Friday, 10 May 2013

Shirley Farlinger's 25 easy (and not so easy) ways to promote peace

Shirley Farliner, a fellow Agent of Peace, to whom I had the absolute privilege of speaking to about peace in late 2011 past away this past winter. Shirley was an absolute fire-cracker of a woman. She was for many years a volunteer editor for, and contributor to, Peace Magazine, a member of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Science for Peace and Pugwash. And to the very end she was a board member of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health. She ran federally for the Green Party in its early days and later for the NDP. Shirley was also the first woman president of the Toronto Eglinton Rotary Club and a past president of the University Women’s Club of Toronto.

After our interview in 2011 Shirley sent NUPRI a letter outlining 25 simple ways in which individuals can promote peace in their every-day lives, in their communities, in the nations and in the world. We though that in honour of her we would share these with you. 


Since talking to you about peace I have though of so many more things that can and are being done for peace by individuals and groups.

  1. Wear a peace t-shirt or button
  2. Sign your letters "peace" instead of "yours"
  3. Visit the UN and take the tour
  4. Urge your mayor to join "Mayors for Peace" 
  5. Go on all suitable peace walks
  6. Protest outside companies producing military goods
  7. Get your town, province, country declared a "Nuclear Free Zone" (Ontario is!)
  8. Get rid of war toys and label play areas "war toy free"
  9. Support campaigns to end nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, etc. 
  10. Help publicize peace events--hand out leaflets
  11. Write letter to the editor
  12. Write a poem, story, or book!
  13. Join or start a "Raging Grannies" group
  14. Visit
  15. LEarn about Security Council Resolution 1325, passed unanimously in October 2000 mandating the inclusion of women in all peacemaking, war prevention meetings
  16. Put on my play, "The 1325 Key to Peace", a comedy (don't know where we can find this now)
  17. Promote peace films
  18. Vote for like-minded politicians
  19. Run for office
  20. Link ecology, climate change and peace (the military causes large CO2 emissions in wars, training and research)
  21. Maintain your own ideals even in the face of criticism
  22. Set up a Peace Garden in your school, university or workplace with a bench for negotiating conflicts
  23. Sign onto the various petitions on the web relating to peace. Number count. 
  24. Contact refugees at your school or elsewhere and hear their stories
  25. Never give up. Remember you are doing the most important work in the world

                     Shirley Farlinger

We hope that this list will inspire you to get out there and live your peace. Shirley did until she could do it no more. Now its your turn.


Johanna Fraser
Research Assistant, NUPRI

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