Up in Arvada, there's an intense interest in who will win the Nobel Peace Prize each year. That's becausePeaceJam
, the international organization dedicated to linking Nobel Peace Prize winners with kids to teach them how to improve their communities, their countries, the world, is based in that 'burb.
In the culmination of an unbelievably ambitious plan, ten of those laureates came to Denver last month, to mark PeaceJam's tenth anniversary and kick off a decade-long Global Call to Action, which calls for a billion acts pushing for peace over the next ten years. It was the largest gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners outside of Oslo. (And it also inspired a great after-party at the D-Note Tuesday night.)
The 2006 winner, announced this morning in Oslo, should fit right in with PeaceJam: Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."
"Perfect choice," says Ivan Suvanjieff, co-founder of PeaceJam. "He has an amazing story. For starters, he's Muslim. There is some ridiculous notion held by some very ignorant people that all Muslims are terrorists, bad people. Yunus is a shining example of humanity for everyone. He has engaged in microlending since '76. Yunus is a visionary, a great humanitarian who put money where his mouth is. The man is right. I have great respect for him, and what his project represents - hope. Now, the trick is to get other people, other countries involved."
PeaceJam is a good place to start. -- Patricia Calhoun
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.