The Points of Light Institute conducted a pre-convention workshop on social service as leadership in partnership of the Global Peace Convention Atlanta 2012. Based in Atlanta, Points of Light is an organization with a mission to “inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world.” The workshop did just that for early convention attendees and local volunteers.
The conversation was moderated by Points of Light VP Malikah Berry who recognized the organizational progenitor of the peace movement in the United States, the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) and its founder, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She informed the audience about the “Pledge for Nonviolence” that members of the SCLC were required to sign in order to be involved in the organization.
In part, the tenets read:
- The movement seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory
- Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free
- Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love
- Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world
- Refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart
- Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
Berry’s remarks echoed the all-important vision of the Global Peace Foundation: One family under God.
GPF’s Rev. Mark Farr of the Center for Multifaith Partnerships commended Points of Light for its outstanding service leadership around the globe, and noted that it is as the largest volunteer service organization in the world. A former employee of Points of Light, Rev. Farr expounds on the vision of the Global Peace Foundation saying, “The aim of GPF is to enhance the idea that we are all one family under God.” We can stretch that vision to include all faiths and include the notion of “living for the sake of others.”
“There are three ways we can try to live that credo,” Farr adds. “Through inclusive interfaith work, … (understanding) that family is a crucial way to know that we are all inclusive of one another, and through service.”
Michelle Nunn, CEO, Points of Light, welcomed the group to Atlanta and said “this is an extraordinary city” because it’s the birthplace of the civil rights movement. She reminded us of Atlanta’s position in in the world as a bastion of leadership on peace, service entrepreneurship, and international relations, and that Atlanta has produced two Nobel Peace Prize recipients: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Jimmy Carter.
Because of the city’s position in history, Nunn cites that Atlanta is a “wonderful place for civic engagement,” and that Points of Light believes in the “unique connection between service and peace-building. She also notes that service is a common denominator across all faith convictions. From Northern Ireland, to Africa, to Palestine, and America, we all may worship differently, but we all have a shared belief in family.
Nunn offers that “service is a gift that gets returned back.”
Points of Light seeks to cultivate service leadership across the world and not only promote the philosophical notion but the practical use of service as a change agent to peace. She says, “We partner with and support businesses and individuals around the globe trying to build a culture of service engagement and civic entrepreneurship across the world.”
Kelley Jackson for firstClass inc.