News & Events

International Day of Non-Violence: Melting Guns into Garden Tools

Peacemaker in Action, Bill Lowrey, melts a gun into a gardening tool with the RAWTools team at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions Convening

On this International Day of Non-Violence, I feel immense gratitude to work alongside an entire network of Peacemakers who practice nonviolence daily.

A month ago, I attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions Convening in Chicago with Tanenbaum’s Peacebuilding team and Peacemakers in Action Bill Lowrey and Sarah AK Ahmed. Together, we highlighted the Peacemakers’ work and had the pleasure of meeting many of you.

Seeing the Peacemakers engage with you reignited the momentum of our work. A literal spark included watching Bill and Sarah melt guns into garden tools with the team at RAWtools. A moment that will remain with me well beyond this year.

Through the years, I have heard Isaiah 2:4 quoted widely and often, both by international organizations and our Peacemakers in Action themselves: “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Last month, as Sarah and Bill turned weapons for destruction into resources for cultivation, I witnessed the Peacemakers take these words literally.

On this International Day of Nonviolence, we invite you to browse the gallery below to see Sarah and Bill at work, and to visit the Swords to Plowshares program to find a Disarming Network near you.

In Peace,

Rev. Mark Fowler, CEO, Tanenbaum, and the Peacebuilding Team