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What inspired the Community Peace Celebration?

Updated: May 4, 2021

The Peaceful Love Warriors began to form as a result of several particularly brutal and random acts of violence in the Frogtown neighborhood. In summer 1996 a young girl and two store owners were murdered in the same week. In response to these acts of violence, the Frogtown Center displayed a temporary sign that said “Commit Intentional Acts of Kindness.” The community took this as an opportunity to pay respects to those killed and began placing flowers around the sign.

At this same time Bob Olson, a Western Bank employee, spoke to Frogtown Center staff about the Sisters of Saint Joseph and their Peace Pole. We got acquainted with the Peace Pole and began convening partners interested in being intentional about creating Peace. This group eventually became known as the Peaceful Love Warriors.

The first endeavor of the Peaceful Love Warriors was the traveling Peace Pole, which began in December 1996 with the “Expressions of Peace” celebration. Over 100 community people attended this event and sent the Peace Pole on its journey in a powerful way. From January 1997 to June 1997 the Peace Pole visited 30 sites in the neighborhood with an activity held in honor of the Peace Pole at each site.

Since that first project, the Peaceful Love Warriors have continued to sponsor a variety of Peace-focused activities throughout the year including the Annual Frogtown Peace Pole Celebration held every June, and a Peace and Healing event held every December. The Peaceful Love Warriors have sponsored and supported [as of Fall 1999] over 20 Peace Pole plantings in the Frogtown neighborhood and surrounding areas. In August 1999, the collaborative sponsored the first Frogtown Peace Week where police officers gave Junior Peaceful Love Warriors cards to children who displayed positive behavior or choice such as calling 911, wearing a helmet, sharing, and/or picking up litter. We plan to continue these projects and create new ways to foster Peace.

We must persevere in Practicing and Promoting Peace in multiple ways in the face of the multiple barriers to Peace in our world today. We continue with the guiding words of Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we want to see.”

(excerpted from “Peace Pole History in Frogtown,” written Fall 1999)

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