“To heal the unhealed is the raison d’être of our Institute for Healing of Memories, so that the victims are not transformed in perpetrators.”
Michael Lapsley, 2016 Public Peace Prize winner in the category Global Peace and Reconciliation internationally-reputed peacemaker, deserved a commemorative plaque on October 6, 2016, in Montreal.
The presentation was made by Brian Bronfman, cofounder of Grant Peacemakers Network and Outils de paix network, as the organizers and financial partners of the Centre de services de justice réparatrice welcome Michael Lapsley who will facilitate the first workshop in Canada offered by the Institute for Healing of Memories based in Capetown, South Africa.
Peace message delivered by Michael Lapsley to all people who supported his nomination
Thank you for the honour you have bestowed upon me. I am humbled by this acknowledgment of the work I do with my colleagues in the Institute for Healing of Memories.
In our Institute for Healing of Memories, we say that all people have a story to tell, and every story needs a listener.Whenever we are able to listen with compassionate hearts to one another, we find that it is our shared pain that connects us. A key element in peace making is the full acknowledgment of how people have been wronged, and the opportunity to be heard. To break the chain that turns victims into victimisers, there needs to be safe and sacred spaces where people have permission to express how they feel about what happened to them and begin to detoxify. Dealing with the psychological, emotional and spiritual effects of the past are equally as important components of peace building as political, economic and social transformation.
Michael LAPSLEY is a priest from South Africa who works with victims as well as authors of apartheid and other forms of repression and exclusion, and is publicly recognized for his disarming strength that has transformed wounds into powerful healing and reconciliation. He is visiting Montreal to offer a worship using his approach for healing memories.
It is time to nominate people or initiatives for the 2017 Public Peace Prize!
The Public Peace Prize is a citizens’ initiative without borders. Its sole goal is to make better known as many peacemakers and peace initiatives as possible.