The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg (WACH), an organization focused on global diversity, interfaith cooperation, and peacemaking hosted the 2nd Annual Torch of Global Enlightenment Awards to honor organizations and individuals who have demonstrated the values to which WACH ascribes.
On the list of individual nominees were Suzan and Phil Wilmot, two of Solidarity Uganda’s seven co-founding members, who were privileged to stand beside other agents of change in the Harrisburg area, including David Messner (an Organizer for the Interfaith Alliance), Richard Hughes (a retired Senior Fellow of Messiah College’s Ernest L. Boyer Center), Rev. Sandy Strauss (PA Council of Churches), and Diana Diaz (who was honored with the highest individual award, having just retired from the World Culture Club).
WACH board member and community leader Nathaniel Gadsden introduced Suzan and Phil by recognizing them as “two individuals who do some dangerous work…on the frontlines of peacemaking.”
Suzan shared a brief story of how women in Uganda courageously stripped naked before their country’s president, an act of creative nonviolence to protect their land, prevent abuse, and empower marginalized people. Reflecting on the Torch Awards, she noted that it is very important to bring people together and create a sense of belonging among those who work for peace.
Aside from the individual nominees, several young global scholars were awarded and a powerhouse list of local organizations were acknowledged for their innovative work, including Elizabethtown College’s Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking, the Latino Hispanic American Community Center, Hope International, The Interreligious Forum of Greater Harrisburg, Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness, and Cure International.