Michelle Ploog interviews Keynote Speaker Shah Haq.
The second annual Beyond Belief Walk for Peace — a 1.5-mile march for peace amongst people of all differing religions, ethnicities, cultures and traditions with the common mission for peace — will take place from 8-9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. It will be an opportunity for all people to be the change you wish to see in the world by walking with hundreds of other peace bringers in an event that will open minds and connect hearts.
The walk will be led by a team of spiritual leaders of all traditions and peace advocates from throughout the Twin Cities. Traditions range from Baha’i to Catholic, Buddhist to Islamic, Jewish to Pagan, Atheist to Hindu — and it will involve people from yoga studios to community centers to coffee shops to city blocks.
The keynote speakers will be Shah Haq, a peace activist based in Naperville, Ill., and author and speaker Piero Falci, a native Brazilian who now lives in the United States.
Shah Haq serves as an advisor for Women For Empowerment, and he organizes and participates in peace events in Chicago and other locations. He also helps organize events pertaining to food awareness and safety, our ability to heal, sustainable farming and living space. As a child, he survived a genocide, witnessed military textbook-style systematic destructions of a country and killing of people in a bid to breaking down their will. During the war, he saw destruction, cruelty and suffering. “However, amidst meager resources I had witnessed strangers and loved ones coming together that was undreamed of for collective survival. Love and care beyond measure poured out of peoples’ hearts in unsettling circumstances. …I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to more than 35 countries around the world. …No matter where I go, I see the common thread of fabric in all of nations that comprise the brightest spectrum of colors of human race. I believe petty political differences and geopolitical demarcations are synthetic. But when we transcend race, sex, color or religion, the beating of hearts inside people around the globe is genuine.”
Piero Falci is a citizen of the world. His ancestors emigrated from Europe and he was born and educated in Brazil. After his college graduation he continued his studies in Italy and Japan, and lived in Argentina before settling in the United States. Traveling throughout the world, he was exposed not only to the beauty of many different cultures, but also to manifestations of social injustice. Today he writes and lectures about peace and is deeply involved in peace education and nonviolent peace-promoting initiatives. He is the Program Director of One Planet United and the leader of the Silent Peace Walk movement. He is the author of Silent Peace Walk; Peaceful Ways: The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True; and Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering your Route to Happiness.
“Our mission is to bring people from all religions, spiritual traditions, non-spiritual traditions, ethnicities, cultures, and communities together to facilitate a connection through dialogue and activity to promote peace,” says Michelle Ploog, director and founder of Beyond Belief Walk for Peace. “Together we walk in dedication to acceptance and love of all people to develop equality, human rights and common good for our world. “Show up to get inner peace, a community of inspiring people, and a feeling that you did something to make the world a better place.”