At a glittering event at the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation on October 4th, a few blocks north of the White House, the Honorable R. Scott Kennedy received the 2008 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize. This prize, a joint effort between Nonviolence International, American University, and the El-Hibri family, was held in front of a large crowd in the renovated historic mansion that now serves as the headquarters of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation.
Ms. Nancy El-Hibri, co-creator of the Prize, presented Mr. Kennedy a check for $10,000 which honored his service as a “peace educator and activist of extraordinary impact.” The award presentation ceremony highlighted his central role in “helping establish and promote the now widespread practice of educational delegations for peace particularly to Central America and the Middle East.”
The Honorable Sam Farr of California entered a congratulatory statement in the Congressional Record which paid tribute to Mr. Kennedy and compared his work to that of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela as a “…true man of peace…”
“His devotion to adult education has changed the lives of thousands of Americans,” said Dr. Mubarak Awad, Chairperson of the Prize Organizing Committee.
The first recipient of the prize in 2007, Professor Abdul Aziz Said of American University, shared his appreciation for peace educators who are doing so much to, “expand the moral imagination of our society.”
“Peace education in the classroom is valuable, yet needs to be complemented with pragmatic hands-on efforts in our communities to make peace and justice a living reality,” said Kennedy at the award ceremony. He expressed deep appreciation for the many colleagues at the Resource Center for Nonviolence as well as the citizens of Santa Cruz for their tremendous support and inspiration over 30 years.
Mr. Fuad El-Hibri, who established the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, noted that he and the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation will continue to support the prize and its growth each year in an effort to highlight the importance of peace education and to support people who are working for a just, peaceful and healthy planet.
Mr. R. Scott Kennedy is a co-founder of Witness for Peace, the Resource Center for Nonviolence and Interfaith Peacebuilders, which have sent educational delegations to countries around the world to those countries whose people suffer from conflict, lack of educational opportunities, and social injustice.
It sure is wonderful when adult peace education is so strongly honored, and that peace educators have incorporated nonviolent action as a central theme in their work.