Dear Yoko Ono and IMAGINE PEACE readers
I hope you are well and things are going smoothly as you continue to work and help rebuild Japan. I’ve been following the tireless efforts Yoko is making. She is such a wonderful role model for me for generously sharing her time, energy and resources.
I believe that our global society is transforming to become more cooperative and supportive than ever before. Our progress in this direction seems to become more apparent in trying times. We are becoming stronger and more supportive of each other as we become more unified through increased communication with the help of technology. Communication creates more understanding for those we are helping. I realize a level of understanding of the cultural context is essential. With understanding comes respect. Ultimately, we become more efficient in our goals to help and support in an appropriate way. I think this is the foundation that affords us the ability to heal and help others heal from catastrophes and tragedies to the best of our abilities. I’ve been thinking about this in the smaller context of the bike trip for peace.
Through work and documentation I will share the power of group support and the result of their efforts to alleviate persistent struggles such as access to food, water, education and a clean environment. These smaller scale struggles juxtaposed to the crisis in Japan can easily seem quite insignificant, however as they become compiled over time, these small everyday struggles become enormous barriers to a healthier flourishing society and that is why they persist. It’s important to address these everyday struggles within our communities to lessen the magnitude of such a natural catastrophe as we move back in the direction of a society that works cooperatively with nature, animals and other human beings.
BIKE FOR PEACE is nearly ready to depart from Alaska and head south and document peaceful, community building actions while bike members collaborate with groups. The focus for the trip has evolved quite a bit and I expect it to continue to evolve as my vision for it comes further into light.
The bicycle trip has evolved in many ways for me, conceptually as well as members of the group. After much thought and consideration, Colette has decided to not take the bicycle journey at this time in her life. However, two friends have chosen to come. Eric a photographer, and Kareem a student of Peace and Social Justice. Kareem also had the opportunity to study at the UN-mandated University of Peace in Costa Rica.
I have made improvements to our original website as well as created a wordpress site. We have also filmed a short video and launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get started. If you would like to visit either of these sites: Kickstarter and WordPress
Thank you for your your efforts and for your support of our bicycle journey.
Amelia Alibozek & Colette Czarnecki: Bike for PEACE! Good luck! love, yoko
Dear Yoko Ono, and IMAGINE PEACE readers
My name is Amelia Alibozek, I’m a co-founder of a group called Bike For PEACE with Colette Czarnecki. We are two young women bicyclists who are dedicated to learning and sharing messages of peace through action. We will be collaborating with groups and organizations working toward peaceful efforts as we travel from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan American Highway beginning in June 2011. We will be focusing primarily on human rights and environmental justice – ultimately working for a more peaceful environment for people and the planet. Through video documentation, audio, and written blogs, as well as a variety or work projects we intend to successfully share messages and efforts of peace throughout the western hemisphere in a span of two years.
I have been inspired by your work and efforts for peace now and when you were advocating with John Lennon. I think that working toward peace is the most important thing for humans to be doing right now. It should be our number one priority each day. And contrary to what many may believe, we like you believe that it is attainable, with small or large acts of kindness and genuine effort.
The purpose of the journey south by bicycle for me, is to learn about others’ efforts toward peace on a local level, and our ability to share these efforts across continents will be a positive way for us to do our part to “be the change” we wish to see in the world. We will encourage others to join us as well, who are also dedicated to spreading messages of peace through action.
The foundation of my involvement in such a feat is based on my belief that world peace begins at home. To me, this means that the more we can learn to be compassionate and mindful with ourselves, the more compassion and peace we are able to spread to others, as we become disinhibited by the often negative and fear-based desires of the ego. This in turn allows clear, positive thinking enhancing brain activity as well as creativity. This coupled with cooperation and hard work, creates an effective and lasting positive peaceful impact.
We will be documenting our journey. We will be posting written and video blogs.
