Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – one of the first state capitals of the 50 United States, has embarked on a year-long project engaging more than 40 diverse civic organizations and 260 citizens in the dedication of its River Front Park as an IIPT Peace Promenade. The Harrisburg Peace Promenade is co-Chaired by Rep Patty Kim, 103rd Legislative District, and Jeff Haste, President of Dauphin County Commissioners.
The project utilizes Riverfront Park as a common ground, and links commemorations and interpretive programs for eight public monuments along the six acre linear park which exemplify the city’s journey towards tolerance, freedom and peaceful co-existence. The commemoration monuments allow neighbors, visitors, and guests who frequent the Susquehanna River walkway to pause and reflect on historic stewardship as well as the current challenges for accomplishing peace and peaceful co-existence in Harrisburg. A self-guided walking tour map has been created for host families from across the city.
A series of visits and events were held this past week at venues including: the Science and Technology High School, Harrisburg University, Dauphin County Administration Building, Martin Luther King Municipal Building, Midtown Scholar Book Store, and Harrisburg Mid-Town Arts Center. Centerpiece of the events was a reception at the Hilton Harrisburg Hotel with guests of honor, Mrs. Naomi King, wife of A.D. King, brother of Martin Luther King, Dr. Babs Onabanjo, President and CEO of the A. D. King Foundation, and Dr. Louis D’Amore, Founder and President, International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT).
Community Leaders together with Mrs. King, Lou D’Amore and Dr. Babs Onabanjo following a luncheon.
Orchestrating the project as a volunteer is Mr. Lenwood Sloan – well known across the U.S. as a catalytic agent, animator, and facilitator of cultural and heritage programs. For the past 40 years, Mr. Sloan has provided inspiration, leadership and technical assistance both in the public and private sector. Lenwood has been involved in film, cultural, heritage and recreational initiatives in Pennsylvania including collaboration with the National Park Service on the 50 site “Underground Railroad Trail” for which he received the Pennsylvania “Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award” and in 2011, the Pennsylvania Civil War trails for which he won the Historical Society’s Innovation Award.
ExemplarsThe Reception event also honored Exemplars for their contribution to Harrisburg.
Remaining Events during the year-long project include
Historic Harrisburg Association, March 26 –
“A Stewardship Forum on Women and War”
Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center, April 9
Holocaust Event – Dialogue: Remembrance and Reaffirmation
Physicians for Social Responsibility, April 27
St. Stephens Episcopal Cathedral, May 5,
Dialogue: Harrisburg 1860 – 1960
Susquehanna Arts Museum, June – July (multiple events)
Art Immersion Workshops – “Raising the Colors of Peace”
Olewine Public Library, July 11-13, 2018
Art Immersion Workshops – “Making Your Own Peace Pole”
Market Square Presbyterian Church, August 5
Governor's Mansion, September 1
Dialogue: Citizenship and a Blue Print for Seven Generations
Harrisburg University, September 7, 2018
Seven Generations Town Hall
Dauphin County Library - Front and Walnut, October 10
Grace Un, ted Methodist Church, November 11,
Veterans Day 2018
A wreath laying event at each of the eight monument sites is supported by a Civic Dialogue in the adjacent neighborhood and an anchor arts immersion experience.
Dauphin County Proclamation
IIPT Global Peace Parks Project
As part of its 30th Anniversary Year events, IIPT has launched a “Global Peace Parks Project” with a goal of 2,000 Peace Parks circling the earth by November 11, 2018, the Centenary of the end of World War I and its theme “No More War”. The project builds on the foundations of IIPT’s Peace Parks across Canada Project in 1992 commemorating Canada’s 125th birthday as a nation. That project resulted in 350 cities and towns dedicating a park to peace and was said to be the most significant of more than 25,000 Canada 125 Projects.
Partnering with IIPT on the project is United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government with a global network of cities, local and regional governments representing 70% of the world population. UCLG goals include contributing to the achievement of the SDG’s, Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and New Urban Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development
Objectives of the IIPT Global Peace Parks are: to nurture the growth of peace and understanding at home and throughout the world; enhance awareness of a community’s commitment to peace and a healthy environment; create common ground for the community to come together in celebration of their nation’s people, land, and heritage, and the common future of all humankind; reflect on our connectedness to one another as a Global Family and Tour common home, planet Earth.