Blessing of the Peacemakers
January 29, 2023
NVC Hosts 2023 Peace Laureates and Launches Compassionate USA
Northwest Vista College hosted the 18thAnnual Blessing of the Peacemakers on Sunday, Jan. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Palmetto Center for the Arts Theater. The 2023 San Antonio Peace Laureates are the founders of the San Antonio Peace Center: Rosalyn Falcón Collier, Ann E. Helmke and Susan Ives. The Blessing also served as the launch for the Compassionate USA curriculum campaign, which was recently announced by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg at a national mayor’s conference in Washington, DC. on Jan. 18.
Created by the San Antonio Peace Center at NVC, Compassionate USA is a people-centered campaign committed to promoting compassion, community healing and well-being through a learning journey. In partnership with the City of San Antonio, Alamo Colleges District and Northwest Vista College’s San Antonio Peace Center, it's a six- part compassionate skills course paired with videos and a community toolkit designed to develop a shared foundational skillset and practices of compassion that reduces suffering and increases well-being and resiliency. The virtual program will launch this summer. A video trailer of Compassionate SA will be shown at the Blessing.
Compassionate SA and Peace Laureates wouldn’t been possible without Collier, Helmke and Ives. For 28 years, they have been trailblazing, co-creating and visioning a more beautiful, peaceful and just community by sharing their wisdom, power and love.
The Blessing of the Peacemakers is a joyous multi-faith ceremony featuring music, inclusive and innovative rituals, and inspirational speakers honors all of the peacemakers in the city. The event marks the beginning of the United Nations 64-day Season for Nonviolence a campaign that demonstrates that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower lives and communities. Inspired in 1998 by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of the assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King,
The Peace Center Director Migdalia Garcia says countless people have been trained and mentored by these three incredible women who made it their mission to nurture peace and compassion in the community.
“The founders, Rosalyn Falcón Collier, Ann E. Helmke, and Susan Ives are innovative, responsive, and creative in their approaches to peace,” Garcia added. “They have compiled and authored a robust collection of nonviolence curriculum and books that became an important source and guide for many academic endeavors for peace and conflict studies programs as well a toolkit for community members.”
In 2017, the San Antonio Peace Center was the catalyst to have San Antonio recognized as a Compassionate City. The City Council unanimously voted on a resolution affirming the Charter for Compassion and the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. The International Campaign for Compassionate Cities is a global movement inspired by the Golden Rule, or Ethic of Reciprocity, which calls on each person to treat others as they would want to be treated.
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Northwest Vista College - Alamo Colleges District opened in 1995 with 12 students and is now one of the largest college institutions in San Antonio. Students pursue associate degrees and certificates, as well as transfer to four-year institutions. Located in Westover Hills, Northwest Vista College’s expanding agreements with business and higher education partnerships provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the community.