History of Partnerships In Peace

1. How did Partnerships In Peace find its way into EastLakeGardens.com (ELG) an east Atlanta neighborhood after doing community service and peace activism in N.E. Atlanta for 25 years?

It's a story that deserves telling because it illustrates how we can REPLICATE this model for the REVITALIZATION of other inner cities. It centers around people knowing each other and having long-term trusting relationships.

Partnerships In Peace (PIP) was given the opportunity to anchor the permanent headquarters for PIP in one of the houses which Bob Lupton (read his books: "Return Flight - Community Development Through Reneighboring Our Cities" and "Theirs is The Kingdom - Celebrating the Gospel in Urban America") with FCS Urban Ministries purchased in a large group because of our commitment to community building.

We had been doing global work during the Cold War in the 80's, offering peace rallies, cultural exchanges, pen pal letter exchanges, mask making, city-wide events, including planting Peace Poles "May Peace Prevail on Earth" and constructing a World Wall for Peace for the1996 Summer Olympics. We had networked with over 750 peace groups around the world as well as joining the 57 peace groups in Atlanta in a Peace Coalition. The time came when we had to "Think Globally, Act Locally."

As we took our inbreath preparing for the change, Andrea Kay Smith (AKS) global coordinator for PIP put out a call to the Universe for a Peace Center in inner city Atlanta. Through Jack Morse who developed East Lake Commons, an Intentional Co-Housing Community at the end of Summit Dr., AKS chose one of the rundown, abandoned houses Bob has acquired. The connection to Jack came through Kathy Johnson, a fellow peaceworker from the 70's who was attending Don Bender's daughter Aneke's wedding with AKS. The trail actually goes much deeper and involves so many others, but suffice it to say that with the help of people like Tim Bowers-Young, Rev. Houston Wheeler, Rev. Leroy Barber, Ryan Cohen, Brian Webb, Fred Frances, Dick Martin, Shepherd Joy, Bob & June Smith and the Jiminez brothers, PIP is able to make a valuable contribution at a grassroots level in the East Lake neighborhood now.

2. Who is Andrea Kay Smith?

Andrea Kay Smith (AKS) was born in Midwest America after World War II, where her parents encouraged community service through their own example. Along with her three brothers, she was active in Church mission trips, family improvement projects, and becoming a Girl Scout and Student Council leader. Race riots in Detroit, Michigan in 1967 changed the course of Andrea's life forever. With a young son in tow, she followed a path around the U.S. through many moves and many states to land, sight unseen, knowing no one, in Atlanta, Georgia in May, 1973. With the belief that she could make a difference in the world she began step by step to work for peace and justice emerging as a dedicated peaceworker in service to humanity.

Partnerships In Peace, A Planetary Consortium founded in l985, is a vehicle for AKS to offer many activities and educational experiences from the local level to the global. In addition to the projects mentioned above, she received a recycled l977 Toyota and turned it into a Peace Mobile art car which is used for the neighborhood projects and won an award from DeKalb County for recycling (see Photos). She created the Peace Center after a long arduous process of revitalization with the help of hundreds of volunteers from all over the U.S. The grounds of the Peace Center have turned into a gardener's delight as she has coordinated donations and plant rescue since 1999, creating labyrinth trails, meditation areas and wildlife santuary. (See Projects: Gardens) Expanding beyond the property, curb gardens now exist all around the East Lake Neighborhod.

AKS demonstrates that we can live in harmony with the environment by recycling, composting and creating artistic creations of beauty. Voluntary simplicity and mindfulness are her tools. Her life is a celebration of love, joy and service. "May Peace Prevail on Earth."

3. How did Andrea Kay Smith (AKS) become global coordinator for Partnerships In Peace?

Everything begins with a firm foundation and intention. From the time AKS was a small child, her mother and father inspired her to be of service; to give and help others who were in need. They faithfully demonstrated and practiced the "Golden Rule" and set a good example for the entire family. With that seed deeply planted, AKS found herself in many service organizations, churches and employment that required giving at high levels all through her growing up years. She never had to look far to hear the call because she had the hand of friendship extended out, offering support and encouragement. Being a single parent in her early 20's, she learned to live frugally as she pursued a career, went to college and coordinated an active volunteer schedule. Each one of these life experiences contributed to her knowing that one day she would work for global peace full time. Every profession she explored; every random act of kindness she offered; every activity she participated in; had to answer the question "how does this support my global work for peace?" She never gave up her belief that one young, differently abled person could contribute in some way to the greater whole. She kept a vision of everyone in the world having shelter and food at a minimum. Eventhough the answers weren't always available and solutions seemed slim, she was guided through many challenging situtations to arrive one day with clear vision how to continue. That day was on a massage table as her body was being repaired. She called out for wisdom and the name "Partnerships In Peace" was revealed. From that moment in 1980, she has been undeterred; committed to perform the part she is called to do at a grassroots level; working locally, thinking globally.

4. Who is on the Advisory Board of Partnerships In Peace (PIP)?

The Board is a unique blend of people who "walk the walk & talk the talk", while volunteering their time, energy and knowledge to our mission vision. Over the years, the Advisory Board has evolved with many people coming and going as is typical of the flow of life. To all these people we are eternally grateful because without them we would not be here now.

The Year 2002 Advisory Board Members are:

  1. Tom Younker, founder of Dare Computer, www.darecomputer.com - an Atlanta based Linux Technician, Consultant and Support Services for PIP; keeping computers out of landfills for our Learning Center to recycle. Volunteered as our webmaster, creating this website. tom@darecomputer.com
  2. #404-248-0336

  3. Al Lingo, founder of a non-sectarian Mindfulness Practice Center (MPC) one mile from our Peace Center which offers the work of Thich Nhat Hahn, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk from France. Also teaches workshops around the world on "Unconditional Love & Forgiveness" and "Psychosynthesis" while he does his compassionate counseling wherever he goes. clingojr@aol.com #404-288-5373
  4. Dick Martin, retired Georgia Tech Professor in Sustainable Design Architechture; now co-creator of Global Peace Containers, a program of global building solutions. gbs-gpc.com #770-952-1604
  5. Leslie Ennis, founder of Project Peace Tree, who during the Cold War served as a peacemaker using cultural exchanges, letter writing, mask-making, home stays and dental clinic for the children of Atlanta's sister-city Tbilisi, Georgia (former USSR).
  6. Brother Joseph Hooper, creator of "Little Shrine for the Buddha", serving in a subjective way in silent prayer for humanity while offering many hours of labor and landscape design for our Peace Gardens and Friendship Gardens. He has co-created many Earth Day events with AKS.
  7. Bob & June Smith, retired parents of AKS who supply resources and support. As former Iowa farmers, they have offered many of the recycled plants used in the many neighborhood gardens as well as physically working the soil and planting the beds. They are caring, compassionate Christians.(see Photos)
  8. Andrea Kay Smith, global coordinator and founder. peacepartnerships@mindspring.com #404-377-8004 (see Photos)