Center For Living Peace

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Archive for the tag “kindness”

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

There are so many leaders that truly embody living peace with the passion they bring to their causes. We see this passion in the way they speak and seek to inform audiences about how to make the world a better, more peaceful place. They take action, educate, and inspire. In an effort to spread inspiration from compelling people all around the world, we will be sharing videos to show how living peace can take different forms.

Take the time to ponder how this video’s message can help to reach a peaceful state in your life, your community, and the world.

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

-Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie, author of The Thing around Your Neck (2009), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Purple Hibiscus (2003), speaks to her experience with stereotypes and cultural misunderstandings in her powerful TED talk. Chimamanda lives in Nigeria, her birthplace, and the United States, teaching writing workshops to help fight the phenomenon of the “single story.”

For more information on her work visit her website.

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!


Center for Living Peace Turned 2!!!

Can you believe it’s been two years since we first opened our doors? We can’t! What an amazing two years it has been– here are some highlights from over the years…

Taiko drums at our grand opening in May of 2010!

Our peace tree from the grand opening… So strange seeing it so bare!

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity hold a workshop at our grand opening in 2010

Have you seen chalk mandala mural by artist Melanie Stimmell? It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since she created it for us.

Read for the Record in 2010

Buzz Lightyear visited us on Halloween in 2010!

Artful Eating with OCMA

Artful Eating with OCMA!

Team Kids Youth Council Servathon!

Good Happens Veggie Grill vegan carrot cake from our 1st birthday celebration!

Rocking out at New Earth Drumming to celebrate our 1st birthday!

Storytime with Cynthia Callard!

Human peace sign at 2011 International Day Peace!

Insights from Africa with Eugene Cooke!

Homemade Cleaning Products with The Ecology Center!

C-Jam with Anibue from UCI!

Peace in Motion Café movie nights!

Here are some highlights from our 2nd Birthday! So hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since we first opened our doors!

New Earth Drumming!

Sneaky Sea Snacks with Algalita!

Can you believe the things found in birds tummies? Thanks for sharing this with us, Algalita!

Abstract drawing with OCMA!

Smiling Monkey Yoga!

Smiling Monkey Yoga!

Kids made cards for a Card Quilt for people in need

Card Quilts!

Fun with the Chuck Jones Center

A visit from Teddy the tortoise, courtesy of Inside the Outdoors!

Buckwheat the Bunny, courtesy of Inside the Outdoors!

Seedlings with The Ecology Center!

Kids’ Qigong with Ryan Lee!

Fun in Kids’ Qigong!

Miniotics Dance Crew!

Kelly kickin’ it with Miniotics Dance Crew

Enjoying a birthday cupcake!

Look at our Peace Tree now!!! 2 years of wishes for peace!

A special thanks to our photographers, Ashley Strong & Megan Hartley. Thanks for celebrating with us! It’s been a wonderful 2 years!  Can’t wait to see what the future brings!

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out.

Living Peace Projects: Leap of Faith Day of Service

On Saturday, April 28th, Center for Living Peace hosted its fifth Living Peace Projects day! This time, we partnered with Leap of Faith at UCI, a student-led movement promoting interfaith engagement and community service based on a project from the 2011-2012 UCI Dalai Lama Scholar, Armaan Ahmed Rowther.

The day started off with CLP’s very own, Lauren Quijano, who was the Day of Service student chair welcoming the crowd.

Then UCI’s Vice Chancellor, Thomas Parham thanking the students for their commitment and passion to serve those in need.

Then Armaan said a quick hello and introduced the Queen!

Her Majesty took questions from the audience…

Then the students split up and took buses to Share Our Selves:

And the Islamic Center of Irvine for Uplift Charity

Some students stayed at CLP to make sandwiches to be donated to the homeless through Vineyard Church in Anaheim.

As well as OC Catholic Worker, Isaiah House (no photography was allowed at this site due to the privacy of the individuals who live there).

All in all– it was a fantastic day!

You can also watch a video from the Living Peace Projects with Leap of Faith at UCI! Thank you to all who participated and made this event a huge success!

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out.

2012 Human Security Award: Jessica Jackley

The Center for Unconventional Security Affairs will honor social entrepreneur Jessica Jackley with the 2012 Human Security Award on Thursday, May 10 at the Arnold and Mable Beckman Center in Irvine at 7 p.m.

