Author Spotlight: Dorena Williamson

Dorena Williamson Archives - B&H Publishing

I am always looking for new books, authors, and publishers to highlight for the read aloud project. The other day, my father and I were talking about my project and he mentioned how his former high school classmate, Dorena Williamson, was a children’s book author. This led me to look up some of her books and I was amazed by them. In her books, Williamson uses her experience as a worship leader to address important topics like race and justice. She currently has three published children’s books that can be found below.

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First Community Engagement Grants for Youth Announced

On Earth Peace is engaging youth groups by offering up to $500 in grant funding towards a youth-initiated project for peace and justice. If selected to receive a Community Engagement Grant, OEP will provide youth with training in the form of 3 webinars geared to their specific project and will support them along the way, to provide accountability and assistance. 

So far, the program has selected 3 groups, each with a unique take on tackling social justice issues in their community. The Borderless Relations Committee, formed out of Finlay, OH, is a group of three high school juniors who have begun training and researching to bring workshops to their local elementary school. Through activities, books, and discussion, the three will spread awareness about racism and teach about how to be anti-racist in their community. The next group, out of Harrisburg, PA, is the Agape Satyagraha Graduate Program with their project Peace Through Art. As of mid-January, they began painting murals in their community centering on social justice issues such as Black Lives Matter and gun violence. They say, “We will be learning together, creating together, and empowering our community together around the ideals of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.” Our most recent addition to the program is Lauren Anderson from Glade Valley Church of the Brethren, who will be working with OEP to create a Little Free Library with books on Racial Justice, LGBTQ+ Justice, and Gender Equality. Anderson will also be conducting Read Alouds to engage more directly with her community. 

The program is taking applications on a rolling basis and would be excited to hear your ideas for engaging your community. It has to be youth-initiated, and social justice oriented. The application, which provides more description and some examples of projects, can be found here: https://forms.gle/WMkMRMr3tUfmvY2B8 For any questions, email Laura Hay at [email protected]nearthpeace.org. We look forward to seeing your ideas come to life!

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February 3 Highlights

Here are the happenings of OEP and its greater community from January 20th to February 3rd:

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OEP’s New Grant Recipient

Pictured above are Lauren and her mother, Karina Anderson. 

Community Engagement Grants are happy to announce our next recipient! We asked Lauren to introduce herself and the project: 

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Priscilla, OEP’s Children Peace Formation Coordinator, and her Legacy at OEP

As Priscilla Weddle, OEP’s Children’s Peace Formation Coordinator, finds herself at the end of her year-long internship, she would like to take a moment to look back at her work with OEP. Known for the #ReadAloud program, Priscilla has worked tirelessly on what has become a major part of OEP’s identity during the 2020 pandemic. 

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