February 8, 2020
March 8, 2020 is International Women’s Day. The Interfaith Peace Project has published a monthly reflection every 8th of the month since our signature celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015. We strongly believe that special days, designated months, and special observances need to be integrated into our every practice as we go about the affairs of everyday life.
Oftentimes we are frustrated that we cannot observe every special occasion with the intensity we desire. It is good for all of us to remember our limitations are not failures but our desire to do more and better speak to the integrity of hearts.
The constructive use of social media and creative searches of the internet can help us to be more and more aware of the many persons and organizations who are involved in the issues of justice, the care of the Earth, and the dignity of the human person. The World is now an interconnected village. Technology is a powerful tool in the pursuit of peace and the justice that makes peace possible.
A few days ago, several of us at The Interfaith Peace Project were searching the net to gather information about the many topics and concerns we have. We stumbled across a remarkable woman who is attentive to the voices of people who might otherwise never be heard. Her creative use of technology offers us hope, if not a guide map as to what the future might hold. By retrieving, gathering, and disseminating the voices of the powerless and disregarded, Julieanna L. Richardson, founder of The HistoryMakers, has collected one of the largest collections of African American video oral histories.
The lives and voices of real people in the real World is the sum and substance of our work as peacemakers. Julieanna is doing with technology what you and I must do with our eyes and ears. We must see the terrorizing effects of racism on real people. We must hear the cries of the children separated from their parents by cruel governmental officials. We must experience the anguish of the poor and displaced oppressed by the heartless pursuit of profit and greed.
Women’s voice is rising everywhere in our contemporary World. People like Julieanna are not merely to be commended for their work, creativity, and courage but imitated by all peoples who see in every other person dignity, beauty, and a reason to rejoice. We encourage you to probe her work and, perhaps, discover the voices and stories of your own family and friends. As we honor the narratives of our stories, we uncover the splendor of what it means to be a human person.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The Interfaith Peace Project
Julieanna Richardson is the Executive Director of The HistoryMakers. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1954. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1980 and was a successful cable television executive and corporate lawyer before founding The HistoryMakers in 1999.
The History Makers is a non-profit educational institution that preserves and provides access to its collection of African-American video oral history. It is the largest oral history collection of its kind. The organization has more than 2000 interviews with African-Americans.
The stated goal of The HistoryMakers is to “Educate the world on the accomplishments of African-Americans through video oral history interviews.” It was founded to address the “lack of documentation and preservation of the African-American historical record. The HistoryMakers was born out of our founders desire to address this problem, capturing—one person at a time—the untold personal stories of both well-known and unsung African-Americans…”
For more information on The HistoryMakers go to:
For More information on Julieanna Richardson to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julieanna_Richardson