The Peace Building – December 2021 Update
As we reach the end of another COVID-limited year, it’s time to take stock and look forward.
This year we have been busy getting to know schools and community-based organisations in London. We are full of excitement and anticipation about 2022 and getting established in the East End!
London Peace Building Museum
We have teamed up with Kingsley Hall in Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets to set up the first London Peace Building Museum. Kingsley Hall has a rich history – it was founded in the early 20th Century by Muriel and Doris Lester. The sisters were social reform pioneers who campaigned energetically against war. Their work reached far beyond Bow and resulted in Kingsley Hall playing host to Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Britain in 1931. He came at the invitation of the Lester sisters, who felt he had much to learn from their activities in Bow. Gandhi stayed for three months. Kingsley Hall features in Richard Attenborough’s film ‘Gandhi’. We are thrilled to be building on the foundations laid by the Lester sisters and Gandhi.
Exhibition about Sylvia Pankhurst – East End pacifist & social activist
Dr Roderick Tweedy, eminent historian and author, is leading plans for an exhibition on Sylvia Pankhurst. Like the Lester sisters, Sylvia helped children and families impacted by WWI and the adverse living conditions of the time, as well as advocating for peace and better social and economic conditions at home and abroad.
Peaceful Schools around the UK
Our Peaceful Schools programme has continued with new materials and awards being made. We are thrilled that Coventry City now has its own peaceful schools awards. Coventry Cathedral hosted November’s ‘How to be a Peaceful School’ Conference where pupils and students shared their peace building experiences and ideas with one another. We urge other cities and areas to set up their own peace awards scheme for schools.
Peace Manifestos Project
This autumn term we reached out to schools in Tower Hamlets to find willing partners to help us develop effective peace in action programmes. We are pleased to report that we have teamed up with two outstanding schools. Together, we will create artistic Peace Manifestos setting out children and young people’s needs, wishes and demands for a safer future.
Nathalia Berkowitz, Human Rights Lawyer and one of our Peace Ambassadors, is working with us to develop our thinking about peace in action and generating research proposals. We aim to draw on the rich history and breadth of community engagement across East London. We are interested in researching ‘what works’ most effectively in combating hate crime and violence.
Wishing you a Peaceful Holiday Season
We wish you a peaceful holiday season and a fruitful 2022. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Please do consider supporting us financially as we set up the London Peace Building Museum.
Anna Lubelska, Alison Glasspool and Alice Chesterman