Multi-Generational Conference Sparks Conversation on Social Change

Common Threads Conference Creates Multi-Generational Community for Sparking Social Change

How do we keep our sense of hope and purpose? How are we called to contribute? What do we want to ask of or say to other generations? Teens and adults can seek answers to these questions – and many more – at Common Threads: Generations in Conversation on Social Change, a special conference offered by the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. Centered around creating dialogue that addresses issues such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and ageism, Common Threads offers a unique venue in which citizens and activists of all ages can come together to creatively share thoughts, questions, and experiences. For teens in particular, Common Threads offers a unique opportunity for learning how to exercise mind and voice, and presents a chance to learn from and connect with others in a multi-generational environment in which creating social change is paramount.
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7 Children’s Books that Embody Peace

Oprn Drdsmr: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

Blessed are the Peacemakers

“If we are to teach real peace in this world, if we are to wage a real war against war, we shall have to start with the children.” – Gandhi

Now more than ever it seems imperative that we engage and embody and choose peace. From events that hit close to home like the Newtown tragedy and the Boston Marathon bombings, to our sisters and brothers all over the world who undergo daily violence, to the violent destruction of our very planet by over-consumption and abuse… it is essential to our future that we ignite change through peaceful means. To begin that process, it helps to know what peace is, what it feels like, what it looks like and tastes like and sounds like, and to make sure our children know too.

That is why I’ve chosen a new children’s book by award winning illustrator, Wendy Anderson Halperin, to share with you this month. The book is called Peace (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) and it unfolds around the central question of how can we, as individuals, create peace in the world.

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Teaching Peace in the Berkshires

Raising Children: Love, Limits & Lessons

Students in the Berkshires Celebrate International Day of Peace

On International Day of Peace, the United Nations invites all nations and people to honor the day thorough education and public awareness on issues related to peace. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The General Assembly of the United Nations declared September 21st as the International Day of Peace. Since the first year of celebration, many schools around the country have used that commemoration to influence children on the importance of world peace. So this past September 21st, I took a film crew with me to an amazing Montessori school, deep in the Berkshires of Western MA to see what they were doing.

Everything I teach in my parenting program and all that I feature on my television show is dedicated to increasing the peacefulness in families and classrooms. If we hope to have less war and conflict in the future, and more love and compassion for one another, then it’s up to us to cultivate that in our children who will be responsible for carrying out the plan.

The director of Montessori School of the Berkshires, Meagan Ledendecker, asked each of the classes to create a project that would represent their own celebration of world peace. Upon hearing about this challenge, it became my goal to capture on film, many of the class projects that would eventually be put on display for all the parents to see. The clip below is an excerpt from the most recent episode of my television show, featuring some of the activities at the school on this day.

The school featured in the clip above is making a major contribution to bringing about more peace in the world. And parents can be make a difference with their children as well. In the clip below from the same show, I offered parents 10 tips for raising a more peaceful child. See if you’re doing any of these with your family.


Bill Corbett

Bill is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, Love, Limits, & Lessons: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Cooperative Kids (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show Creating Cooperative Kids. He is a Western Mass native and grew up in the Northampton area. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology, Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and professional audiences across the country. He sits on the board of the Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Resource Advisory Committee for Attachment Parenting International, and the management team of the Springfield Parent Academy. Bill’s practical experience comes as a father of 3 grown children, a grandfather of two, and a stepdad to three, and resides in the area with his loving wife Elizabeth and teen step daughter Olivia.  You can learn more about Bill and his work at

HFVS Holiday Peace Episode (Podcast/Radio Show)

Holiday Peace Show

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Dec 31st, 2011 & Jan 1st, 2012
(Original Broadcast: Dec. 27th, 2008)

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Holiday Peace Show (Original Broadcast: 12/27/08). Playlist below. Listen to Podcast:

New Year’s Day Peace Show. (Original Broadcast: 01/01/08). Playlist here. Listen to Extended Podcast

Featured Video: Enjoy an aerial view of the planet when you set sail in a hot-air balloon with three children and their inquisitive dog. Sung by Susan Reed. From the book  and CD, Up! Up! Up!, illustrated by Rachel Oldfield.

Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter


  • Station Id: Steve Weeks []
  • Timmy Abell – “Peace will Dawn” off of Little Red Wagon 
  • Robbi K & Friends –  “The Peace Song” off of Music Makes Me Happy
  • Lui Collins – “Peace on Earth” off of North of Mars
  • Shirley Temple – “On the Good Ship Lollipop”
  • The Hullabaloos – “Hey Lolly, Lolly” off of Tall as a Tree
  • Tex Ritter – “Big Rock Candy Mountain”
  • STORYTIME: Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” off of Peace in the World Smiling
  • Michelle Shocked – “Go in Peace” off of Deep Natural
  • Rosemary Clooney – “Suzy Snowflake” off of The Christmas Selection
  • Johnny Mathis – “Winter Wonderland” off of Merry Christmas
  • Uncle Rock –  “Season of Light” off of Uncle Rock U
  • Elizabeth Mitchell –  “This little Light of Mine” off of You Are My Flower
  • Pat Humphries  – “Swimming to the Other Side” off of Hope
  • Twink – “Three Wishes” off of The Broken Record

Film & Peace Walk in the Hilltowns

Ann D. Scelba of Ashfield, MA writes:

On Saturday, January 23rd at 1pm at First Congregational Church in Ashfield, MA, we will show the film from The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, For the Next 7 Generations.

This is their story. Four years in-the-making and shot on location in the Amazon rainforest, the mountains of Mexico, North America, and at a private meeting with the Dalai Lama in India, For the Next 7 Generations follows what happens when these wise women unite. Facing a world in crisis, they share with us their visions of healing and a call for change now, before it’s too late. This film documents their unparalleled journey and timely perspectives on a timeless wisdom.

Grandmother’s Mission Statement, “We, the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light the way through an uncertain future. We look to further our vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children.”

At their first meeting in October 2004, the Grandmothers, shamans and medicine women, bonded deeply and discovered that despite their different languages and cultures, they all shared a common goal. This led to the formation of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. From then on, the Grandmothers decided to carry out their mission globally through visits to each of their home communities.

Through the years, they’ve become teachers and icons who are galvanizing and uniting a rapidly emerging global movement. They are awakening people to the urgent need for change if we are to survive on this planet. But they are not using fear as a weapon. They are offering us hope. What many people see as a threat, they see as an opportunity. They show us that by going back to the ancient and time-proven earth-based traditions and practices of our Indigenous people, we will be able to break away from our destructive habits and make the changes necessary for our survival.

Come here what these amazing woman have to say.

Then walk with us! After the viewing of the movie we will have a PEACE WALK in the town of Ashfield at 3pm, starting at the First Congregational Church. We will walk to honor the grandmothers work. We will walk for peace within ourselves, for Ashfield, for Mother Earth and for all our relations for the next seven generations.

HFVS New Year Peace Show/Podcast


Saturday from 9-10am
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

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Originally aired on 01/01/08


  • Robbie K & Friends – “The Peace Song” [Music Makes Me Happy]
  • Oceanna Chartard – “Peace Dove” [Peace is the World Smiling]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Peace Dream” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Babatunde Olatunji – “Ayie Mire” [Peace is the World Smiling]
  • Cat Stevens – “Peace Train” [Cat Stevens Greatest Hits]
  • Dog on Fleas – “Peace Will Come” [When I Get Little]
  • Uncle Rock – “Season of Light” [Uncle Rock U]
  • Three Dog Night – “Shambala” [Three Dog Night: The Complete Hits]
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – “Peace Like a River” [You Are My Little Bird]
  • Plastic Ono Band – “Give Peace a Chance” [Lennon Legend]
  • Ellis Paul – “The Little Red Rose” [The Dragonfly Races]
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock – “On Children” [Peace is the World Smiling]
  • Mark Olmstead – “One Peace at a Time” [One Peace at a Time]
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – “This Little Light of Mine” [You Are My Flower]
  • Pete Seeger – “If I Had a Hammer” [Peace is the World Smiling]
  • Joules Graves – “Silence” [Waterfall Child]
  • Joe McDermott – “Let Your Light Shine” [Everywhere You Go]
  • Pete Seeger & Annie Hills – “Flowers of Peace” [Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger]
  • Sol Y Canto – “Peace Will Come” [El Doble De Amigos]
  • Timmy Abell – “Peace Will Dawn” [Little Red Wagon]
  • Fawnie Byer – “Peace Feather Story (Spoken Word)” [Peace is the World Smiling]
  • Pat Humphries – “Swimming to the Other Side” [Hands]
  • Michelle Shocked – “Go in Peace” [Deep Natural]
  • Mr. Ray – “Starlight Angel” [Start Dreaming]
  • Kira Willey – “Midnight Moonlight” [Dance for the Sun]
  • Brady Rymer – “Hey Mr. Moonlight” [I Found It]
  • Tommy James & The Shondells – “Crystal Blue Persuasion” [Crimson & Clover]
  • Princess Katie & Racer Steve – “Bubbles” [Fast & Feisty]
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