Let peace and freedom sing

With music we reach the place of the heart, the place where nonviolence dwells.

Why a music festival to further the cause of mainstreaming nonviolence?

Because throughout history music has been the great unifier. No matter how opposite your ideas, values and beliefs are from mine, when music fills the air we dance together. Think “Amazing Grace,” whistle “We shall Overcome,” and raise your voice to “Let There be Peace on Earth.”

Yes, in our heart of hearts we dream of the day when we shall overcome hatred, division and wars. When our children will be able to live in a world where a culture of peace prevails, where needs are met and where we take care of each other and Mother Earth. This is the song of songs dressed in myriad ways: love songs, revolution songs, anger songs, truth songs, protest songs. With music we reach the place of the heart, the place where nonviolence dwells. We rise above the petty into the essential, into coherence.

When Pace e Bene decided to host an online music festival instead of its annual conference, we went on trust and faith that this is what people needed after a year and a half of scary news and global hardship. We trusted that musicians would want to raise their voices and strum their instruments in a call for working together for a better world. And we had faith that others would be drawn together and uplifted by this call. We have not been wrong, as musicians from all over the United States, Africa, South America and from all genres are gathering together on Aug. 21 to celebrate nonviolence through music — and so far hundreds of people are signed up to join them.

Nonviolence is not a lofty, idealistic vision to be put on a shelf for a more appropriate time and place. The time for nonviolence is now. The time for proclaiming and claiming its power is now. Let that be the fundamental song played into our homes for the benefit of all sentient beings. Let peace and freedom sing!

We are asking you to help us spread the word through your channels, to enlist as many people as possible so that our joint effort and dream become reality.

This story was produced by Campaign Nonviolence

Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, is working for a new culture of nonviolence by connecting the issues to end war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction. We organize The Nonviolent Cities Project and the annual Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

Waging Nonviolence partners with other organizations and publishes their work.