Y O U NG VOI C E S Using your voice is a good choice! by Kai Simson I t’s important for young people to have a voice. That’s why I ran for Student Council at Sedona Red Rock High School. Our school is our community. If we want to make it better, we need to get involved. Our generation has different ways of looking at things and we think different is good. This summer I really got how much we can learn from sharing with people from around the world. I attended the Global Young Leaders Conference. Ten days with kids from 140 countries working together to solve big problems. It wasn’t easy, but it was a very cool process. We came up with ideas together that we never would have on our own. The other night I met the Nelson Mandela Washington Fellows from 17 African countries. It was amazing to hear about all the good things they are doing to make this world better, and they are only 5-10 years older than me! It really inspired me. If we understand each other and work together, we will make a big difference. 30 IMAGINE l Autumn 2015 Peace by Piece by Andrea Smith L ast June, the Sedona International City of Peace committee had a meeting with Jean Houston, a well known author of mythology and consciousness. At the meeting Jean told us that we had all come here to do something, and this was the time. I got the message loud and clear. At that very instant I decided I was going to do the “Square Project” that had been percolating in my soul for the last 40 years. My Square Project was creating a quilt, a tapestry of our love for peace that can begin to blanket us all with its vibration. I believe all of us can make a difference. So, with the entire community involved—schools, churches, senior centers, and businesses—we came together and began to create. On six inch squares of paper, we each created expressions of what peace means to us. All in all, 1,399 individual squares were created. All of this translated into 14 rectangular boards that each measured eight by four feet. On September 21, 2014, International Peace Day, we held the annual celebration in Sedona, Arizona, and called it “Peace by Piece.” Although we started only nine weeks earlier, I never doubted that it could and would be done. Tlaquepaque General Manager, Wendy Lippman, offered their beautiful venue for the event, and we were on our way. The Sedona International City of Peace became partners and sponsored the Global Feast for Peace and hosted entertainment offered by generous local musicians and artists. Everyone supported us—the mayor of Sedona, the superintendent of schools, and generous Sedona business owners. After the event, the fourteen boards with their 1399 peace by piece squares traveled to schools for further sharing. A video of the event produced by Skip Thomas with children singing his original song sung by local singer-songwriter Adalia Tara encapsulated the warmth and energy of the event. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe a video is worth a million! This video was subsequently shown at World Wisdom Days. We are planning to do the Peace by Piece event again on September 20, 2015 at Tlaquepaque. We all have different purposes here on earth. Mine is to help create peace as an artist. I want it for my children, grandchildren and every other person on earth. We must do what we can to anchor the feeling of love, oneness and peace. My way is to create this quilt and tapestry of love. I believe with all my heart that we can, peace by piece, patch ourselves back together, finding peace within as a way to have peace on earth. What’s your purpose? What has been percolating in your soul? Chances are, its time to get on with it!