In yet another example of the “localism” of Portland’s political culture, and a distressing perspective into our current educational system, students at two Portland high schools will award a “Portland Peace Prize” to a local nominee who has done little to reduce international tensions or the chances of war between nations but who has worked largely on local social justice issues. The award should be renamed to something like the “Portland Social Justice Prize.” We do have local people working hard on international issues. Like the Nobel Peace Prize, the Portland Peace Prize should have a significant international aspect. Why don’t these students understand this?
From the Portland Tribune article “PDX Peace Prize down to four finalists” by Nate Ford (here):
The winner of Portland's only award of its kind will be officially named on Friday by students from Madison and Lincoln high schools.
The finalists, narrowed down from 20 original nominees, are Mark Jackson, executive director of REAP Inc. (Reaching and Empowering All People); Jeri Sundvall-Williams, a coordinator for the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement; Kayse Jama, executive director for the Center for Intercultural Organizing, and Ronault "Polo" Catalani of the city's Office of Equity and Human Rights.
All four have demonstrated dedication to promoting peace, democracy, and sustainability in the community, the students say……
None of the four nominees (from the description in the article) has work to reduce conflicts between nations. Only two nominees, Kayse Jama and Polo Catalani, both working to help local refugees and immigrants, have an international aspect.