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Thrivent Choice Dollars Expire March 31st

posted Feb 3, 2017, 10:15 AM by Dan Thiede

Thrivent Choice
Thrivent Choice, the member-advised charitable grant program from Thrivent Financial, continues to be a welcome funding source for nonprofit organizations nationwide, and World Citizen is one of them.


If you are an eligible Thrivent member, you likely are aware of this easy, convenient way to help make a difference for organizations you care about. The Thrivent Choice program offers a way for eligible members to recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes some of its charitable grant funds each year. 

Eligible benefit members are designated Choice Dollars® that they can direct, thereby recommending charitable grant funding for their choice among thousands of enrolled nonprofit organizations, including World Citizen.

If you are eligible to participate in Choice Dollars, or are uncertain about your eligibility, visit http://Thrivent.com/thriventchoice.

Choice Dollars designated to eligible benefit members in 2016 must be directed by March 31, 2017.

Click here to contribute to World Citizen through your Choice Dollars now >>

Caren Stelson reads from Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story; Red Balloon Bookstore rededicates Peace Site

posted Feb 3, 2017, 10:11 AM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 10:16 AM ]

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 Minnesota author Caren Stelson was at the Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul for reading, discussion, and activities surrounding her book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story. This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945 and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Inspired by Sachiko’s commitment to nonviolence, Red Balloon rededicated their World Citizen Peace Site and invited guests to help fold 1,000 paper cranes in addition to the reading and book signing.

Saturn Returns did a couple of peace songs and Caren introduced her book, Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story. She told of her research efforts to make everything as authentic as possible and how her book came to be written.  Keiko translated some beginning Japanese phrases from Sachiko’s own words while Caren read some dramatic sections from the story so the audience would understand the full meaning of what happened and how Sachiko wanted her story told. Martha Roberts gave a short review of World Citizen, our mission, and our five Peace Actions.

Saturn Returns sang another song as the audience followed them outside to the Peace Site where everyone hung up a string of multi-colored paper cranes on Red Balloon’s  peace tree. After that we all went back in and the audience joined Saturn Returns in a lovely  peace song entitled “One Voice.” We ended by joining in fellowship with delicious Nagasaki cake.

Photos from the event:





Register now for Nov. 3, 2016 Equity in Education Summit

posted Sep 15, 2016, 1:24 PM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Sep 15, 2016, 1:32 PM ]

Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit is a collective-impact summit of educators, students, families, and community members that defines solutions to improve the future of education.

Date: Thursday, November 3
Time: Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.  Event 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: $100 for educators and administrators. Free for youth and families.

Location: 
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Event Center
2540 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404-4403




2016 Highlights: Keynote presentations by Gary Howard, New Wilderness Project, and Paul Chappell. Local breakout session presenters, artists and youth will lead conversations and activities throughout the day focused on educational equity. 

What Makes It Special: Most educational conferences are provided as an opportunity for educators only. By doing that, multiple perspectives are missing in the conversations. Our goal is to bring all voices together and move from discussion to action. Through collaboration focused on equity, the Saint Mary’s Graduate School of Education’s Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit brings together educators, students, families, and community members. When missing perspectives are intentionally included, our community is bound to be more creative in our solution-making and we will increase the opportunity to collectively improve the future.

Why Attend? Throughout the day, participants have the opportunity to learn strategies, identify new resources, experience creative expression, engage in dialogue and intentional networking, and commit to individual action toward solutions to make our schools more equitable. 



Book launch - Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor's Story

posted Sep 15, 2016, 1:14 PM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Sep 15, 2016, 1:28 PM ]

Join us for the launch of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor's Story. From the starred review in School Library Journal: "This sensitive and well-crafted account of a Nagasaki bomb survivor is an essential addition to World War II biography collections for middle school students."
  • Author: Caren Stelson
  • Bookstore: Common Good Books, 38 Snelling Ave (near Macalester College), Saint Paul
  • Date and Time: Wed., Oct. 19. 7:00 pm

Want to learn more about the book? This starred review appears in the September issue of School Library Journal:

 

Gr 5-8–Sachiko Yasui was just six years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown of Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945, she went from playing house with her friends to burying them. Yasui also lost a brother that day and would lose many more family members because of radiation sickness. Growing up, she was ostracized for her status as hibakusha, a bomb survivor. Despite her trauma and the bullying she faced, Yasui endured. She sought out inspiration from the likes of Helen Keller, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. Their works allowed her to make peace with the events in her life. Stelson recounts hearing Yasui speak at a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This event would spark a long and intimate process in which Stelson repeatedly met with and interviewed Yasui in order to tell her story. Frequent historical notes provide context to the events happening in the narrative: Japan’s role in World War II, the issue of racism in the war, President Truman’s ultimatum, the effects of radiation sickness, the U.S. occupation of Japan after the war, and more. Back matter includes a glossary of Japanese terms used in the book and detailed maps of where events took place. VERDICT: This sensitive and well-crafted account of a Nagasaki bomb survivor is an essential addition to World War II biography collections for middle school students.

