Congratulations to our board president Theresa Pan-Hosley for receiving the 2016 Greater Tacoma Peace Prize! The text of her speech can be read below. Learn more about the Tacoma Peace Prize here.
Good evening everyone! It is an honor to be here with you all tonight and I am grateful to be here to celebrate what I see as a crucial part of our culture.
When I see peace, I see serenity and graceful movement. When I hear peace I listen for soothing tones. When I smell peace is smell a freshness and a crispness of the air. And when I say peace, it is with joy. But when I make peace, it is with passion, effort, sweat and thoughtfulness. This is one of the many reasons I appreciate The Greater Tacoma Peace Prize’s effort to celebrate the term “peace”. Peace typically can be simplified to the absence of conflict or lack of activity. But peace ultimately is an action. Finding peace of mind takes self control. And peace on a worldly scale takes understanding of the differences that ultimately unify us. There are so many aspects(ways) of obtaining this harmony that cannot be done without effort of all parties involved. And this is clear in our efforts with the Chinese Reconciliation Park. Not only have I been able to work with our Board members to bring our vision of peace to life, but our great city of Tacoma had join us in our efforts. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to reconcile the tragic expulsion of the Chinese community in November 1885. And as our board knows, over 20 years of work has gone into bringing everything to fruition. The location of the park is very close to where the old Chinese community was. So, the park is the home of where the heart is. From the very beginning, it was our core mission to create a safe place for all visitors regardless of personal background and personal beliefs. Our hope is that our park will bring a sense of reconciliation and acceptance. As the King of Norway recently stated “despite our differences, we are one people”. (I hope my belief in peace will go as viral as King’s speech) I appreciate this honor because it affirms that the park’s vision is bringing attention to the fact that our vision of peace and reconciliation is evident. This is honoring not only the hours of work put into the park, but everyone’s personal work to find peace and bring peace to everyone.
Thank you all for such a lovely evening.