Posts made in February 2024





Since Barbara Flaherty became a Judge, and I became the Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize in 2013, we have made social justice the heart and soul of peace, and of the World Peace Prize.

Why does a World Religion peace group make social justice so central?

  •      Because, as the American Protestant Old Testament Scholar Rev. Walter Brueggemann has stated: “In Biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary expectation of God.”
  •      Because Islamic scholar Ajmal Masroor states: “Standing firm for justice is considered closest to Godliness. In other words, my religious and social responsibility is to work for just causes.”
  •     Because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that peace is the fruit of justice; and Saint Pope John Paul II taught us, “peace is the fruit of solidarity.”
  •     Because the Catholic Church teaches: “… Action on behalf of justice [is] a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel…and [a constitutive dimension] of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.”
  •     Because this is how Jesus Christ, Himself, announced His mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has appointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give the blind new sight, and to set free all who are oppressed,” (Luke 4:18-19).
  •     And because Jesus declared: “In so far as you did it to least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40).

That is why we were able to place American Organized Labor in the category of those who should be considered worthy recipients of the World Peace Prize—because Labor leaders who spend their lives fighting for social and economic justice for working women and men are also building peace locally, nationally, and globally.

And, the wonderful thing about placing social justice at the heart and center of peace is this: People of faith believe that faith must be the faith that does justice on this earth (otherwise, it is not faith). And people of no faith, but of goodwill, also believe they have to do justice on this earth, otherwise, they are not of goodwill…

Faith is the faith that does justice

Without social justice, there is no love

Faith is the faith that does justice. There is no other faith. If it does not do justice, it is not faith—not the Jewish faith, not the Christian faith, not the Muslim faith, not any faith.

President Trumka’s key support and advise

When we approached President Trumka with our proposal to link the World Peace Prize with American Organized Labor, he absolutely loved the idea and endorsed it enthusiastically and with gratitude. 

President Trumka, however, advised us that the opponents of Labor and fair employment would deeply resent our linking the World Peace Prize to American Organized Labor, and he told us to expect some blowback. He advised that such blowback would probably not first come from known enemies of Labor, but from some individuals within Labor, as always happens in these matters—internal opposition is always more effective than external opposition. Everyone and every group involved in the struggle for justice knows that old story very well and knows how that game is played.

President Trumka’s warm embrace and dedicated sponsorship of the World Peace Prize throughout the AFL-CIO and American Organized Labor is now a key part of his magnificent legacy, which all true Labor people proudly accept in solidarity and gratitude. As President Shuler said in welcoming our re-naming of the World Peace Prize for Solidarity to the ‘President Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity’: ‘Rich Trumka’s contributions to peace and prosperity around the world were countless. He was a global ambassador for worker rights, economic justice, dignity, and respect for all human beings. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor.’

And, the Trumka Family has stated: ‘We are honored that Rich’s name will live on, always linked with solidarity and peace because the World Peace Prize for Solidarity will be re-named in his honor the Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity.’

I will always be profoundly grateful to President Trumka for helping us to launch the World Peace Prize throughout the Labor Movement. And, to further honor his memory, we now refer to American Organized Labor as “Organized Love of Neighbor.” 

President Kelly recipient of all three World Peace Prizes

We were pleased to nominate National President Kelley for all three Prizes: World Peace Prize of Roving Ambassador for Peace; the Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity; and today’s Prize, World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.

 And we did so because of his outstanding record. He is a most impressive man; a formidable Labor Leader; a thoughtful, steadfast, gracious man of justice and solidarity. He, like President Trumka, instantly understood the importance of our linking the World Peace Prize to American Organized Labor. President Kelley has expressed deep appreciation for the meaning we have invested in the World Peace Prizes. Such understanding is an essential criterion for being selected as a Laureate of the World Peace Prize.

President Kelley, it is an honor and blessing to know you. God bless you.

 We are honored to honor you with the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.