–Deidre Winterhalter, Niles Public Library, IL



Lakes International Language Academy named international peace site

posted Aug 12, 2016, 7:35 AM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Aug 12, 2016, 7:36 AM ]

Lakes International Language Academy recently concluded its inaugural international language and cultural exchange program, "Camp Dragon – Mandarin By The Lake", which brought 18 Chinese students ages 10 and up and their chaperones to Forest Lake for two weeks. The day camp was presented in partnership with the Chinese Society of Education, the largest academic organization in China.

The Camp Dragon Opening Ceremony featured several guest speakers, including Madam Zhou of the Confucius Institute at St. Cloud State University; Garrison McMurtrey, representing Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office; Dan Solomon, representing Senator Al Franken’s office; State District 39A Representative Bob Dettmer; Zach Freimark, representing District 6 U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer; and teachers from China. The Chinese students introduced themselves with a slideshow and songs.

Martha Roberts recognizes LILA as an international peace siteFollowing the introductions, Martha Roberts, president of the nonprofit organization World Citizen, officially recognized Lakes International Language Academy as an international peace site and presented a plaque to Cam Hedlund, LILA Executive Director. World Citizen board members Lonnie Strand, Caren Stelson, Marta Goldenman, and Karen Johnson also attended the ceremony. Martha shared the five Peace Actions with the audience: Seek peace within yourself and others; reach out in service; protect the environment; respect diversity; and be a responsible citizen of the world. 


“The Peace Actions echo LILA’s mission to prepare our students to become global citizens and the principles of the International Baccalaureate curriculum,” said Shannon Peterson, LILA Director. “We’re thrilled to become an official international peace site.” LILA invited the Opening Ceremony guests to paint a thumbprint onto a peace symbol canvas to represent their commitment to promoting world peace.

During the camp, the Chinese guests taught their American “buddies” about their language and culture in the mornings, while the American students shared local activities and tours of the area, including visiting the Minnesota Twins facilities at Target Field, packing meals at Feed My Starving Children, and taking a field trip to the Mall of America. Local families hosted the guests in their homes. At the Closing Ceremony, students presented what they learned and exchanged emails to continue their new friendships.

“We were pleased with the attendance from China and a successful first year of the program,” said Camp Dragon Coordinator and LILA Spanish-immersion teacher Erin Voss, who worked with one of the school’s Chinese-immersion teachers, Yao Hsia, to develop and plan the camp. She added, “LILA hopes to send a group of our Upper School students to China next for a similar exchange program. It’s a great way to build language skills, cultural understanding, and awareness of global citizenship.”

LILA offers Spanish and Mandarin immersion programs for preschool through grade 12 based on the International Baccalaureate curriculum, with options for non-immersion students in grades 6-12 at the LILA Upper School. For more information about LILA’s tuition-free education options, visit www.MyLILA.org.

Register now for October 25 Peace Education Workshop featuring Zoe Weil

posted Jul 25, 2016, 7:41 AM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Jul 25, 2016, 7:41 AM ]

World Citizen is pleased to announce that Zoe Weil, a pioneer in the humane education movement, will be joining us for our Fall 2016 Peace Education Workshop on October 25 from 8:30am to 4:00pm at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Roseville, MN. Read on for more information or click here to register now for this free workshop opportunity

Date and Registration 

October 25, 2016, 8:30am-4:00pm
A Workshop Day featuring Zoe Weil
    Zoe Weil
    Zoe Weil (pronounced “Zoh While”) is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), and is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement. Zoe created IHE’s M.Ed., M.A. and graduate certificate programs, as well as IHE’s acclaimed humane education and MOGO (most good) workshops.

    Zoe is the author of six books, including the Nautilus Silver Medal–winner “Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life” (2009) and two books for young readers, including Moonbeam Gold Medal-winner “Claude and Medea” (2007). She has written numerous articles on humane education and humane living, and given interviews to such outlets as Forbes.com and numerous radio and television stations.

    Zoe speaks regularly at universities, conferences and schools, and in communities across the United States and Canada and periodically overseas. She has also served as a consultant on humane education to people and organizations around the world, and serves on the board of directors of Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART).