Amelia Alibozek, West Fairlee, Vermont
Colette Czarnecki, Detroit, Michigan
Bike For PEACE (People, Equality, Action, Community, Environment)
We are a group of bicyclists who are dedicated to learning and raising awareness of social justice efforts as we travel south along the pan american highway. We will collaborate with communities on our journey who are actively working for human rights, environmental justice – ultimately a more peaceful environment for people and the planet.
The Big Picture
As more of us strive to shift from a mindset of competition to cooperation, our collective consciousness and actions are the ultimate forces which allow the achievement of a profound peaceful impact in our local and global communities.
Through our intentions and actions we hope to learn and grow while making a positive impact on the places we visit and the people we meet.
As we travel, we will share our experiences through written blogs and film. As we are inspired by the actions of others, we hope to continue the cycle of positive actions for peace through our humble efforts.
Route and Plan
Our journey begins in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska USA and ends in Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. We will ride our bicycles on and along the pan-american highway as we plan and organize 15 work projects, one per country. The work projects will highlight peaceful cooperation in communities, working solutions and prevailing struggles. Documentation via voice recorder and film will be collected and shared locally and internationally. A strong emphasis will be placed on creatively aiding community efforts through action with art, music, dialogue, building and farming.
Who is Bike for Peace?
Currently our group consists of two members: Colette Czarnecki and Amelia Alibozek.
Colette grew up in south-east Michigan and has resided in Detroit for the past 6 years where she has been aquiring her degree in environmental science and urban studies. Throughout her studies she has moved from mid-sized town Ypsilanti, Michigan to small town capitol Olympia, Washington. She has met amazing and inspiring individuals in all places of residence and she has volunteered somewhat with a domestic violence non-profit to small-scale farming & gardening/ environmental non-profits. Mostly her main focus within the last few years is finishing her degree which will be completed in December of 2010 (finally)! She aspires to constantly learn through all experiences in life and hopes to continue to meet extraordinary and wonderful people, knowing that social interactions is what drives important connections and understanding of society together to the heart.
Thanks to her liberal upbringing in Vermont, the support of loved ones and the community, Amelia has been inspired to be a free thinker. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2008. While living in Amherst, she became significantly influenced by humanistic psychology, mindfulness meditation and social justice emphasizing on gender, race, class and the environment. Amelia has had the privilege to live, work and be an activist in Detroit Michgian for over two years. She has worked with Macomb Community Mental Health, and Young Detroit Builders, a YouthBuild Alternative School. She also helped plan, organize and lead workshops at the US Social Forum, held in Detroit this past summer, 2010. Her social justice philosophy is rooted in the belief that world peace begins at home, meaning the more we can learn to be compassionate and mindful with ourselves, the more compassion and peace we are able to spread to others, as we become disinhibited by the (often negative and fear-based) desires of the ego. This in turn allows clear, positive thinking enhancing brain activity as well as creativity. This, coupled with cooperation and hard work, creates an effective and lasting positive impact.
The beginning of this bicycle trip was initially inspired when Colette read The Thinnest Country in the World, where the Pan-American Highway was introduced. After reading the book, Colette thought it would be amazing to bike the highway. About a year and a half later, she met Amelia, and during their first conversation about the trip, Amelia immediately committed herself to the ride. It was Amelia’s idea to Bike for PEACE – volunteering with, and advocating action on various social justice issues in each country along the way. Together, they are a great pair coming up with innovative ideas and are very excited to learn from the people as well as the forces of nature they will encounter on their challenging adventure.
We are planning a number of fundraising events that will take place in the months of March and April in Detroit, Michigan.
- Bike For PEACE logo competition
- Screen Printing Party and Pot Luck
- A Music, Food and Art Extravaganza
Days and times are to be announced, here on our website, as well as on Facebook.
If you are an artist, musician or chef (part of a food co-op, enjoy cooking) and would like to partake in any of these events, would like to attend as a guest, or have suggestions of future events please email Amelia and Colette at [email protected]
All donations will be used for expenses including food, shelter and supplies. We are relying primarily on personal savings, monetary donations, work trade and sponsorship. We greatly appreciate your contribution! Donate here.
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