FACING TRAUMA: The Intersection of Healing and Justice

CLICK HERE to access the webinar and use the passcode: j42*yXgQ

In recognition of last year’s 19th commemoration of 9/11, we were joined by some of our international allies as we acknowledged our common experience with everyone affected by violence throughout the world. Together we considered how engagement in advocacy has helped us heal. In sharing our experiences we aspired to give hope to others who are experiencing their own trauma and grief.
Our special guests were Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project and Father Michael Lapsley, founder of the Institute for Healing of Memories – North America. Additional speakers were PT members Andrea LeBlanc and Iryna Muha.
Moderators were PT Founding Member Phyllis Rodriguez and Intern Nick Perrotti.

CLICK HERE to access the complete DISCUSSION GUIDE.


BUILDING BRIDGES For Peace In A Divided World

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An international group of activists came together to share about how they are building bridges for peace after experiencing adversity. Our panelists shared how they transformed their pain and suffering into working for a more peaceful world. They gave examples of bridge building within their communities and their work with an empowered younger generation of change makers.
Our panelists were Jo Berry, founder of Building Bridges for Peace, Bassam Aramim and Rami Elhanan, Parents Circle – Families Forum and PT member and educator, Karen Shea.
The discussion was moderated by Nick Perrotti. Questions from the audience were addressed in real time.

CLICK HERE to access the complete DISCUSSION GUIDE.


UNCOMMON BONDS: An Unlikely Friendship Between a 9/11 Family Member and A Detainee at Guantánamo

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Join a conversation between Peaceful Tomorrows member Elizabeth Miller and former Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi. The pair discussed their experiences as a family member who lost her father on 9/11, and as a detainee whose arrest led to 14 years at Guantanamo Bay prison. Both shared a path of nonviolent response to their anguish. Slahi’s experience is further documented in the newly released The Mauritanian.

Peaceful Tomorrows’ co-founder Colleen Kelly, who frequently travels to Guantanamo to monitor the pre-trial hearings, moderated the discussion.

CLICK HERE to access the complete DISCUSSION GUIDE.


COMPASSIONATE ACTIONS in a polarized world

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2021 is an important year for reflecting back on our work and our partnerships. As we approach the 20th commemoration of the attacks of 9/11/’01 we take a look at our shared work and goals to create a more peaceful world.
We were joined by Marilyn Turkovich, Director of the Global Team at the Charter for Compassion, who shared with us about her work with Compassionate Cities;  Cristina Gonzalez, Founder of Compassionate Nuevo Leon & Compassionate Moneterrey who recollected her experiences making Monterrey a compassionate city and Rev. Dianne Hudder, PT Steering Committee member and retired minister, who reflected on her work as a minister within the interfaith community.


Seeking Pease in AfghanistanSEEKING PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN

CLICK HERE to listen to the recorded webinar and use passcode: R^ftP#7v

Afghan panelists spoke with us from Kabul and abroad, joining with international panelists to bring perspectives from the lives of Afghans living courageously through the last two decades of war and the recent escalation in violence. We heard of the impact of the war upon the lives of women, youth and civilians and of seeds for peace that are being sown in its midst. The webinar went beyond the limits of troop withdrawal to present nonviolent pathways, reparations and witnessing on the long road to peace with justice for Afghanistan. The discussion was moderated by Ellen Judd, who facilitates the work of  September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows related to Afghanistan and to the US/NATO war in Afghanistan.



Turning Our Grief Into Actions For Peace” tells the story of how we came together to form the group, and how we have struggled to keep our losses from being used as a justification for further violence and terror. Written by David Potorti, along with original essays from members of the group including Ryan Amundson, Kelly Campbell, Colleen Kelly, Kristina Olsen, Andrew Rice, and Terry Rockefeller as well as the late Myrna Bethke, Derrill Bodley and Rita Lasar.

Order the e-book at either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Read more for selected quotes and more information.


THE COMMUNITY TOOL BOX’s chapter on Spirituality and Community Building (Chapter 28) was written with the support and contributions of experts connected with the Charter for Compassion International and is an online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. Under continuous development since 1994, the Community Tool Box is widely used in teaching, training, and technical support. Currently available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Farsi, and with millions of user sessions annually, it has reached those working in over 230 countries around the world. It is a project of the University of Kansas with partners that include the World Health Organization and Institute of Medicine. This specific section on Promoting Peace is our contribution.

