David Krieger

David Krieger

Barbara Tellefson

Barbara Tellefson

The Santa Barbara United Nations Association Peace Prize, now in its 4th year, will be awarded in a virtual event, 7 p.m. Sept. 24. The Peace Prize was started in 2017 to recognize the work done in the world by local individuals. Nominated for the 2020 UNA Peace Prize are:

Barbara Tellefson of The Unity Shoppe, an organization that empowers people experiencing poverty and hardship.

Thomas Tighe of Direct Relief International, which provides critical medical supplies for humanitarian aid globally.

Thomas Tighe

Thomas Tighe

David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, advocating for disarmament, peace, and an end to systemic injustice.

“This prize truly recognizes our amazing community members waging peace around the globe, advancing the cause of human rights, and helping developing nations advance with key supplies and infrastructure,” said Debbie Cregan, peace prize committee co-chair, with Youth For Human Rights International.

“The Santa Barbara United Nations Association is thrilled to see these stellar nominations submitted this year,” she said.

“It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the bad news, divisive politics, and upheaval in the world right now,” said Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Santa Barbara United Nations Association president. “This is an unprecedented time in human history, to be sure. Yet look at our three incredible finalists for the prize.

“They are beacons of so much good work being done to help our world, especially right now. It’s imperative that we continue to focus on encouraging that kind of work, and celebrate how one person can make a difference. That’s what the UNA Peace Prize is all about.”

This year’s theme is Celebrating Santa Barbara Stars Changing The World features a keynote speech by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former U.N. Ambassador from Bangladesh, former U.N. Under-Secretary-General, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked States, and Small Island Developing States, and founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace at the United Nations.

Prior Peace Prize winners will introduce this year’s nominees, including Rinaldo Brutoco of the World Business Academy, Deepa Willingham of Pace International, and Joe White from A Year Without War. The event also features a musical performance by Jackson Gillies with a special celebrity guest.

The event will be held over Zoom; for reservations, visit unasb.org and register. Suggested donations are modest, and help cover the cost of putting on the event, but are not required to register. It also is not necessary to be a UNA member to attend.

“Let’s gather, virtually, and be inspired. Let’s witness the enormous vision and accomplishment of our attendees, and realize that we all can be stars in bringing positive change to our world,” said Jack Friedlander, peace prize committee co-chair.