By Sister Nancyann Turner, OP - August 4, 2015, Detroit, Michigan – Recently, we at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen started our annual Rosa Parks Peace Camp — a tradition now for 16 years. For three weeks, every day, we try to provide a teaching environment of respect, peace, and nonviolence through dance, music, fine arts, and conflict mediation classes.
The camp usually involves 65 participants plus teachers. Frequently, we invite the mothers and grandmothers to be present for the first half hour of the camp session, which consists of singing.
Recently, a mom sitting next to me started crying. When I asked about her tears, she told me that she felt like she was in church. “Those were tears of joy. There is such a great spirit in this room. I felt hugged and embraced. I felt overwhelmed by love in this room among the children and the teachers. “
Another mom shared with me how having her children up at the camp brings her such peace of mind, knowing that they are with good people and not just out on the street. “Yet, I see my children take what they learn here at the peace camp and then, share it with their cousins and neighbors,” she said. “The Peace camp has a long life.”These comments brought tears to my own eyes. I thank God that we are part of this East side community – and that somehow, our God of peace and work through all of us.
Sister Nancyann is the Director of the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.