Dear to speak at Nonviolent Tiffin campaign April 13

John Dear, internationally known voice for peace, who will be speaking during the Nonviolent Tiffin campaign kickoff event.

The committee heading up the Nonviolent City Campaign for Tiffin is gearing up for a kick-off event this April.

The Nonviolent Tiffin committee is to present “Working for a Nonviolent Tiffin with John Dear” from 7-9 p.m. April 13 at the Elizabeth Schaefer Auditorium, 190 St. Francis Ave.

Sr. Paulette Schroeder, a member of the committee, said the committee’s goal for right now is to focus on those struggling within the opioid epidemic and the marginalized people who feel they have been let down by their government.

“This campaign is to not start at the top, but at the bottom town by town,” Schroeder said. “We want to get rid of all violence, but this is the important thing going on right now. There are so many deaths.”

Schroeder said the campaign focuses on all citizens helping to end violence by working together to help their fellow neighbors and families.

Dear leads the Nonviolent Cities movement after starting the first campaign in Corbondale, Illinois. The campaign has reached about 50 cities nationwide.

Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. He is a long-time activist, lecturer and movement organizer. He is also the author of 35 books and hundreds of articles, including “Living Peace,” “Jesus the Rebel” and “The Nonviolent Life.”

Dear was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In addition to Dear’s address, there will be community art pieces on display.

The artwork is part of the committee’s project, Art Expressions, which has taken work from women and men from Crossweah, area high schools, Seneca County Youth Center, St. Francis Senior Ministries and other community members.

Schroeder said the committee has placed about 25 of the art pieces around town in about 12 businesses to promote the event.

“The pieces have been posted as a way to raise awareness and raise the artist’s voices,” Schroeder said.

The pieces are based on the template of “See the Real Me.”

“This shows the artists sense of what they want for Tiffin,” she said.

Later in April, there will be dramas, songs and artwork on display at Heidelberg University on April 26 furthering the campaign.

“We just have to work on building relationships and becoming nonviolent in our own lives through language and our relationships,” Schroeder said. “We don’t fight or hurt our friends.”

Schroeder said she and other committee members are also planning on hosting conflict management and nonviolent workshops

Refreshments will also be provided during the event.

For more information about the campaign, call (419) 447-0435 or follow Tiffin4Peace on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.