“Toward Community Harmony: Healing for Tomorrow” event on January 18th
h/t Ron Howard for the featured photo of the Annual Riverton Peace March
In the aftermath of the police shooting of Andy Antelope, the Riverton Peace Mission along with other partnering organizations, are hosting “Toward Community Harmony: Healing for Tomorrow” on Saturday, January 18, 10 am to 1:30 pm at the Central Wyoming College Intertribal Community and Education Center. Lunch and childcare will be provided.
“A talking circle will be the means used to open the way to healing,” said Chesie Lee of Riverton, one of the organizers. “We will have an opportunity to listen and to share how we are being touched when systems fail us, as happened to Andy Antelope, and to envision what could be. Listening and being present may be the most important thing we can do. This is not about blaming, but about coming together to heal so as to find solutions.”
Tragedy is not new to Riverton. The shooting of two Northern Arapaho men by a white city employee at the Center of Hope in Riverton in 2015 is what led Ron Howard to organize an Annual Peace March in the hopes of “never again.” “I have two children and I want to know that they can grow up here feeling safe,” Howard tells people when asked why he does this. “We have incidents happening daily that hurt all of us.”
“We are excited that many other groups and individuals have stepped up to help make this happen,” said Lee. Other organizations partnering with the Riverton Peace Mission for this event are the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, Wind River Family & Community Health Care, Wyoming Interfaith Network, Visioning BEAR Circle Intertribal Coalition, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Task Force, Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Laramie and the Missions Committee of the Riverton United Methodist Church.
Howard and Lee incorporated the Riverton Peace Mission in July 2019 as plans were being made for the 2019 Annual Peace March when they decided that there needs to be more than the annual marches. Howard said, “We need something year-round to build bridges and to take down walls.” The purpose of the Riverton Peace Mission is to seek community harmony.
Lee is white and retired from working for the Wyoming Interfaith Network, formerly the Wyoming Association of Churches (WAC). Her work for WAC is what prompted her to move to Riverton from Laramie in 2013. Howard, a Northern Arapaho teacher, artist and actor, is married and the father of two children.
The above information and below flyer were shared by the Riverton Peace Mission.