Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
I recently visited the United States Institute of Peace’s beautiful new home on our National Mall, and wanted to share with you how much the visit moved me. The new structure and new address do justice to the importance of the Institute’s mission.
For years the Institute operated out of the National Restaurant building, but now the Institute boldly stands opposite the Lincoln Memorial – a shining symbol for peace at the heart of the nation’s Capital. While I was sitting outside this gorgeous, riveting, modern building, two Moroccan women began taking photos in front of USIP. They beamed with joy looking back at the structure which represents our nation’s commitment to international peacebuilding.
The United States Institute of Peace building is now a part of Washington’s landscape. When tourists come to our nation’s capitol, they can tour the Holocaust Museum, then walk a few streets and learn at USIP all about how we can prevent war. They can snap photos in front of the Washington Monument, and then click away in front of USIP. What stands on the national mall tells the story of America. And now our commitment to peace is more a part of that story than ever before.
It is so ironic that as the USIP finally is receiving the attention and support they deserve, that the House voted to zero out their funding.
As a Congressional shut down looms and Congress struggles to decide the fate of USIP and many other worthy programs, please take a moment to call your U.S. House Representative.
Call 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to your U.S. House Representative. Click here to learn who your Representative is. Urge your Representative to keep funding USIP and to reach a budget deal.
Walking inside the Institute itself is quite exhilarating. The space has a very modern design, which feels both inviting and liberating. Inside, I toured the conferencefacilities, and space which some day will host 500,000 visitors a year (many of them students) to learn all about peacebuilding. As I looked out behind the USIP headquarters at the buildings that will house an Academy for US government workers studying conflict transformation, I was filled with tremendous hope and pride. We must assure that this forward thinking institution truly fulfills its potential.
At the end of the tour I met USIP President Richard Solomon, who thanked us all for raising our voices in support of USIP, deep gratitude echoed by all I met at the Institute.
Thank you for doing your part to make it possible for generations to come to walk the halls of America’s peace institute.