A corrupt officer and his victim inspire forgiveness; Muslim teens seek change through slam poetry; Boston marks the marathon bombing anniversary with acts of kindness; and Jewish and Muslim communities worship together in Minnesota.

Here are the week’s best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace…

A corrupt police officer and his victim inspire forgiveness and reconciliation
The story of reconciliation and friendship between Jameel McGee, who was wrongfully imprisoned, and Andrew Collins, the former police officer who falsified his police report, exploded on social media this week. It’s a story about mending race relations, addressing the corruption of power, and exposing injustice in the justice system. But at its core, it’s about us all—the reconciling needed for all humanity. When asked if he forgave for his own sake or for Andrew’s sake, Jameel said, “No, for our sake. And not just ‘us,’” he said, gesturing to Andrew. “But for ‘our sake,’” he then said, gesturing broadly, explaining that his Christian faith gives him hope for “a kinder mankind.” Watch here…

Muslim girls tackling prejudice through slam poetry
At the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Washington, DC this summer, “four first-generation Muslim Americans will represent Vermont, a predominantly white and ethnically homogeneous state, at a time when that population has been the subject of contentious national discourse.” Muslim Girls Making Change, a poetry group created by four teenage girls from Burlington, VT, will be performing their work, “Wake Up, America,” which integrates their own personal experiences with prejudice. The girls are working with Vermont professionals and continuing to build their poetry repertoire. They hope “to make a change through humanity, so that [people] don’t think of us how the media portray us.” Read more… 

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Remembering the Boston Marathon bombing with a day of kindness
This past Monday, more than 30,000 runners participated in the Boston Marathon, including 31 survivors of the 2013 bombing. Ahead of the race last Friday, the city of Boston celebrated One Boston Day, a day to respond to terror with acts of kindness. Boston citizens shared kindness many ways, including large activities like a shoe drive for a homeless shelter, a blood drive, and a double amputee running for bombing survivors,. There were also simple acts like giving up spots on the train, buying someone a coffee, and thanking firefighters. Click any of the links in this summary to read, listen, and watch how the people of Boston turned April 15th and the Boston Marathon into a celebration of solidarity and community.

Worshiping together: Jewish and Muslim communities celebrate in Minnesota
Last week, the Jewish community at Temple Israel in Minneapolis took a stand against Islamophobia and welcomed the Somali community into their worship service.  “Filled with music, scripture, and spoken word,” the faith leaders hoped to set an example for the rest of the community by “finding human connection to understand their differences.”  Watch here… 


Stay tuned for more hope-filled peacemaker stories next Friday!


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