Peace Initiative Idea Session
“To make Louisville the Geneva of North America”
July 6th, 2007
Hosted by Hon. Steve Mershon, Tom Williams,
David Bonner - moderator
Louisville could be a viable home for “a center in
service of peace.”
The idea resonates intuitively, and we have excellent
Funding and local racial issues are concerns.
The desired mission extends from the personal focus
to the global, on both international and interpersonal
issues of conflict.
Unity and nature are strong sources of identity.
The War in Iraq creates good fertile ground for
considering peace initiatives of any kind.
To gather a few thought leaders from various
communities to introduce this topic and to discuss its
To collect a baseline of ideas across a range of the
most immediate topic areas
To sample the intuitive value of this idea
To seed the thought into the community
18 people with some diversity in gender, race, new
and long-term residents
Representation from law, business, the arts,
community service, higher education, city
Influential thought leaders, not luxurious elite
Busy and in-demand leaders of their offices and/or
communities of interest
Overview of topics covered
Local “assets and liabilities” for such an idea
Potential audiences and beneficiaries
Mission ideas / issues of interest
Naming and visual identity ideas
Intuitive value is good…
There is immediate intuitive value in the idea.
Attendance, interest in, and quick flow of ideas were
all very good. (A good idea reproduces quickly.)
Some expressed skepticism prior to the meeting,
although admitted being impressed with the viability
of the idea afterwards.
Strong global focus currently on Iraq, Afghanistan, al
Qaeda would bias most groups toward an otherwise
latent desire for peace. (The ground is fertile.)
We have a long list of assets.
The greatest number of ideas from any single topic
area resulted from listing our assets for this idea.
The group identified very strong existing
organizations, people and facilities: Ali Center and Ali
Institute, Festival of Faiths, Idea Festival, non-profits,
universities, LBA, LLCtr.
Strong symbolic, historical, and intangible assets:
The Ohio River, geographic location, Lincoln, Merton,
There are high hurdles.
Money, by far was the number one cited concern.
We have limiting internal beliefs about outside
perceptions (small city syndrome).
There are real issues of trust re: socio-economic and
racial divisions in Louisville.
Concerns are voiced over provincial and vested
More beneficiaries of conflict
resolution than expected…
Predictably international issues of conflict, and…
A whole host of other conflict areas were quickly
Business-business, employer-employee, husband-
wife, educational, environmental, neighborhood,
municipal, state, regional, national, socio-economic,
even the arts, and personal psychology.
Mission revolves around
“a place in service of peace”
Scope: Personal --------------------------------- global
Conflict Resolution Services
Education and certification
Recognition of peace
Resources / promotional foundations
Headquarters for “franchising”
Unity and Nature - strongest
influence on identity
Unity symbols repeated often - bridges, river,
transparent glass, United we stand-Divided we fall
Nature was an oft-repeated theme: water references
in particularly, woodland, green spaces.
Blue - the color of peace. Water, peace, sky,
Official place naming ideas - institute, center
Religious symbolism - dove, olive branch, stained
glass, water, lion & lamb, finger of God
Diversity symbols - mosaics, puzzle
A time period of Peace/Conflict Resolution
Stories of Peace
Geneva as sister city
Title: “And let it begin with us.”
2009 Lincoln anniversary
Inventory / consolidation of assets
West end location
Issues to tackle: global and local
Desire to tackle issues we are aware of daily in our
“communities” - both globally and locally.
Iraq War and Middle East
Violence in metro Louisville
Human trafficking and immigration
Race relations in Louisville
Review presentation by Judge Mershon, Tom
Williams, David Bonner.
Agree on content.
Consider sharing with group.
Consider report to committee.
Develop additional objectives to recommend.