Peace Pioneer

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Peace Pioneer

Visions of calico dresses and poke bonnets, wagon trains, prairies and the wild, wild west? Me too. Pioneer brings that up. Bizarrely or not, the word comes from Old French and means a foot-soldier. I’m not too enchanted to link the idea of soldiers with peace, but consider this news from The Student Peace Alliance on the Web.

“We are so proud and excited to share this news! Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont-based socially conscious ice-cream maker, announced today at its New York City Times Square Scoop Shop that Aaron Voldman, Executive Director of the Student Peace Alliance (SPA) and Board Member of The Peace Alliance, is one of two nationwide winners of its “Peace Pioneer” contest.graphic: Imagine Whirled Peace Ice Cream

“The ceremony was part of Ben & Jerry’s joint effort with The Lennon Estate and Peace One Day, a nonprofit global peace organization, to encourage people to work for peace every day.

“Award-winning actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, presented Aaron and fellow Peace Pioneer, Robert Kent of the Peace Camp Initiative with donations of $10,000 each for their respective organizations.

“The $10,000 contribution in support of Student Peace Alliance will be donated on a tax-deductible basis to Peace Partnership International and restricted for use by Student Peace Alliance in building youth leadership for peace. Graphic: The Lennon Estate

“This recognition of the significance of our work is one of the most public and mainstream acknowledgments we’ve received to date. Congratulations to you and everyone in the campaign for, as Aaron put it in his acceptance remarks, helping “… build this movement to make peace as American as ice cream and apple pie.”

“More information about the award and the events in New York City is available on the SPA website. Check back frequently as we’ll add links to press coverage and video of the event as we receive it.

“100-Chapter Mark Reached
And the good news just keeps coming! We’re also pleased to announce that SPA has grown to include 100 high school and college chapters in over 30 states. All this just since its founding in March 2006! An updated list of active chapters can be downloaded on the SPA website.

“Help Celebrate and Keep SPA Growing
In celebration of Aaron’s recognition and SPA reaching 100 chapters, we invite you to donate to Student Peace Alliance and invest in the future of peace that Aaron and all of us are working to create. If just 100 people give $100 each we can match the donation made by Ben & Jerry’s! Donations of $100, $50, $25 or $10 a month will go a long way in helping us support and expand the work being done by SPA all across the nation.

“Please take a moment and donate to SPA today! “

In days of yore, pioneers—foot-soldiers—were often the youngest enlistees in the military. Pioneers, especially amongst young people, are exactly what is needed to create an organic peace on earth. Sign ?em up!

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