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Monday, August 25, 2014

Wisdom of the Elders Pillars of Peace Conference

In last weeks edition of MidWeek, the cover story highlighted the upcoming “Wisdom of the Elders Pillars of Peace” conference which will focus on peace, compassion and ethical leadership.

Coming to Hawaii to participate in the conversation are three very impressive “elders,” each of whom has much to say and offer as we try to find more equitable and peaceful solutions to worldwide issues ranging from starvation, inequality, war and global terrorism.

Hina Jilani (61 years young), is a Co-founder of Pakistan’s first all-female legal aid practice and has been active for decades in movements for peace, women’s equality and human rights.  Joining her are Archbishop Desmond Tutu (83 years young), a South African social rights activist and defender of human rights and Gro Harlem Brundtland (75 years young), the former Prime Minister of Norway, and international leader in the area of sustainable development and public health.  Together, they will lead a conversation for students, teachers, and members of the public this week from August 28 – Aug 31 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Our world faces numerous challenges, which are magnified by a universal lack of trust, cultural misunderstandings, social and economic inequities, militarism, terrorism and fundamentalist dogmatism.  Who better to lead a conversation with a focus on peace, compassion and ethical leadership than the “Elders,” who have devoted their lives to bringing about peaceful and equitable solutions to the many challenges we face.

The Elders, as described by Mid-Week, “…use their collective wisdom, experience and influence to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity.” 


Personally, I have learned a great deal from the elders in my life.  This week, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn from and reflect with three “Elders” who continually strive to bring about positive change.  Mahalo to the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Omidyar Ohana Fund for making the Pillars of Peace a reality for Hawaii.