At the fourth Latte Peace Festival, International Committee of Artists for Peace representative Carol Clayton introduced the audience to ICAP, one of the sponsors of the Festival. ICAP’s mission is “To establish peace and develop peacemakers through the transformative power of art.”
As part of this mission, ICAP created a 20-minute musical theater presentation for schools titled “iChoose.” iChoose addresses the problems of bullying and provides an effective means of empowering youth by explaining to them the important role that their own thoughts play in creating their experience of life. Variations of the iChoose program and performance have been presented across America, as well as at schools in New Zealand and Norway. Ms. Clayton shared her remarks prior to a showing of the iChoose video on a big screen set up at Tamuning Park.
Prior to the Festival, ICAP representatives met with Guam’s Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Mayor Louise C. Rivera. The ICAP reps expressed appreciation for the opportunity to have been a partner with the Festival since its inception. Mayor Rivera lauded ICAP for its support and shared her joy at bringing together community members and organizations, thereby beginning the year on a powerful message of peace.
The iChoose youth-empowerment program was presented to Mayor Rivera via the program’s musical video and a sharing of the program’s revised curriculum, which has recently been rolled out at schools in Hawaii and Illinois.
After the video viewing, an ICAP representative related to the mayor several of the central iChoose ideas, notably that “no matter happens on the outside, we all get to choose how we are on the inside.”
Further, “all of our feelings result not from others’ behavior or from outside circumstances, but from inside of us, from what we think about others’ behavior and outside circumstances.”
It was explained to Mayor Rivera that at the end of each iChoose session, students are encouraged to recite affirmations designed to assist them in shifting to an inner state of empowerment. A few of those affirmations read:
iChoose to remember that my feelings and emotions are created by my thoughts, not by outside circumstances or by what others say or think about me. I am always only one new thought away from being happy inside no matter what is occurring on the outside.
iChoose to see myself as absolutely worthy, lovable and loving.
iChoose to see all individuals — regardless of their current behavior — as loving, enlightened beings having a human experience and doing the best they know how to do based on their current level of consciousness.
Mayor Rivera appeared very excited about the program, and she proposed to introduce it at the Festival and that she would look into incorporating it in the Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon school system.