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       Today marked the second annual Roots and Shoots Kentucky International Day of Peace Celebration- I must admit the initial reason that I was drawn to this event was that their poster reminded me of the Happy Hands Club from Napoleon Dynamite. Then maturity kicked in and, upon further investigation, I found the purpose of the event to be truly inspiring.

       Roots and Shoots is the brainchild of Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace, humanitarian and animal welfare activist. There are “days of peace” hosted all over, with the intent of bringing attention to community partners that, through their work, support humanitarian and environmental efforts.

       Set up at Waterfront Park, there were rows of about 25 booths, showcasing local organizations such as Mighty Kindness, the Americana Community Center, Inc., Interfaith Paths to Peace, The Louisville Peace Action Community, and The Kentucky Humane Society- to name just a few.

       I was disappointed to learn that I had already missed the Peace Dove Parade, where local kids take to the sidewalks with giant peace dove displays. But after making a quick stop at Lil’ Cheezer’s food truck for a turkey-bacon-Swiss sandwich (yum!), and getting some water for my dog, Phoebe, from the Louisville Pure Tap booth , I was ready to browse.

       Everyone I talked to was so passionate about their cause- be that promoting religious tolerance, banning mountaintop removal mining, providing Louisville children with after-school alternatives, or giving animals a home. As I walked along, I was provided with a ton of information about upcoming educational events in the Louisville area. There were jewelry-making stations, and activities specifically geared towards children, making this an extremely family-friendly event.

       I left the event feeling thankful that Louisville is filled with such amazing people, who are so dedicated to providing other living beings with a better future- I’d thoroughly recommend attending the 3rd Annual Festival next year. 

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    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I'm a journalist and creative nonfiction writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. My freelance work has been featured in The Guardian US, Paste Magazine, Louisville Magazine STORY Magazine, STIR Journal, Mapquest Discover, Thrillist Louisville with pieces upcoming at Salon, Mental Floss, Serious Eats and Munchies. I also spend my spare time chasing food trucks.

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