By Guest Columnist JOHN NAUGLE, president and CEO of Atlanta: City of Peace Inc.
Millions worldwide are re-branding New Year’s Day as “Global Family Day: A day for peace and sharing.” Well? Let’s excel!
It’s exciting. Atlanta is the best-positioned city on Earth to propel the goals of this annual celebration, plus eventually receive an immense economic and societal windfall, throughout every day of each successive year, as a “thank you.” Our city’s greatest destiny is in becoming an international beacon of peace to our entire global family. Will you assist?
We have a dream that civic, government and business leaders will continue uniting to build the global peace legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his birth city. “I Have A Dream” was authored here and continues to inspire millions of leaders and thousands of organizations worldwide.
For example, John Hume received his Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. His 20th anniversary documentary film, In The Name of Peace: John Hume In America, shows how he was particularly inspired by Dr. King to mobilize Irish Americans and USA political leaders to halt years of bloody violence in his birthplace.
When our great city becomes the global proof-of-concept and poster-child for great dreams becoming reality, then other major cities of Earth will have an ideal example to emulate.
What is the greatest asset of our city and state? Tragically, too many believe our future is in peaches since we’re branded after a common fruit – “Georgia the Peach State.” Sheesh, we’re better!
Now that our state Capitol has sculptures honoring two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates (unique in the USA), can we move on up to promote peace? Our organization offers, with collaborative agreements, ideal branding options:
- Atlanta: City of Peace and Georgia: The Peace State
Tourism is the world’s biggest peace industry. As ATL: The World’s Busiest Airport, plus our city and state, are branded with peace, then transformation will accelerate. The Georgia Department of Economic Development says our tourism industry is currently the fifth largest employer in the state with a total economic impact of $59 billion.
Who will calculate the phenomenal windfall and what happens after we shift brands from peach to peace? As one esteemed journalist states, “innovative thinking deserves our ear,” and yes, our strategy may seem far outside the box, but it can soon skip into toward mainstream reality once courageous leaders come forth.
Cultivating peace will transform our city, state, nation and entire Global Family. In a couple of days American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C. will host the international Venture Peacebuilding conference to strategize on reclaiming the $14 trillion of global gross domestic production annually lost to conflict and violence. Our extended family’s collective future grows brighter.
Year 2018 is a great year for our city and state to commit being molded after a great virtue like peace, especially since Dr. King lived and died for it, plus it is the 50th memorial anniversary year of his assassination in 1968.
What IF Dr. King’s birthplace adopted and promoted his definition of greatness to help other cities be great too – in the best way? He proclaimed:
- “Everybody can be great because everyone can serve.”
If any city on Earth needs to be branded after peace and service, it needs to be Dr. King’s hometown. It is vital to note he’s known globally as the most productive peace movement protégé of
. Many millions worldwide refer to Gandhi as “Father of India, the world’s biggest democracy,” and “Man of the Millennium.” Between the years A.D. 1000 and 2000, Gandhi excelled above everyone in educating about how we can “Be The Change” for our global family.
Since Gandhi and King are two of history’s most globally accomplished, respected and celebrated peacemakers, they cannot be ignored. More importantly, they need to be celebrated. Many millions of people and thousands of organizations worldwide labor, directly and indirectly, to honor their great peace legacies.
Year 2018 is a great year to honor Gandhi since it is the 70th memorial anniversary year of his tragic assassination in 1948. It is Dr. King’s own words, in this vital and emphatic warning, who still guides our urgent actions:
- “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk.”
Our dream for Atlanta being transformed into a global beacon and capital of peace will become reality much faster as courageous collaborators commit to “mining” this great asset with us:
- “The Gandhi-King Global Peace Connection.”
The first decade of the Peace Millennium was termed, “The United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace.” Dr. King’s birthplace influenced this dynamic initiative, which defined and galvanized a global movement for the culture of peace supported by more than 1,000 peace organizations worldwide.
Ambassador, A.K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, stated it best:
- “A culture of peace will provide the foundation for a stable … and prosperous world for all. Let us all join together in dedicating ourselves to strengthening the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace.”
Happy Global Family Day 2018! May our city and state continue to rise up, like the mythological Phoenix, by blazing an audacious celebratory trail for other generations of peace-builders to come – even as humanity adventures further out into Space: The Final Frontier – perhaps from ATL: The World’s First Commercial Spaceport for Peace!