    In 2012, artist Robert Shetterly painted Zoe’s portrait for his acclaimed Americans Who Tell the Truth series. Also in 2012, Zoe was honored with the Women in Environmental Leadership award at Unity College. In 2010, she was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

    Zoe received master’s degrees in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1988 and in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. She is also certified in psychosynthesis counseling.

    Zoe lives with her husband and several rescued animals in a home adjoining the Institute for Humane Education in Surry, Maine.

    REGISTER NOW ONLINE


    Questions?

    If you have any questions about the workshops, please email Lonnie at lonnie.strand@peacesites.org.

    Students can explore peace on the 2016 Peace Matters Expedition

    posted Apr 30, 2016, 6:27 AM by Dan Thiede

    Outward Bound Peacebuilding is pleased to announce the June 2016 Peace Matters Expedition, an interfaith exploration of peace. The program is offered in partnership the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and delivered with Voyageur Outward Bound.

    This June, 12 student leaders will come together to explore the meaning and value of peace across faith traditions as they spend five days on a canoeing and rock climbing expedition in the St. Croix Riverway, Minnesota. After the expedition, students will participate in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, including an opportunity to collaborate in a dialogue session.

    Overview
    Interfaith dialogue is the positive interaction between people of different religious traditions on doctrine and/or matters of mutual concern in culture or politics. In partnership with the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding will offer extraordinary 5-day wilderness expeditions for student leaders representing different faith communities and concerned with the value of peace. Participants for the Peace Matters Expedition will be currently enrolled undergraduate students in U.S. institutions with demonstrated leadership capacity and interest in interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding.

    Program at a Glance
    • Orientation and pre-post curriculum sessions (done via webinar)
    • 5-day canoeing and rock climbing expedition in St. Croix Riverway, Minnesota
    • Dialogue session at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum
    Dates
    • June 1-5 — Expedition (Participants need to arrive to Minneapolis by the evening of May 31st for a 9am start time on June 1st)
    • June 7-9 — Nobel Peace Prize Forum is June 7-9
    Participant Profile
    Currently enrolled undergraduate students in U.S. institutions with demonstrated leadership capacity and interest in interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding.

    Location
    St. Croix Riverway, Minnesota


    A Memorial Tribute to Lynn Elling

    posted Mar 24, 2016, 4:49 AM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Mar 24, 2016, 5:03 AM ]

    World Citizen Founder Lynn Elling, passed away February 14, 2016, at the age of 94. Lynn founded World Citizen in 1972 in response to witnessing war and destruction while serving in WWII as a naval officer. Since then, World Citizen has worked effortlessly to empower communities to educate for a just and peaceful world. Through our Peace Site and Peace Education programs, Lynn’s vision and commitment to peace will continue to flourish. A memorial for Lynn will be held May 1 (also World Law Day) at 3:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis. This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Lynn; we hope you will enjoy reading tributes submitted by his friends and colleagues who have worked with him at World Citizen.

    Please click here to download this tribute as a PDF with more photos >>

    Click here if you'd like to make a donation to World Citizen in memory of Lynn >>

    Lynn was always thinking about ways to promote his Driving Dream of World Peace. One of his frameworks for promoting peace was International Peace Sites. Lynn and Donna went around the world to promote peace sites. He was promoting his “Driving Dream.” His passion was infectious. His story inspired others to keep going toward their dream of peace. Although the framework for his Driving Dream would change over the years, his ultimate goal to promote peace never changed. Sharing his passion was second nature to Lynn. Nobody can replace Lynn.  
    - Martha Roberts, World Citizen President

    What does it mean to be passionate about peace? If you knew Lynn Elling it would be easy to answer this question. The pursuit of a Just and Peaceful World was at the core of Lynn's “Driving Dream.” He would share his passion by telling us that now is “our window of opportunity.” Lynn wanted us to live every day taking advantage of this opportunity by sharing the mission and work of World Citizen in the name of peace. To know Lynn Elling was to know what it looks like when someone actually pursues a dream. World Citizen will strive to continue carrying this passion for peace forward.  Many thanks and our respect to the memory of Lynn Elling for creating the organization that makes this possible.
    - Kathy Millington, World Citizen Executive Director

    After seeing the horrors of war and visiting Hiroshima Lynn Elling was captured by a vision of a world at peace with justice. He lived out that vision every day of his nearly 95 years. He agreed with Gandhi that if we want peace we need to start with the children. He founded World Citizen which now has hundreds of Peace Sites in Minnesota and around the world. He began the Peace Prize Festival at Augsburg College and supported the W.C. Peace Education Program. The amazing thing about Lynn is that he was as committed to working on peace for the brothers and sisters of the human family as anyone. He was never discouraged on that. To his dying day Lynn lived as a “Blessed Peacemaker” for which we are profoundly thankful.
    - Lowell O. Erdahl, Chair of the World Citizen Board

