Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

A Nobel Calling

Up in Arvada, there's an intense interest in who will win the Nobel Peace Prize each year. That's because PeaceJam, 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

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun