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Miami Valley Peace Heroes Trail to introduce 19 new signs celebrating peace heroes

Desmond Tutu
Wikimedia Commons
The trail defines a “peace hero” as an everyday person who accepts risk and succeeds in making the world less violent and more just.

The Miami Valley Peace Heroes Trail will introduce 19 new signs celebrating peace heroes on September 17, 2022, bringing the total of peace heroes to 58. The trail is designed to help people learn more about creating and spreading peace, and it got its start during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship was looking for a way to rethink an event that had to be canceled due to the pandemic. The Fellowship began planning what would eventually become the Peace Heroes Trail. The idea was to increase people’s peace literacy, or teach them how to build peace.

Initially, the Trail was a fundraiser for the Fellowship and involved only members of the Fellowship. The way it works is simple: People choose a “peace hero” they think is worthy of a sign.

The Trail defines a “peace hero” as an everyday person who accepts risk and succeeds in making the world less violent and more just. This person could be from the past or someone currently doing good in Dayton.

Then, a summary, picture, and quote of the peace hero must be given to someone working at the Fellowship with a donation. This donation can range from as little as $5 to as much as $3,000. These signs were then placed on the Trail, where people can walk around and learn about these peace heroes.

“My goal personally is to help people see that Martin Luther King Jr. is not the only person who can become a peace hero, that we all have the capacity to make small actions that can add up to really spread peace and change lives,” Reverend Kelly Kellie, the settled minister at the Fellowship, said.

Catherine Queener, the local coordinator for the Miami Valley Peace Trail, said she also wants to change how people think about what a “hero” is.

“When somebody said hero, the thing that would come to mind is somebody carrying a gun,” she said. “But I never made that switch inside my head, the connection of, oh, maybe my heroes are people that teach people and people that feed other people and care for the earth.”

Queener is also excited about the planned event on September 17.

There will be plenty of refreshments, she said, and a Peace Hero Bingo game to play with prizes.

The Newest Peace Heroes:

  • Fred Rogers
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Heather Cumming
  • Linus Pauling
  • Sabrina Jordan
  • The Rubi Girls
  • Desmond Tutu
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Judith Heumann
  • Rev. Laurent Muvunyi
  • Dr. Marsha Linehan
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Jimmy Carter
  • David Hurwitz
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Katherine Josten
  • Katharine Hayhoe
  • John Denver
Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.