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Legendary musician, songwriter and activist Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary will be coming to Sauder Music Hall at Goshen College Friday March 15, 2013. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance are $20 for regular ticket buyers. (Photo Supplied) (PHOTO SUPPLIED)
Folk legend brings message of peace through word, song

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on March 13, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

GOSHEN — A folk-singing legend will be in Goshen Friday, March 15, to share his music and speak about how to bring peace to the world through children.

Peter Yarrow of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary formed Operation Respect in 1999 to help assure that every child attends a safe and respectful school.

“The work we are doing isn’t really anti-bullying,” he said. “It’s peace building in the classroom.”

Yarrow will speak about Operation Respect in a free public presentation at 10 a.m. Friday at Goshen College’s church-chapel. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Yarrow will perform a solo concert of his songs on civil rights, human rights and peace at Goshen College’s Music Center’s Sauder Concert Hall.

Tickets for the concert cost $20 and can be purchased at the college’s Welcome Center by calling 574-535-7566, emailing welcomecenter@goshen.edu or visiting goshen.edu/tickets. Proceeds from the concert will further Operation Respect and the Wi’am Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Bethlehem, which is directed by Zoughbi Zoughbi, the father of Goshen student, Marcelle Zoughbi, and an organizer of Friday’s programs, according to Goshen College.

The concert will include several of Peter, Paul and Mary’s classics, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “If I Had a Hammer,” Yarrow said.

His Friday morning presentation will also include some music, along with background and insight about his organization.

“Operation Respect stands on the shoulders of the civil rights movement,” he explained. “Other movements we’ve been involved in are all rooted in a deep respect,” such as the civil rights movement, the women’s movement and the environmental movement.

“Now we have another movement, a movement for the right of children to go to school without fear of ridicule or being made fun of,” he said.

Yarrow said that his program teaches kids to use peace-building techniques to create a peaceful environment around them, which he said is essential to “getting out of the jam we’re in and making a more peaceful world.”

“We really have to build a different world with our kids because (so many of) the adults are entrenched in their perspective,” he said.

His Friday morning presentation will focus more on the reasons Operation Respect, rather than the pedagogy behind it, but the essence of the program is simple.

“We need to respect people,” he said.