Jessica is focused on empowering other entrepreneurs  by creating new ways and resources for them to succeed. She is the Founder and CEO of ProFounder, a Venture Founder with Collaborative Fund and the co-founder of Kiva.


Learn more about Jackley’s innovative and inspiring work by attending this great event! More details and information on how to RSVP can be found here.

We hope to see you there!

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!

Disneynature Makes Good Happen with Jane Goodall Institute

In honor of Earth Day, Disneynature will be releasing a new movie called CHIMPANZEE next week. For every person who sees this movie during the film’s opening week of April 20-26, Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, which helps protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

The funds raised in this program will go toward the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in the Republic of Congo. Learn more about this program and see a preview of the movie here!

We hope you enjoy the movie and contributing to the well-being of chimpanzees!

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!

Mpilonhle Mural Project

After Charlize Theron and Dr. Michael Bennish of Mpilonhle spoke at the Center for Living Peace Series in 2010, students at Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) were inspired to support artistic education programs in South Africa.

As a result, Mpilonhle (a non-profit organization that focuses on social development and health promotion in South Africa) recently oversaw a project where a mural was painted on a football field at Silethukukhanya High School in Africa. The art has lifted the students’ spirits and has made the walls come alive – take a look below to see for yourself!

Thank you, OCHSA Social Action Squad for inspiring us and making GOOD HAPPEN in South Africa! To find out more about this project, and how these inspiring high schoolers are changing the world, click here.

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!

Meatless Monday: Southwest Riblet Sandwich

If the global population shifted to a low meat diet that consisted of 70 grams of beef and 325 grams of chicken/eggs per week, about 15 square kilometers of farmland would be freed.

This new space could be used grow vegetation that would counter CO2, or to grow bioenergy crops that would displace fossil fuels. You can read more about how this kind of diet would affect farmland here.

Just by slightly altering a meal, we can make a world of difference. So let’s see what kind of meatless meal we can make this week!

This week’s recipe incorporates Morningstar Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets, which can be found in the frozen food aisle of many grocery stores.

Southwest Riblet Sandwich on Toasted Sourdough

Recipe Image

Morningstar Farms products look and taste like meat, but they are completely meat-free! All of their foods are delicious and easy to make – perfect for a quick and easy meal!


  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (1/2 inch thick) slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 package (10 oz.) of Morningstar Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese, halved diagonally
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices thin red onion, separated into rings


  1. In a small bowl, stir together butter and garlic. Brush one side of each bread slice with butter mixture. Place, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Cook Morningstar Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets according to package directions. Top each riblet portion with two half slices of cheese. Let stand for two to three minutes or until cheese melts.
  3. Meanwhile, broil bread slices 4 to 5 inches from the heat for three or four minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Top buttered sides of two bread slices with lettuce, riblet portions, and onion. Top with remaining slices of bread, buttered sides down. Cut into halves. Serve immediately.

Recipe originally posted on the Morningstar Farms website.

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!

Introducing our custom Live Peace FEED bags!

We are so excited about one of our newest additions to the Live Peace Store, and you should be, too. Why? Because each FEED bag comes with a story that we love.

Here’s the deal: FEED Projects donates a set amount of meals to the United Nations World Food Programme for each bag sold. Since it started in 2007, FEED has sold over 570,592 bags (head to their website at to see the most up-to-date number; it went up by 31 just while this was being written!)—that’s enough for over 66 MILLION meals provided through the WFP.

A criticism of similar good-based donations we have frequently heard is, “Why buy the item? Couldn’t you just give the money straight to the charity instead? Instead of spending $40 on a bag, you could give that $40 to the organization!” This is true, but misses an important aspect of FEED and other organizations’ goal: to raise awareness at the same time as making an impact. By buying the FEED bag, you are raising awareness for WFP and the global need for food at the same time as donating much-needed funds to the organization. Maybe 10 others will see your bag, ask about it, and then make a donation or even buy their own bag! You can have an exponential impact by becoming a visible supporter of the organization and inspiring others to do the same. When you carry this bag, you help support FEED, WFP, and the Center for Living Peace all at once.

