CULTURE MATTERS: Parading for peace

By on September 17, 2013
Community School students display the 20-foot wingspan of the peace dove they created as part of their community service for Sunday’s peace parade. (JULIE KLING)

Community School students display the 20-foot wingspan of the peace dove they created as part of their community service for Sunday’s peace parade.

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Shalom, pax, friede, paix, mnp, paz. No matter what language used to express peace, the universal symbol for it is a white dove and one reason Dr. Jane Goodall, the United Nation’s Messenger of Peace, chose a dove puppet with a 20-foot wingspan to lead Roots and Shoots’ peace parades around the world on the U. N.’s International Day of Peace, officially September 21. Each year, Goodall travels to one of the world’s celebrating communities to lead its peace parade. On Sunday, she will lead a parade down Jackson’s own Broadway with our community-created dove puppets.

In preparation for the parade, school children, teens, artists of all ages, Old Bill’s Fun Run participants, galleries and nonprofits have been making peace dove puppets, small and large. At the start of the school year, Christian Burch, a Community School literature and art teacher, took 10 students to Center for the Arts to make the first peace dove. Now there are six giant doves awaiting flight for Sunday’s parade, as well as countless small doves guaranteed to make a visually spectacular parade, said Julie Kling of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

Prior to Sunday’s parade, children can join with Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to create their own peace doves while their parents attend a workshop designed to reinvigorate Goodall’s signature initiative Roots and Shoots program. Shawn Sweeney, national director of youth outreach and engagement, will conduct the workshop. Though the emphasis, he said, will be primarily for educators and how they can take the program into their classrooms and communities, the workshop is open to anyone.

Sweeney said he is coming to Jackson for this workshop because Jackson does not have a huge base of Roots and Shoots groups. Combined with the people gathered for next week’s Great Ape Summit and Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, it is an opportunity to see the program grow.

“The big crux of [Roots and Shoots] is to explore how people, animals and the environment are all connected to each other and then develop and implement solutions that can benefit all three,” Sweeney said. The solutions are personal to each community and developed using a technique that Roots and Shoots developed called community mapping, which is the topic of the workshop.

Essentially the map creates a visual guide, and the process of community mapping empowers those who work on it. “It allows young people to develop targeted projects that can have the most and lasting impact,” Kling said.

“Everything that happens is led by young people and reflects what that community needs,” Sweeney said. As the youngsters go through the mapping process, they learn their community’s strengths and can find solutions for what the community could be doing better concerning connections between people, animals and the environment.

Workshop for educators, 3 p.m., CWC classroom, at Center for the Arts. Free.

Parade at 5 p.m., starting at Center for the Arts. Free.

Jane Goodall Keynote
Address, Center for the Arts, $100 orchestra, $50 balcony. All events are on Sunday. 733-7016.


About Teresa Griswold

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