Despite unseasonable record cold and early snow, Paul K. Chappell, Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, inspired a crowd of activists, students, veterans, and concerned citizens in a five day tour though Minneapolis and St. Paul. Events included a one-day peace leadership workshop at the First Unitarian Church, a public forum at Plymouth Congregational Church, university talks at Augsburg College and the University of St. Thomas, and keynote speaker at the 19th annual celebration of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers with about 300 people in attendance.
“When I heard Paul speak, I realized why his message could literally feed the masses with that controversial thing called ‘hope,’” said Kate Towle, educational consultant to the Minneapolis public schools. “Paul understands profoundly that peace demands a culture of living and a language for which there are few translations, and he is our primary interpreter.”
“This workshop is essential, “said Dick Bernard, past president of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. “Chappell’s presentation was very stimulating. He is a great teacher.”
“Paul just kept light shaking us with his wise rhetoric,” said Elaine Wynne, licensed psychologist, site coordinator, Veterans Resilience Project of Minnesota. “Paul has deeply affected people in our community. His presence is provocative and powerful.”
“His speech is one of the best and most hopeful talks that I have ever heard,” said Bill Monahan, MD, executive director at Minnesota Holistic Medicine Group. “Now I have to hear him again.”
Mike Madden, Veterans for Peace member, commented, “His perspective, that every war is a civil war if your highest affiliation is to the human race, is one I’ve always shared but never heard expressed so simply and memorably. Thank you, NAPF. Thank you, Paul Chappell. What were people thinking back in the day when violence was accepted as a natural human tendency?”
“The workshop was phenomenal,” said Elaine Klaassen, writer for Spirit and Conscience, Southside Pride newspaper. “I really liked Chappell’s compassion about where people are coming from, which I believe is the heart of peacemaking…Of course, if everyone in the world looked at everyone else in this way, no one would be able to demonize or dehumanize another soul. And war would be impossible.”