Annual Peace Walk and Fair sparks conversations of change
McMinnville citizens take part in a peace walk Sept. 23. The event took place in the historic downtown district.
Kate Straube/Photo editor
The Interfaith Advocates for Peace with Justice held its eighth annual Peace Walk and Fair at McMinnville Cooperative Ministries on Sept. 24.
People brought signs advocating for peace and walked as a group up and down Baker and Adams streets. Drivers honked and waved as the peace walkers made their way around downtown McMinnville.
Afterward, keynote speaker Paul Barker, Afghanistan Country Director of Save the Children International, talked about the current conditions in Afghanistan.
He shared his opinion on a variety of topics including challenges in the path to peace, the war on terror, transitioning U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and the peaceful people of Iran.
“Afghans need to use their forces to protect themselves. We can aid them, of course, but it needs to be done on their own,” Barker said. “Foreign militaries have overstayed their welcome in Afghanistan.”
The Peace Fair was held after the speaker, and people were invited to talk to the various organizations about their purposes.
Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, George Fox Center for Peace and Justice, Amnesty International, Unidos Bridging Community, Hands and Words Project and the Yamhill Valley Peacemakers (YVP) were among the groups represented at the fair.
“Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is people being free enough and safe enough to help each other,” said Ellie Gunn, one of the leaders of YVP. Gunn previously worked in the library at Linfield. She has been doing peace work for more than 45 years.
“Peace needs to happen for everyone in this world to live together,” Gunn said. “Think globally, act locally. What we can do is to start in McMinnville.”
Linfield students are always encouraged to participate in peaceful organizations and events in the community.
Kelsey Sutton/Managing Editor
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org