|Greater Tacoma Peace Prize|
|GTPP Laureate Banquet, September 15th at PLU|
Save the Date
September 15, 2002, 5:30pm
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
Join us to celebrate Marilyn Kimmerling (2020-21 Laureate) Kwabi Amoah-Forson’s (2022 Laureate) peacework. Hors d’oeuvres, Dinner, Silent Auction, Entertainment and good company.
More details to follow, including an Evite for official registration.
In March 2022, we dedicated the Bill Lincoln Peace Bench on the Tacoma, WA waterfront. Below is a video of the event.
Having been on the GTPP Board since its inception in 2005, Ruud retired in April of this year, after the Dedication of Bill Lincoln’s Peace Bench. Janet had informed the Board in early 2020 that she wished to retire, but when the COVID virus descended upon us and Zoom was the way to hold a meeting, she agreed to stick around for a while longer. The Board threw a surprise retirement party for her, where she expressed her deep gratitude to them all for their enthusiasm for peace and support over the years. She is happy to have some time for other interests now – including support of gay rights, anti-racism, and refugee assistance, as well as reading, relaxing, and traveling. (Janet can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recognizing that peace begins locally, the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize is proud to announce the selection of Kwabi Amoah-Forson as the 2022 Laureate. Since 2017, Amoah-Forson has worked in Tacoma AND INTERNATIONALLY to promote peace on multiple levels. Beginning in the Spring of 2017, he began The Peace Camp every Saturday in Wright Park, where he would take posters, a radio, and a megaphone with him to hold conversations with people about what peace means to them. He continued this work by spending the next two years bringing The Peace Camp across the Northwest, to California and parts of Europe.
This first campaign for peace, led into the “The Real Peace Podcast.” Here, Amoah-Forson interviewed community members about peace, interpersonal connectivity, conflict resolution, and the importance of culture and diversity. Continuing his work outside the studio, in 2019 Amoah-Forson began driving around in The Peace Bus, a 1988 Mitsubishi Van, distributing socks to our houseless community members. In August 2019, he brought The Peace Bus to the U.S.-Mexico border and interviewed non-violence educator Michael Nagler and members of Border Patrol. Upon his return to Tacoma, Amoah-Forson started sharing his experience and messages of nonviolence, compassion, kindness, and peace with students in Tacoma schools.
The board recognizes the need for community-based activists, who are dedicated to understanding the different perspectives people bring to conversations. Amoah-Forson’s dedication to looking at a fuller picture, and his passion for bringing others along on that journey, has impressed the Board and his community.
Teresa Hunt, who nominated Amoah-Forson, wrote:
“[Kwabi] has been instrumental in promoting peace and diversity in our community, [while continuing] his numerous community services programs. [He] is the most influential peace-promoting citizen we have amongst us.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close buildings and transition to online learning, Amoah-Forson and The Peace Bus distributed breakfast to families in need, under the belief that no Tacoma child should have to go without breakfast during the quarantine. During the Summer of 2021 Kwabi took his Peace Bus from Washington State to Washington DC, delivering hundreds of books on peace, love and understanding to Youth across the country.
Kwabi Amoah-Forson currently lives in Tacoma. He continues to work for Peace in our community and looks forward to the continuation of his recent peace campaign, “Every-Kid-Eats”, helping address child hunger in Tacoma. He also plans to finish his flight school training this year in preparation of his life long goal of flying for peace with his own airplane, “The Peace Plane.”
The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize honors local citizens and institutions who promote, achieve, and sustain peace, justice, and reconciliation at home and abroad. First awarded in 2005, the GTPP is rooted in Norwegian-American culture and the Norwegian dedication to Peace. At the GTPP we are dedicated to celebrating the everyday ways people further peace in our communities, and to growing and nuancing our understanding of Peace in all its forms. You can learn more about the organization at TacomaPeacePrize.org.
After the dedication of the Peace Bench we met at the Tacoma Yacht Club for a reception. Below is a video of the event. The event was on March 20, 2022.
“We need your help. You have been following along with us throughout the Afghan refugee crisis. To date, we have welcomed over 620 to the LCS Northwest family. With so many arrivals in a short period of time, we are experiencing unanticipated needs in all three of our resettlement locations. Our community partners resources are unable to meet all of our clients’ needs.”
Read more about their specific needs here: https://api.neonemails.com/emails/content/LwMmK9Ot0lyn2oMygHnY1L6BeZfrb7O0U5bWzGI-HNQ=
We have added the 2022 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Nomination forms to our website. You can submit online or via mail. Simply access the nomination information on this page:
The purpose of this project is to recognize and encourage peacemakers in the greater Tacoma area through the manufacture and installment of a “Peace Bench” — a TANGIBLE symbol of dialog and diplomacy, a place where people can meet, connect, and communicate with each other. The Peace Bench will be situated in a peaceful serene location alongside the shores of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington (the Waterwalk at Point Ruston), and it will be dedicated in honor of and in memory of internationally known peacemaker, mediator, negotiator, trainer, conflict resolution guide, and long-time Tacoma resident William F. Lincoln.
Bill Lincoln was the 2006 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize Laureate, and he had been a member of the GTPP Board of Directors from 2015 until his unexpected death in March of 2020. Bill knew that peace begins with talking; “Let’s have a chat” was one of his standard opening lines to bring people of diverse and divergent opinions together. As Nelson Mandela said, “The best weapon is to sit down and talk.” The Peace Bench pays tribute to Bill’s efforts to bring people together to talk and make peace, to find effective resolutions for conflict. Widely acclaimed as a practitioner of negotiation and mediation, Bill found himself in diverse, critical, and often highly volatile scenarios involving international, governmental, private, community, and environmental sectors.
Bill loved Tacoma and was extremely proud of the progress the city had made since he arrived in 1984. He enjoyed walks along Ruston Way, and eventually, along the new Waterwalk at Point Ruston. When guests visited, they were treated to a “Sunday Drive” with Bill, during which he inspected and espoused upon the many construction sites at the University of Washington and the Museum District, as well as Ruston Way all the way to and through Point Defiance.
Description of Project
The bench, a “cleat bench”, will be manufactured by the Port Townsend Foundry, which uses 35% recycled sand in the manufacture of a line of concrete cleat benches. (See photos of cleat benches below.) This bench style was chosen because of the symbolism of its slightly curved shape and narrow ends, drawing those who sit on it closer together and insinuating that they should sit in the middle.
The installation and dedication of the bench will take place in the Spring of 2022.
THANK YOU! to Kiwanis Club of Tacoma and to Loren Cohen and the team at Point Ruston (McBride-Cohen Management Group) for their assistance and generosity with this project.
It is the hope of the GTPP that the Peace Bench will be identified as the place to come where one can find not only the inner peace that comes when one has a beautiful quiet place for meditation and reflection, but also the peace that comes when two people “Have a Chat” and work out a knotty problem together.