Whether as a gift to someone else or to yourself, we encourage you to check out our limited edition, custom FEED bags! Who knows— you just might inspire others to spread peace and make good happen.

Our Live Peace FEED bags are available only in the Live Peace Store located here in the Center. Each bag is made of sturdy canvas and has an inside pocket—perfect for groceries, class, or just carrying things around. For each Live Peace bag sold, FEED Projects donates 10 meals to the World Food Programme’s school meals program.

Want to know more about FEED or WFP?
FEED Projects:

To see more of the items in our LIVE PEACE store, click here.


Good Happens.
Peace Grl Out.

Kindness in Giving

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

– Lao Tzu


Picture originally posted on

Challenge yourself today by committing a random act of kindness such as picking up trash, donating canned food for a food bank, visiting an animal shelter, cooking for someone, or even just making someone smile. Want more ideas? Check out Random Acts of Kindness!

Good Happens.

Peace Grl Out!

On the Fly: A Special Blog Entry by CLP Founder, Kelly Smith, in honor of 9/11

When Center for Living Peace founder Kelly Smith is traveling from one peacemaking event to the next, she’s blogging.

Redeye. New York to Los Angeles
8:42 AM – 9/11/11 – NYC Close to Ground Zero

The silence in New York City this morning was powerful. It sounded like music and mourning and respect. I left my room numbered 911 (yep 911) overlooking the Liberty Tower construction and arrived close to Ground Zero at 8:42 AM, where I heard what sounded like a church choir. The walk down had been quiet, with a few joggers running the opposite way. I followed the sound of the music to see groups of policeman walking in formal uniforms and families wearing photos of their loved ones passing through a security gate.

Others were wandering the silent streets. I asked the guard how to pass. She said that without an invitation it would be best to find a TV.

I saw children holding American flags, flags at half staff, lines of trash trucks and tow trucks and police cars and vans full of silent public servants just waiting there if needed.

A bit later someone told me to go to church. I thought they meant a building but then I saw Church Street and the lines to get in. I passed through security and found myself walking toward a large screen with Paul Simon’s image as he sung, “The Sound Of Silence.” The sound went straight to my heart.

And then those heroes stood before me listing the names, the many, many names. I felt a profound sense of love. Everyone was there to honor and remember. Children stood and read parts of the list and then the name of their parent, the one so many told them they looked like or acted like. A procession of those left behind took turns listing the names of those lost. They thanked them for laughter and pennies, blew kisses to the sky, and spoke of their courage. We all stood in the sound of silence and respect.

A group making a documentary for Korea asked me what I experienced 10 years ago and what I experienced today. My voice unexpectedly broke as I said, “I remember the fear, but today I see the strength.” When they saw my tears, they asked me what upset me most. “Seeing the children speak,” I said, thinking of my own.

They asked how I felt about those who had caused the attacks. How I felt about Muslims. Did I forgive? What could I do as an American now?

Her choice of words struck me hard. Muslim. Forgive. American.

What I chose is to realize how important each individual is. That is what I saw at the memorial. As each name was read, each life was honored. No one asked of the victims’ religions, their races, their job titles, or their politics. No one asked if they forgave. The family members spoke of their love for those lost, their special gifts, and what they each shared during their sacred lifetime.

As I relived 9/11 at the memorial, I felt grateful for the reminder to share what I can, to use my energies to make GOOD HAPPEN. I don’t remember what else I said, caught up in the emotion of the day, but I handed her my card, and told her about the mission of the Center for Living Peace. That we believe peace can be lived and experienced in all aspects of our daily lives – it is in the way we care for our environment, appreciate arts and culture, and in every word we speak and every action we take. She and the rest of her crew for whom she translated nodded and smiled shyly.

How can you make GOOD HAPPEN and Live Peace? Here are things you can do:

End Violence in the name of religion by signing the petition at  ArchBishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Laureate for Peace), Professor Mohammed Yunus, The Crown Prince and Princess of Norway all signed the petition as well. Please support their tireless efforts to make the world a much better place. Together, we can keep everyone accountable for a concerted global effort to END violence in the name of Religion.

Or maybe you want to honor the victims of 9/11 by supporting the memorial at the sight of Ground Zero.

Or maybe you want to find more ways to live peace in your own life.

Good Happens.

Peace Out, Kelly.

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