Planting Peace

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Planting Peace
Founded 2004
Founders Aaron Jackson
Type nonprofit peace organisation
Focus peace, humanitarian aid, environmental initiatives
Location
Area served
Worldwide
Website [1]

Planting Peace is a nonprofit humanitarian organization founded for the purpose of "spreading peace in a hurting world".[1] The organization specializes in diverse global causes, including orphanages in Haiti and India, international deworming efforts, rainforest preservation, and anti-bullying programs. In 2007 Planting Peace founder Aaron Jackson was honored as a CNN Hero for his relief efforts deworming millions of children in Haiti.[2] In March 2013 Planting Peace gained international attention when they created the Equality House, a rainbow-colored home located directly across the street from Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-LGBT group.[3][4] In 2016, members of Planting Peace walked across America with a Pride flag in "a symbolic effort to declare full human rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people living in or visiting America."[5]

History[edit]

Equality House

Planting Peace was founded in 2003 by American Aaron Jackson and Haitian John Louis Dieubon.[6] While on a relief trip to Haiti, Jackson saw the poor living conditions of many of the country's children, and decided to open an orphanage for street children in Haiti. In 2004, they opened a home for seven children in Port-au-Prince.[6] As of 2013, Planting Peace is operating four orphanages in Haiti and two in India.[7]

In 2005 Jackson began an effort to provide de-worming medicine to children in Haiti.[8] As of 2013, Planting Peace has provided de-worming medicine to over 13 million children worldwide, including the Dominican Republic, Republic of the Sudan, North Korea, and Haiti.[7]

In 2009, Planting Peace purchased 624 acres (253 ha) of rain forest land in Peru.[9] The group has also planted over one million moringa tree seeds in Haiti as part of reforestation efforts.[10]

In 2012, Planting Peace purchased a home across the street from Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-LGBT hate group in Topeka, Kansas.[11] The Westboro Baptist Church is known for extreme ideologies, especially those against gay people.[12][13] It was headed by Fred Phelps and consists primarily of members of his family;[14] in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members.[15] The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. In March 2013 Planting Peace painted the house with the colors of the rainbow flag in tribute to the gay pride flag, and dubbed the Equality House, to "serve as the resource center for all Planting Peace anti-bullying initiatives and will stand as a visual reminder of our commitment, as global citizens, to equality for all".[3] The house soon received international media attention from outlets such as Time Magazine, The Washington Post, and "Good Morning America", among others.[16] Proceeds raised from the house go toward launching a national anti-bullying program, and The Equality House itself serves as a drop-in center and home for volunteers.[16] In June 2013, a lesbian couple was married in front of the Equality House.[17] The Westboro Baptist Church protested with signs, but the wedding progressed anyway.

Billboard of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz poised to kiss

In April 2016, Planting Peace erected a billboard in Mississippi to protest the state's new anti-gay law, which allows individuals to deny service to LGBT members for religious reasons.[18] The billboard depicts Jesus saying, "Guys, I said I hate figs and to love thy neighbor."

In June, Planting Peace acquired the house next to the Equality House and painted it the colors of the transgender flag.[19] This was done to further their support of the queer community.

In July, the peace organization sponsored a billboard of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz poised to kiss. It was displayed in Cleveland, Ohio leading up to the 2016 Republican National Convention.[20]

On August 17, Planting Peace sent the first pride flag into space. They did so to declare space LGBTQ friendly. "The primary purpose of this declaration is to support the ongoing fight for the fundamental human rights of our LGBTQ family, moving us closer to a universal understanding that all people deserve to live freely and love freely without fear and discrimination," the Planting Peace website states.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Planting Peace: Mission". 
  2. ^ Mooney, Michael J. "Healing Haiti". 
  3. ^ a b Michelson, Noah (March 19, 2013). "Westboro Equality House: Aaron Jackson Paints Rainbow Home Across From Anti-Gay Church". Huffington Post. 
  4. ^ "Westboro Baptist Church". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ Nichols, JamesMichael (22 March 2016). "Antarctica Was Just Declared 'The World's First LGBT-Friendly Continent'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Barton, Eric Alan. "Saint Aaron". 
  7. ^ a b Arnett, Dugan. "Westboro Baptist Church's new neighbor dedicated to fighting anti-gay bullying". 
  8. ^ Newton, Edmund. "Stomp the Worm". 
  9. ^ "Rainforest Conservation". 
  10. ^ "Tree Planting". 
  11. ^ "Westboro Baptist Church". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ "God Hates Fags". Westboro Baptist Church. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ Crowe, Kenneth C., II (November 14, 2009). "School Plans 'Safe' Show". Times Union. Albany, NY. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  14. ^ John Blake (March 14, 2010). "'Most-hated', anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  15. ^ "You Are Still Alive: NOW Is The Time To Repent". Westboro Baptist Church. October 27, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Arnett, Dugan. "Westboro Baptist Church's new neighbor dedicated to fighting anti-gay bullying". 
  17. ^ "A Lesbian Couple Got Married In Front Of The Westboro Baptist Church". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  18. ^ "Planting Peace erects hilarious billboard to protest new law". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  19. ^ Nichols, JamesMichael. "Westboro Members Now Live Next To House Painted Colors Of Transgender Flag". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "Billboard depicts Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz leaning in for kiss". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Media Group. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Planting Peace Sends First Pride Flag Into Space; Declares Space LGBTQ Friendly". www.plantingpeace.org. Retrieved 5 October 2016.