1. Clarence Moriwaki is the founder and past president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial in Washington State. It is the site of the very first Japanese Americans who were taken from their communities and put into concentration camps during World War II in the United States.

    In total, 120,000 Japanese Americans were placed into concentration camps when the Pacific war broke out. The first 227, two-thirds of them American citizens, were rounded up and removed from Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942.

    In many cities across the country, the homes and businesses of Japanese Americans were vandalized and burned after Pearl Harbor. On Bainbridge Island, where the Japanese Americans were well integrated into the community, the local newspaper made efforts to stay connected with the families who had been removed, publishing update letters as well as birth and death announcements while they were away. Many local citizens took care of the properties of those who had been removed and returned their possessions when they came back.

    The United States formally apologized for the internment decades later, after studying the policy and determining that there was no military need for the removal. It was an act based in fear and racial prejudice according to the report.

    The goal of the memorial is to honor the families and individuals who suffered this great historical injustice and to bring them peace. The motto of the memorial site is “Nidoto Nai Yoni,” “Let it not happen again.”

    # vimeo.com/140465048 Uploaded 760 Plays 2 Comments
  2. Jarell Wilson says he is black, gay, Christian, and he lives in the South. At times he has struggled to balance his many identities in a society that is often not welcoming to two thirds of who he is. He believes that too often people try to put identities into boxes resulting in unfair stereotypes that lead to stress and conflict.

    Yet at the end of the day, Jarell finds beauty and peace all around him. He finds joy in each of his identities. For Jarell, "peace comes from knowing who you are. It comes when you realize that no matter what you look like, you are beautiful...it comes from knowing that the same beauty you have, all of humanity has."

    # vimeo.com/138812991 Uploaded 177 Plays 0 Comments
  3. Donna Watts is the president and CEO of the South Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce in Foley, Alabama. She has worked in business development for 30 years and takes great pride in helping people have a better life and pursue the American Dream through her work.

    Donna talks about the triple punch of hurricanes, recession, and the oil spill which have brought individuals and the region as a whole to their knees. She talks about the sense of community that develops through hardship and brings people together to help themselves and one another recover after disasters.

    The natural disasters, they have been accustomed to, but Donna talks about the oil spill in detail. A strong proponent of business, she shares her anger with the federal government for allowing one corporation to rob so many individuals of their business, property, and way of life...for profit.

    Donna closes with the belief that we have a moral obligation to protect those who can't protect themselves and those who don't have a voice. She asks, "If we don't, who will?"

    # vimeo.com/138865558 Uploaded 80 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Angela Bates is the director of the historical society in Nicodemus, Kansas, a town that was settled by freed slaves after the Civil War in an effort to experience real freedom. All of the current 16 residents, including Angela, are direct descendants of those original settlers. It is the only remaining all-Black town west of the Mississippi.

    Angela sees herself as a descendant of people who had vision, determination, and a great faith in God. She honors their memory by preserving their heritage and by working for positive change in the world.

    Angela says that when we first encounter one another, we may base our initial perceptions on physical traits, because we have little more to go on. But as we get to know one another, we are able to see the human spirit, which has nothing to do with color.

    # vimeo.com/132752491 Uploaded 82 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Bud Welch lost his only child, Julie, in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Julie had worked as a translator in the Alfred P. Murrah building for just five months when Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew it up in our nation's largest domestic terror attack.

    Bud was despondent and angry. He began abusing alcohol and tobacco. His businesses struggled, and he wanted nothing more than for Timothy McVeigh to be tried and executed for his crimes.

    But when Bud saw a news clip of Timothy McVeigh's father, he saw a man who was as lost and broken as himself. He eventually reached out to Bill McVeigh and had coffee with him at the McVeigh family home.

    The two men became friends, and Bud Welch began to work against the execution of Timothy McVeigh, having realized that his healing process…and his sense of peace...would not involve the death of one more person.

    # vimeo.com/125161762 Uploaded 143 Plays 0 Comments

A Peace of My Mind

John Noltner Photography PRO

In a world that asks us to focus on the things that can separate us...politics, ethnicity, religion...A Peace of My Mind asks us to consider the common humanity that connects us. In these interviews, people from diverse backgrounds answer the simple question,…

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In a world that asks us to focus on the things that can separate us...politics, ethnicity, religion...A Peace of My Mind asks us to consider the common humanity that connects us. In these interviews, people from diverse backgrounds answer the simple question, "What does peace mean to you?"

You can find more information on this series by visiting apeaceofymind.net.

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