2014 Atlantic Peace & Dialogue Awards Ceremony
The Atlantic Institute held its annual Peace and Dialogue Awards on Thursday, April 24th. The ceremony honored three individuals who actively promote diversity and intercultural exchange in their communities and workplaces.
The Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, was awarded the Public and Community Service Award. Georgia Public Broadcasting received the Media and Communications Award, accepted by President and Executive Director Teya Ryan. Jan Swanson, the Program Director of World Pilgrims, received the Peace and Dialogue award.
The awardees were nominated by Atlantic Institute’s local advisory board members. Award winners and approximately 240 esteemed guests attended a reception and awards ceremony which featured Michael Buckham-White as the Master of Ceremonies.
“The individuals that will be honored tonight know what it is like to bear the burdens of public service; but what separates their accomplishments from the rest is that they did it all while representing the most respectable and universal ideals. Each and every one of our honorees has proven dreams of hope can become reality; through hard work, dreams of peace, cross-cultural tolerance and human dignity can be realized,” said Turan Kilic, president of the Atlantic Institute.
Each of the honorees gave a speech about their work and personal commitment to intercultural understanding.
“Atlanta has one of the fastest growing foreign-born populations,” said Mayor Reed, speaking about the growing internationalism of Atlanta. He emphasized the importance of embracing diversity and its contributions to the city’s growth.
Teya Ryan described her trip to Turkey with the Atlantic Institute as a “life changing” experience that gave her an increased respect and understanding for Islam and Muslim culture.
Jan Swanson spoke about the importance of reaching out to other faiths and cultures in the local community and how doing so has greatly benefitted her. Her friends from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds have shaped her into the person she is today.
Opening and closing remarks were given by Linda Blechinger, Host Committee Chair, and John E. Parkerson, Advisory Board Member, respectively.
Publicly recognizing these officials encourages them to continue in their efforts to lead others in mutual understanding through dialogue and joint projects which incorporate diverse individuals.