Honoring Peacemakers in Our Midst – 2023’s Distinguished Awardees

In a world often marked by turbulence and discord, it is crucial to shine a light on those remarkable individuals and organizations who tirelessly work to make our communities and the world a more peaceful place. We are delighted to introduce this year’s “Peacemakers in Our Midst” honorees, four organizations whose dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to peace have left an indelible mark on our community.

Meet Our Honorees:

This year, we are privileged to recognize and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the following remarkable peacemakers:

The Peace Islands Institute

The Peace Islands Institute is an organization that seeks to create meaningful dialogue among the diverse voices in our world. The Peace Island Institute believes that appreciating the many different people and cultures in our world makes us stronger. The organization promotes peace, love and respect throughout our nation and world.

The Peace Islands Institute hosts many events in our region focusing on building conversations among people to foster understanding. They are known for their Art and Essay award ceremonies, annual Bike and Walk Event and the Peace Island Institute Awards.

This year, they also hosted an international day at the State Capitol to help our legislators see the many different cultures represented in our commonwealth. The event was successful in educating elected officials and connecting them to people from immigrant communities who have made Pennsylvania their home.

We thank the Peace Islands Institute for its good work to build peace and understanding here at home and around the world. We need their continued commitment and engagement in the commonwealth and throughout our nation.

Brethren Community Ministries

Brethren Community Ministries is a church in Allison Hill Harrisburg that believes in peace, inclusion, and anti-oppression as an expression of God’s love.

They are a big part of the community in Allison Hill, as they’re mission is to make a safe, welcoming, and healthy community.

They partner with Brethren Housing Association to help low-income and homeless people, as well as with Samara, an agency that tries to help families and children. 

They sponsor soup kitchens, crisis intervention centers and the Capital Region ex-offender Support coalition, which helps reduce recidivism rates in Harrisburg. 

Brethren Community Ministries is deserving our 2023 Peacemaker in Our Midst Award for its compassion and its action to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and comfort the afflicted. 

Their impact has been profound in Harrisburg’s Allison Hill neighborhood and they have touched countless lives in their work. 

We thank them for their service to our community and to helping to make a more peaceful world.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Auxiliary

The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg takes this opportunity to salute a group of high-power women who are dedicated advocates of peace at home and around the world.

Led by Saima Mumtaz, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s Women’s Auxiliary is known for their compassion, kindness, and service.  The local group is a part of the Women’s Auxiliary Organization of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA and was established in 1922 as an empowered women’s organization.

In our region, Ahmadiyya women are active in helping to building bridges and forge ties of friendship among women of all races, colors, and creeds.  Like their brothers in the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the women’s auxiliary are strong advocates for peace. 

They volunteer to help those in need and support the many activities of the Ahmadiyya community, including its annual Sept. 11 blood drive. Above all, the Ahmadiyya Muslim women work proudly proclaim their motto of “Love for All, Hatred for None.”

The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg expresses our admiration and high esteem for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Women’s Auxiliary in Harrisburg. 

We urge them to continue their work with commitment and courage.  We stand with them in fighting extremism in all its forms and in building peace at home and abroad.

Market Square Presbyterian Church

Market Square Presbyterian Church serves downtown Harrisburg and roots itself in worship and in being a welcoming community for all. Market Square Presbyterian Church is accommodating to the community in offering services in both English and in Korean, and it is welcoming to the LGBTQIA+ population.

The church sponsors many social justice activities to combat racism, help address environmental concerns as well as to help the homeless and poor.  

Market Square has provided space to the International Service Center for many years to support its work to help new immigrants to our region with education, employment, as well as in forging social and cultural connections.

The center has been a vital source of support to recent Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, and Market Square Presbyterian has provided a welcoming place for countless refugees right in the heart of Harrisburg.  

Market Square Presbyterian has hosted the annual Candles on the Water commemoration of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and has hosted peace vigils to remind us of the tragedy of nuclear weapons.

We thank the Interim Pastor Kim Wadlington and members of Market Square Presbyterian for their service to those in need and for their dedication to both justice and peace.  

As we honor these remarkable individuals, we are reminded of the enduring power of compassion, empathy, and the unwavering pursuit of peace. Their stories inspire us to strive for a better, more harmonious world. Join us in celebrating these true peacemakers and be a part of the movement for positive change.