2019 UN Visit
On March 11, 2019 the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC) presented Ashland as a
leading and innovative International City of Peace at the United Nations highlighting the iconic
symbol of peace - the World Peace Flame Monument.
Since its inception as a local – global initiative in 2015, ACPC has had the intention of co-
creating an on the ground, practical, and evolving local Culture of Peace, in a developing City of
Peace, while creating an inspiring model that other cities and NGOs can learn from. This has
been encouraged by many people and has become a reality with the invitation to present our accomplishments at the United Nations.
One example of this growing recognition came from Fred Arment, Executive Director,
International Cities of Peace, “I can say without reservation that through Ashland’s Culture of
Peace initiatives, your community spirit is firing the imaginations and inclinations of peace
leaders around the globe. With each action toward increasing the safety, prosperity and quality
of life of ALL citizens in your community, you are issuing a clarion call to cities of peace in
Uganda, Argentina, China, Mexico, Nepal and 46 other countries.”
The March 11 ACPC presentation was led by Irene Kai and David Wick. The presentation was meaningful, dynamic, and informative, and provided inspiration and hands-on information for Peacebuilders who came from around the world.
As a model, ACPC highlights the work being done on the ground and also provides sources for
inspiration to encourage and uplift our community to walk on higher ground. Since the
inception of ACPC, Peace Ambassadors listened to empower each person’s voice, so that all
community members can be heard; invited our mayor to have conversations with the local
homeless community during free meals at the railroad park; became one of the twelve
community partners supporting the One Site homeless Winter Shelter; provides recruiting and
training for the shelter volunteers and a listening program with compassionate listening for the
shelter guests. ACPC also hosted a unique 2016 candidate forum for our city council and
mayoral race guided by the ACPC values of Inclusivity, Respect, Accountability and Compassion;
provided community trainings on implicit bias, compassionate listening and compassionate
speaking, and provides bi-weekly Ashland Tidings newspaper articles on the Culture of Peace.
For inspiration: We installed the World Peace Flame at the Thalden Pavilion creating a symbol
of unity and highlighting that peace is the responsibility of each one of us. This is best
accomplished through our mindful choices of action where each of us creates the world we
want to live in, for ourselves and for our children. Exhibiting this directly, a class of the Ashland
Middle School (AMS) students volunteered to be the Flame Keepers to refill the World Peace
Flame oil lamp every Friday to keep the flame lit. As they move onto high school, the next class
will be the Flame Keepers. It is perpetual and the flame is eternal.
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative
of the United Nations recognized the inspired dedication of the AMS students when he wrote, “What an inspiration to hear about the children’s attachment to the culture of peace. Bravo to all those involved with the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission! I would encourage all of you to read these stories and learn about the young student’s dedication to work for the culture of peace.”
Ambassador Chowdhury is so impressed with the Culture of Peace development in Ashland, he wrote an article for the Ashland Daily Tidings titled, ACPC Profiles Ashland at the UN… and Looks Ahead, March 25, 2019.
Your generous donation for supporting our work at ashlandcpc.org is greatly appreciated.