Peacemaker Fridays: August 26, 2016

Healing racial prejudice on live television; the Syrian child rescuer who gave his life waging peace; and a community in Washington state comes together to combat racism.

Here are the week’s best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace…

Healing prejudice on live television

This past Sunday on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos, was asked a pointed, honest question. The caller began by saying, “I’m a white male, and I am prejudiced.” He continued: “What can I do to change, you know, to be a better American?”

Her inspiring, peacemaking response caused this video clip to go viral…


“The ability to say, ‘I have these fears and prejudices, and I want to get over them,’ is one of the most powerful things that we can do.”
   – Heather McGhee


The Syrian child rescuer who gave his life to save others

The White Helmets are a group of around 3,000 Syrian volunteers who risk their own lives to pull trapped men, women, and children from post-bombing rubble. Khaled Omar Harrah was one such hero, known in Aleppo as the “child rescuer” because of the number of children he saved from bomb sites.

After the miraculous rescue of a 10-day-old baby was caught on video, Harrah had an opportunity to move with his family to the safety of the U.S. He and his wife declined, choosing instead to continue working toward peace, helping their community in Syria. On August 11, Harrah was killed in an air strike.

Today, we honor Harrah and the other peacemakers who risk their lives every day in Syria, waging peace in one of the hardest and scariest places on earth. Thank you for loving first.

Read more about Harrah. 


Washington town responds to racially motivated vandalism 

This past weekend, Marvin Phillips, his wife, and their young children were enjoying a vacation camping trip together. Back in their hometown in Washington state, vandals sprayed vulgar, racist phrases on the black family’s truck and house.

Their neighbor, Heidi Russell, was shocked. She quickly took action and organized a community painting party. “Our biggest concern was getting this done before the family came home… we didn’t want them to see their truck or their home vandalized.”

The entire community came to pitch in, including the town’s on-duty police officer. “I’m overwhelmed,” said Phillips in response to the community’s support. “I’m grateful.” Read more… 


Do you have a story to share? We would love to hear how you and your community are waging peace right where you are. And stay tuned for more hope-filled peacemaker stories next Friday!