    Lynn was a lovely man who had a big, generous and kind heart. I’m so grateful to have had him in my life.
    - Michael Bergman, former World Citizen Board Member

    I am honored to have known Lynn Elling since 1990 when Poplar Bridge of Bloomington Schools became a Peace Site. That was the start of my involvement with the total of seven Bloomington Schools becoming Peace Sites, and being a board member with World Citizen, which Lynn founded. Lynn has always put 100% in his vision of peace. He always “stepped up to the plate” for peace, and was a great influence for peace. The world will
    miss his enthusiasm for peace. My Deepest Appreciation to the Elling Family.
    - Flora Tsukayama, World Citizen Secretary

    I have only known Lynn and witnessed his feisty spirit for a couple of years as a board member for World Citizen. That was long enough to get a taste of his zest and pride for the peace process of World Citizen and his campaign for an International Law Day. I admired his never give up attitude and his endless pursuit of those dreams. I will miss his presence at our meetings.
    - Karen Johnson, World Citizen Board Member

    He was no wallflower. He was relentless for the cause.
    - Dick Bernard, former World Citizen Board Member

    He applied his skills across a range of products and ideas. Tenacity was his lifelong effort in educating about peace and ethics.
    - Mark Ritchie, former Minnesota Secretary of State and former World Citizen Board Member

    I was looking through some albums recently and came upon many reflections of Peace Days at J. J. Hill. When I meet former students, they talk positively about that day each year when we reflected on peace as a big celebration at the annual rededication of J. J. Hill as a peace site. I believe Lynn Elling made such an impact on the celebration of peace in all areas of our lives and I applaud his efforts to inspire us all to live better more thoughtful lives!
    - Rita Hanle, retired educator from J. J. Hill Montessori in St. Paul and former World Citizen Board Member

    I first met Lynn Elling on a flight from Minneapolis to New York City, along with other local peace activists on their way to participate in the June 12, 1982 Peace March and Rally in Central Park. This was to coincide with the Second Special Session Against Nuclear Arms taking place at the United Nations. Lynn had come prepared with many bags of World Citizen peace buttons and walked up and down the aisle of the plane encouraging (insisting?!) all he met to take a bag to sell for the benefit of whatever non-nuclear cause in which they were involved! In the years since, we have seen Lynn take advantage of any situation to spread the message of peace. His example of persistence and consistency has taught us all to be totally committed to our own personal journeys of PEACE!
    - Marj Wunder, former World Citizen Board Member

    Please click here to download this tribute as a PDF with more photos >>

    Click here if you'd like to make a donation to World Citizen in memory of Lynn >>

    Thrivent Choice Dollars Expire March 31st

    posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:31 PM by Dan Thiede

    Thrivent Choice
    Thrivent Choice, the member-advised charitable grant program from Thrivent Financial, continues to be a welcome funding source for nonprofit organizations nationwide, and World Citizen is one of them.


    If you are an eligible Thrivent member, you likely are aware of this easy, convenient way to help make a difference for organizations you care about. The Thrivent Choice program offers a way for eligible members to recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes some of its charitable grant funds each year.

    Eligible benefit members are designated Choice Dollars® that they can direct, thereby recommending charitable grant funding for their choice among thousands of enrolled nonprofit organizations, including World Citizen.

    If you are eligible to participate in Choice Dollars, or are uncertain about your eligibility, visit http://Thrivent.com/thriventchoice.

    Choice Dollars designated to eligible benefit members in 2015 must be directed by March 31, 2016.

    Click here to contribute to World Citizen through your Choice Dollars now >>

    Eight upcoming Restorative Practice trainings for youth and adults

    posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:13 PM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Mar 1, 2016, 4:21 PM ]

    Restorative Practices Hold Students Accountable and Help Repair Harm When It Happens
    A restorative school is centered on relationships, building community and repairing harm. Multiple practices provide multi-tiered levels of support for students, staff and family.

     
    Some of this June’s training workshops are designed for people new to restorative practices and other workshops are for those who have experience in the field. For example, the “Restorative Practices Foundations” workshop provides an overview of restorative justice principles and theory, restorative practices in schools, implementation guidance and a review of resources. Meanwhile, the “Advanced Circle Keepers’ Training” is for people experienced with repair of harm processes.
     
    There are eight trainings to choose from and many of those allow you to register youth as well as adults. The week will end with the Circle Networking Day, open to restorative practitioners and all training participants.

    You can find much information on Restorative Practices at the MDE website: Restorative Practices.

    Ready to register? You can do that here.

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