As I previously posted, I am taking some time to recognize and honor the work of the strong and amazing women that I have met during the course of my world peace work that have stepped forward to create a better world. Here is another one:
Dr. Nina Meyerhof
I have had the high honor of working with Dr. Nina Meyerhof, Founder and President of Children of the Earth (COE) for a number of years now. Nina is one of the most remarkable and well connected women I have ever met.
Nina began her peace career after being the Superintendent of Education for the Vermont school system and recognizing the potential that children have to assimilate the skills necessary to take leadership roles in the future. Nina may well be the first person to advocate to train young people to assume leadership roles in changing the future of the planet.
Dr. Meyerhof began by buying a farm in Vermont and naming it Heart’s Bend. Then she established a youth training program there to empower young people with the skills necessary to both understand and resolve some of humanities greatest challenges.
Her first great accomplishment in this task was convincing His Holiness the Dalai Lama to come and share his wisdom with youth. Then Nina approached the United Nations and pressed them to include the voices of youth in their peace programs and presentations. This led to her establishing one of the very first youth centered United Nations NGOs, Children of the Earth.
Nina’s programs were so successful that others followed in suit including Jane Goodall (Roots & Shoots), and Ebo Patel (Interfaith Youth Core), and many others. Dr. Nina Meyerhof is a true pioneer in this important area.
Over twenty to thirty years, Dr. Meyerhof carved a pathway for young voices to be included in almost every aspect of the peace and interfaith field, including having presentations at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the United Nations International Day of Peace, and numerous other world level programs.
Today, Mama Nina, as she is lovingly known to those who she has helped move forward, has established youth centered programs in nearly every country of the world. And many of the young people that she has inspired along the way are now grown and recognized leaders on their own. From former child soldiers to youth at the top of the Himalayas, Nina’s influence has changed the lives of many!
I now have the privilege of serving as the Vice President of Children of the Earth, and the Patrick McCollum Foundation For Peace now partners with Nina on many international projects. It has been such an honor to work with and learn from this amazing luminary!
Today I honor Dr. Nina Meyerhof, both as a strong female peace leader, and as a trailblazer for the voices of our youth to be heard and taken into consideration as we plan the future of our planet.
Nina Meyerhof, you are also my hero!