THE CHANGE AGENT: Years after terrorists attacked the United States on 9/11/01, how are Americans making sense of the events of that day and the aftermath? For those wishing to teach and explore, our  issue of The Change Agent is a valuable, free resource.  The magazine contains lesson plans and discussion questions to give teachers classroom-ready material that will engage students and provide an important forum for critical thinking, sharing, and achieving understanding across diverse experiences. A national magazine published by World Education, the issue includes articles, poems, and first-person narratives that teach the history of 9/11, wrestle with important legal and ethical questions related to security and liberty, examine the ‘rule of law’ in the context of terrorism, and provide a forum for the voices of people seeking justice and reconciliation. It offers many extremely moving stories about 9/11 and its repercussions. The Change Agent features not only the voices of family members of victims, but witnesses to the attacks, relatives of veterans of the war on terror, detainees, and ordinary Americans who have had a decade to reflect on what happened on 9/11 and the events that followed.



“BEYOND RETRIBUTION”: Taped in Oklahoma City on the tenth anniversary of the Murrah Federal Building bombing, “Beyond Retribution” captures a round table discussion with those who lost family members as a result of 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the war in Iraq. It is moderated by Father Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest who lost his hands to a letter bomb sent in response to his work against apartheid in South Africa.
Together, they explore the individual responses of those most closely affected by terrorism, violence and war, and offer ways to move beyond retribution and towards sources of real peace. “Beyond Retribution” is 37 minutes in length, comes with a list of discussion questions, and is suitable for any age (no harsh images or language).

View Clips from BEYOND RETRIBUTION here: • Father Michael Lapsley Terry Rockefeller Amy Rice


IN OUR SON’S NAME (IOSN) is an intimate portrait of Phyllis and Orlando Rodríguez, co- founders of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows whose son Greg died with thousands of others in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The award-winning film also features Talat Hamdani, whose heroic son, Mohammad Salman, perished rescuing others yet he was wrongly deemed a suspect due to his Muslim faith. The bereaved parents choose reconciliation and nonviolence over vengeance and begin a transformative journey that both confirms and challenges their convictions. They speak out against war in Iraq and Afghanistan, publicly oppose the death penalty of avowed 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and befriend his mother. As their search for meaning evolves they speak out against anti-Muslim actions and find peace in working with prison inmates. The award-winning film mixes in-depth interviews with on-location footage and striking archival photographs and video to create a deeply personal story that invites us to re-consider conventional concepts of justice and healing.

FREE access to IOSN @ https://vimeo.com/319078905. Use password: IOSN-CC



  • Download “A Healing Conversation: To End a Culture of Violence and Intolerance” pdf.
  • SLIDESHOW: Download a slideshow that presents a history of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and turning our grief into action for peace: Peaceful Tomorrows Slideshow.
  • The Cost of 9/11 and its Impact on the Rule of Law video by Peaceful Tomorrows provides a clear and thought provoking historical look that can be used to launch discussions with students on the principles of law and human rights that were diminished in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. CLICK HERE to view the video
  • Visit The Charter of Compassion and its educational arm, The Voices Compassionate Education Project to find more resources on teaching about 9/11. Find how your school can join with the growing number around the globe who have signed the Charter to actively promote peace: CLICK HERE.
  • Facing History and Ourselves: CLICK HERE to get to 6 resources on how to teach about 9/11 in 2021.
  • PAGES FOR PEACE: Learn about how students in one middle school set about breaking the Guinness World Book of Record while learning about and promoting peace. See Pages for Peace.



Filed in: Guantanamo, Guantanamo & Military Commissions, International Conference, International Network for Peace, Member Stories, Members, Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, Resources, Resources, Resources for Online Learning, Restoring Rule of Law, Rule of Law: Guantanamo and Civil Liberties, Terry Greene, Torture and Challenges to Human Rights, Voices of Peaceful Tomorrows

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Peaceful Tomorrows receives no money from 9/11 charities or disbursements. We depend entirely on individual and foundation grants to continue our work. More...

Editorial Policy: This website contains information related to the mission and goals of Peaceful Tomorrows and is intended for educational, non-commercial use. We highlight the projects undertaken by our organization, print essays and speeches made by 9/11 family members of our group, and post photo galleries which reflect the activities of our members around the world.

September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a project of Tides Center.

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