effects: A graffiti tagging … Continue reading South Bend Code School

Dare to Stand Alone

The year was 1941. The scars of the “Great War” had not yet been recognized as seeds of the next war. It was a time of much uncertainty and questions. How would a way be found out of the Great Depression that followed? Would the munitions makers have answers? Would the sour taste of the … Continue reading Dare to Stand Alone

Finding Inner Peace

When I met Jeff for the first time, he had this contagious and jaw-dropping presence about him. I could tell right away that he loved serving people. Jeff is currently studying social work and has worked with diverse groups of people, in many settings. His ability to meet people where they are, without judgment, allows … Continue reading Finding Inner Peace

Deciding to Keep the Peace

My sisters and I were at a reunion, and these girls came up to us. They were infuriated about an “LOL” comment we posted on social media, so they started fighting with my sisters. After the fight was over, they asked people where we lived — they were hoping to fight some more. I don’t know what … Continue reading Deciding to Keep the Peace

Peace Walks

For the better part of a year, the Community for Peace and Nonviolence sponsored “Peace Walks.” Leaders of this initiative included Pastor Larry Fourman, Reverend Gilbert Washington, Pastor Michael Patton, André Gingerich Stoner, and Seabie Gavin. What were they? From 10 pm to midnight once a month, Black and White pastors and church members from … Continue reading Peace Walks

Testing Inequality

A part of bringing about peace in our world involves working to see that all people are treated fairly, regardless of their race, religion, national origin, sex, or sexual preference. With this thought in mind, back in the spring of 1963 I agreed to be a ‘tester’. You may be wondering what being a tester … Continue reading Testing Inequality