Peace Poetry Celebrated
International Peace Poem Project News Release
Fifth grade student Carly Dudoit from Kualapuu Public Conversion Charter School (PCCS) was awarded the grand prize in the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Awards on Thursday, June 1 before a crowd of more than 80 people.
“We are delighted to receive work of this caliber from this young Molokai poet,” said Melinda Gohn, director of the International Peace Poem Project, the nongovernmental organization sponsoring the competition.
The ceremony was held at the Molokai Youth Center in Kaunakakai. Dudoit was selected from a field of more than 210 Molokai entries. Dudoit received an aluminum canvas photo furnished by Maui artist Chad Paranto.
Community liaison Rosie Davis spoke on behalf of Representative Lynne DeCoite to a crowded room celebrating 28 student winners from two Molokai schools. The winning students were honored for writing peace poems in the countywide competition organized by the International Peace Poem Project, a nongovernmental organization of volunteers, including teachers and artists. Eight students received special recognition certificates from Gov. David Y. Ige for submitting poems in Hawaiian with an English translation.
The annual competition is to honor Dr. King, the civil rights leader who promoted nonviolent means to achieve social change.
Gohn said Dudoit’s winning poem, “I Am Peace,” describes peace as a person speaking about humanity’s ills and longing to end violence. Dudoit’s poem begins, “I am Peace/ I start love and settle wars/…I bring brightness instead of darkness/and smiles instead of frowns.” Dudoit concludes: “I am love, people bring violence but I can change it all…I’ll help others. I am good/ I am Peace.”
Gov. Ige provided certificates for top 12 winners and the Molokai Dr. King Peace Poem Teacher of the Year Award to Kualapuu PCCS teacher Greta Martinez. All winners received a Certificate of Achievement from Mayor Alan Arakawa and a Dr. King commemorative prize poster furnished by the International Peace Poem Project.
The International Peace Poem Project has sponsored Dr. King poetry competitions in the four counties of the state for the past 17 years. Project organizers participated in Millennium Peace Day at the United Nations in New York in 2000.
More information about the International Peacepoem Project may be obtained by accessing the Project’s website at peacepoem.org.