This campaign has moved slowly at the beginning, in large part due to the growing complexity of the chaos facing humanity and the importance of the sustainable solutions these efforts are working to develop and implement. As we are now in 2020 we believe this is KAIROS - the right and opportune moment!
BACKGROUND ON RICHMONDS OF THE WORLD
My name is Rick Tatnall of Richmond, Virginia. In 1999 I organized, led and was the primary funder for a delegation of students and teachers from Richmond Public Schools that visited our namesake in London, the Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Below is the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill which inspired William Byrd II in 1737 to name my community Richmond because of its distinct and remarkable similarity to the view of the James River from what is now known as Libby Hill, in my Church Hill neighborhood.
The delegation of almost thirty people enjoyed a magical seven days in England - even more special for the majority of the RPS students who had never even been on an airplane before. It was also my first time abroad and this intersection with the global community was transformational for me and my advocacy work for my community of Richmond. Upon return I became aware of the many other communities of Richmond around the world, and for the last 20 years I have been developing and promoting a concept called Richmonds of the World (ROTW) to create a global community of Richmond - connecting in common purpose the 90+ communities of Richmond around the world. The world has certainly changed a great deal in the last 20 years, and it has been increasingly obvious to me that the global community of Richmond – currently numbering 96 communities in 17 countries on all 6 inhabited continents – has an incredibly important role to play in humanity’s effort to create a sustainable future for life on Earth. For a better understand of Richmonds of the World please view the video in the link below from US Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, former Mayor of the City of Richmond and current Patron for our ROTW efforts:
A PIECE OF PEACE
One of the 96 communities of Richmond is in Christchurch, New Zealand and is a little more than a mile from the Linwood Mosque, which was the second mosque attacked in the March 15th terror attacks last year in Christchurch. Within days of that event I developed a Richmonds of the World supportive response with a project called A Piece of Peace (APOP). After several weeks of considering the project scope and reaching out to Richmonders in New Zealand, on April 21st there was a retaliatory terror attack in Sri Lanka, also home to a community of Richmond. Because the attacks were related and because of the Richmonds connection, it was determined this peace project must also include a response to Sri Lanka. Over the months since the APOP project was expanded other Richmonds have seen the peace in their communities compromised by social and environmental threats - the most recent being the Australian wildfires that have devastated two communities of Richmond in New South Wales. These continuing developments made it quite apparent that the primary APOP goal of spreading PEACE must also expand and include as many of the Richmonds as possible.
Physically, the APOP project involves the creation of a set of large banners, each featuring the word P E A C E surrounded by an artistic mural promoting peace and unity. Banners will be created in Richmond, Virginia and sent to as many of the 96 communities of Richmond as possible, starting with the 46 Richmonds large enough to have a secondary school - these schools will ultimately be the recipients of the PEACE banner. Spiritually, the project involves thousands and thousands of Richmonders and Richmondites from the Richmonds of the world becoming a piece of peace by participating in this global cooperative effort, hopefully inspiring more cooperative efforts wrapped around PEACE. For more details and a timeline for the APOP project, including a letter of support from Senator Tim Kaine, please visit > http://replenishrichmond.com/a-piece-of-peace/.
All of these actions have energized the Richmonds of the World initiative as more Richmonders and Richmondites have been brought into the fold. When the APOP project expanded to include Sri Lanka I contacted the Principal at Richmond College, on Richmond Hill in Galle, Sri Lanka – named for the same Richmond Hill shown above – and secured the support of his school and this community of Richmond for our peace efforts. Principal Weragoda connected me to my new friend Nohim Abeynayake, a student at Richmond College. Here is the Richmond College website > http://www.richmondcollege.lk/and below is a picture of their beautiful campus on top of Richmond Hill in Galle.
I learned that Nohim and fellow students at Richmond College are involved in a serious Model United Nations program and have cleverly named their effort RichMUN. Through online searches I found out that Richmond, British Columbia also has a RichMUN program and then I found a new community of Richmond - the Richmond School in Bogota, Colombia - that also has a Model UN program called RichMUN (my new friend Juan Hernandez in Bogota told me that the Richmond School is named after Richmond, Virginia!)
These new Richmond based connections have inspired an exciting project we are calling RichMUN 2020, which involves a ROTW-based Model UN to be held in Richmond, Virginia in October 2020. Through the Principal at Richmond College and the Headmaster at the Richmond School I am working with students and teachers at both schools to help develop the program and involve other communities of Richmond in the process. Nohim and I have identified 46 communities of Richmond around the world with high schools or secondary schools that will be invited to participate in the conference. The ultimate goal of RichMUN 2020 is for the students to develop and approve a global strategic action plan to be ultimately presented to the United Nations in New York. For more information on RichMUN 2020, please visit > http://replenishrichmond.com/richmun-2020/
RVA YOUTH LEADERS
The regional community of Richmond, Virginia - the RVA - is the leading Richmond in all these efforts. A critical component of that leadership is the growing involvement and energy of youth leaders from across the RVA representing many community subsets that are common in most of the Richmonds, like the YMCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the Red Cross. The ROTW initiative and all of its related projects are intended to positively impact the education and social development of RVA youth as they are introduced to the global community of Richmond.
The current goal of this Go Fund Me effort is $30,000 which will be used to pay all the costs related to the A Piece of Peace (APOP) project and preparing for the RichMUN 2020 conference. While we are raising money, we also hope folks will join our movement and become intellectually involved in these efforts. Our initial intent is to inspire at least 1200 people to make a contribution of $25, or more if they are able. Then we want to build on those connections. Generally, the costs we are looking to cover include:
APOP banner canvas, paint and other art expenses = $7,500
APOP banners shipping containers and shipping costs = $2,500
Development of a website and other tech needs for RichMUN 2020 = $5,000
Operational costs for RichMUN 2020 Conference (venue, audio-visual) = $5,000
Management / logistical support of APOP & RichMUN 2020 (Rick Tatnall & others) = $10,000
We are very fortunate to have the support of Plaza Art which has offered us a wonderful discount on the costs of the canvas. Additional funds raised beyond $30,000 will go to supporting the RichMUN 2020 conference and ROTW efforts throughout the RVA. Anyone interested in making a contribution that is tax-deductible, please contact me by email - [email redacted]
Richmonds of the World started as an educational effort and is grounded in the education of Richmonders and Richmondites of all ages, especially our youth. This Go Fund Me campaign is also an educational effort as it will inform and educate folks about the growing global community of Richmond and the opportunities to support the education and social development of students in Richmond, Virginia and in Richmonds around the world. Everyone who becomes involved immediately becomes a piece of peace, and I promise that the good feelings directly associated with these efforts will bring a smile to your face and positively touch your heart and soul. Thank you for anything you can do to help.
Rick Tatnall and Barclay Simpson of Richmond Yorkshire, the original Richmond.
- Ellen LeCompte
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