The Peacemakers: Who are they?
On April 15th, the ICO will perform the world premiere of Peacemakers by our Composer-in-Residence, James Aikman. The piece honors nine individuals who have made large contributions to world peace, and you can find background information on all of them here. Peacemakers is currently sold out, but you may call us at (317) 940-9607 to be placed on a waiting list.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869. “Mahatma,” which many believe is his given first name, is a title that means “venerable” and was given to him in 1914. Gandhi is known for his leadership in the Indian Independence Movement to gain freedom from Britain, where he promoted the use of nonviolent civil disobedience.
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She is known for her human rights activism, especially her promotion of women’s rights and civil rights for African Americans. Roosevelt was involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while serving as the chair of the UN commission on Human Rights. At the time of her death in 1962, she was one of the most highly regarded women in the world.
“I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men … world peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor—it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance … our problems are man-made—therefore they can be solved by man.”
John F. Kennedy, widely known as JFK, served as the 35th President of the United States. JFK boasts several important achievements during his short presidency, including the creation of the Peace Corps. Other notable events from his time in office include the Civil Rights Movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American activist and humanitarian who led the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s. He employed nonviolent civil disobedience as his form of protest, which led to his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. After his assassination on April 4, 1968, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
Robert Kennedy, known as RFK, served as the 64th US Attorney General during his brother’s presidency and later as Senator for New York. He was considered instrumental in the prevention of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Unfortunately, RFK was assassinated in 1968 during his campaign for President of the United States. Now, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization works to carry on his vision of a peaceful world.
“He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”
Anwar Sadat served as the third President of Egypt for 11 years. While in office, he made negotiations with Israel that led to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. It was for this that he won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel. Sadat was assassinated on October 6, 1981.
“A diplomatic peace is not yet the real peace. It is an essential step in the peace process leading towards a real peace.”
Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth prime minister of Israel, serving two non-consecutive terms. For his second term, he ran on a platform that promoted peace between Israel and Palestine. He won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly in 1994 with Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres. Rabin is commonly seen as a symbol of peace in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was assassinated on November 4, 1995.
“Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.”
Born Rolihlahla Mandela, Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first democratically elected President. Mandela was very concerned with the freedom and equality of all people, and desired a world where everybody lives in harmony regardless of skin color. In 1993, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature’s gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever.”
Jimmy Carter was the 39thPresident of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. After his presidency, he focused his efforts on the Carter Center, an organization dedicated to human rights advancement. In 2002, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the successes of the Carter Center. In October 2015, he celebrated his 91st birthday.
Questions? Comments? Let us know!
Friday, April 15, 7:30 pm
tickets and info at icomusic.org or call 317-940-9607