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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Peace Song Challenge

Only 2 ½ weeks until the Peace Song Challenge entry deadline…so if you have a great song expounding the message of peace there is still time to submit it. Email or visit for more details and an Official Entry Form.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Legendary producer Bob Ezrin, musician Yusuf, Oscar nominee Thavi Phrasavath, Entertainment Industry executive Anastasia Brown and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Terry Stewart make up prestigious judges panel for international song challenge New York, New York…May 4, 2009…Bring Peace Not Pain, an organization formed to further the message of peace through the efforts of individuals and various partnerships and entertainment programs, announced a prestigious judges panel made of some of the best known talents in the music and film industry today. The judges will play a pivotal role in choosing the winning entry for the Peace Song Challenge. Open to anyone who aspires to bring their message of peace through music, the Peace Song Challenge will award one grand prize winning entrant an exclusive Gibson Guitar and the opportunity to spread the word of Peace t hrough their very own words on an international platform of publicity and promotion. The winner will also have the opportunity to present their music to a forum of legendary producers and music industry elite who form the panel of judges of this year’s contest. All entries for the Peace Song Challenge are due by July 25, 2009. The top entries will be judged and a winner announced on or before November 25 2009. Several adaptations to the official rules have been made and interested parties should check the Bring Peace Not Pain website for details and applications.The offici al judging panel for the Peace Song Challenge includes legendary music producer Bob Ezrin, international recording artistYusuf (Cat Stevens), Oscar nominee Thavi Phrasavath, music industry hitmaker Anastasia Brown and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President Terry Stewart.Bob Ezrin’s career has spanned 38 years working with some of the world’s leading artists including Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS, Lou Reed, Roberta Flack, Peter Gabriel, Dr. John, Rod Stewart, Jane’s Addiction, Nils Lofgren and many more. He is co-founder of Music Rising with U2’s the Edge and produced the live extravaganza in 2006 featuring U2 and Green Day which reopened the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina devastated it the year before. Currently in production with Peter Gabriel, Ezrin will also direct the upcoming 90th Birthday Celebration in NYC of the legendary Pete Seeger. Singer/songwriter Yusuf, best known for his former stage name Cat Stevens is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator and philanthropist. He has sold over 60 million albums and has been on the top of the Billboard and Hot 100 charts numerous times. In the late 70s Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He left his musical career to devote his time to philanthropy and education. He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world including 2003’s World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace Award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006 he returned to pop music with his first album of new songs in 28 years entitled An Other Cup and just recently released his current cd ‘roadsinger’. As the creator of the song Peace Train and his strong awareness for Peace related issues and programs, he is a perfect candidate to join such other distinguished judges.Award winning filmmaker Thavi Phrasavath who’s most recent film “The Betrayal” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 is a true agent of peace. “The Betrayal” is an exquisitely crafted tale about a country, a family, and a young man who discovers the power and resilience of the human spirit and spans 24 years of his true life experience from war torn Laos to the streets of New York. Phrasavath also has a very strong background in community service working with the NYC Police Department as an interpreter and liaison to the Laotian Community in youth and family crisis intervention. He has also won numerous awards for his paintings and illustrations.
Anastasia Brown’s career has been about breaking the industry mold. In just 4 short years since becoming President of 821 Entertainment Group, Brown has created a Nashville-headquartered medi a company that is financing and producing 16 Heartland feature films over the next six years in partnership with some of Hollywood’s top producers and studios. Brown, who began in Nashville as Miles Copeland’s partner where they managed such megastars as Sting, Peter Frampton and Junior Brown, discovered and developed Keith Urban before transitioning out of management and into film and television. Her credits include music supervisor of AUGUST RUSH, which earned both Oscar and Grammy nominations for music, and BILLY: THE EARLY YEARS, for which she earned a Dove Award nomination. Over the years, Brown’s accolades have included “25 Most Beautiful,” “Top 40 Most Powerful Under 40,” “Women of Influence,” one of 4 women featured in Fitness & Muscle’s “Women of Strength” (September 2007) and Variety featured her among their Multitaskers (November 20, 2006). Brown recently penned “Make Me A Star” and is often interviewed as an industry expert. She also served as celebrity judge for three seasons of “Nashville Star.”
Terry Stewart has been President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for more than a decade. As CEO, he has led the Museum's efforts to expand its reach nationally and internationally with traveling exhibits, technology, collaborations and satellite facilities, while at the same time building its home base in Cleveland via exhibits, programming and the development of a world-class Library and Archives research center. With the Museum’s increased focus on bringing music into the classroom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's educational offerings have now become one of the most celebrated and award-winning activities of its kind emanating from a fine arts museum in the U.S. Prior to entering the nonprofit music world, Stewart served in chief executive positions at Marvel Entertainment Group and was also named the CNBC Marketing Executive of the Year. Terry is well known as an avid co llector of pop culture memorabilia. His extensive collection includes a world-class record collection, concert and movie posters, autographs and jukeboxes.
Bring Peace Not Pain is a multi-faceted grassroots initiative, which began as a solitary vision by Suzi Conklin Nance of New England and has spread through all points of the globe. Through its efforts both on the ground and virtually, Bring Peace Not Pa in brings together a global following from all walks of life with one common thread – that of which holds true the fact that together we can bring around a peaceful world. The organization was recently featured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where VIPs, actors and film industry executives enjoyed learning more about the organization at the Gibson Lodge located on Main Street. For more information or details on the campaign’s film series, speaker programs, blogs and interactive website or upcoming events and contests please go to <> .The contest is open to professional and amateur musicians who want to share their feelings, hopes and dreams about peace through an original song, soundtrack or music score. The winning entry may also become the official song of the organization and be used for all domestic and international campaigns. Some of the entries will be posted on the website and later may be used for publicity and other promotional efforts. Rules and regulations along with an entry application is available on the website.
The Grand Prize winner will receive an exclusive Gibson Guitar from the world’s premier musical i nstrument manufacturer, an official “Agent of Peace” fleece jacket, inclusion in a major publicity announcement and posting of their song on the Bring Peace Not Pain’s website and YouTube. The winner will also be featured in an international news story and may have the opportunity to perform his/her song at several upcoming events and be given the opportunity to promote his/her music as the official song of the campaign. Five runner-up entrants will receive an official “Agent of Peace” fleece jacket and mention on the website. Submissions for the contest are due by July 25, 2009 and must be submitted with a signed Official Entry form, copy of the Rules and Regulations, a CD of the song and written lyrics. All must be signed and dated by the original composer and be accompanied by a letter stating that they are original works. (this is handled in the Rules and Regulations) Each entry will not be returned. Winners will be announced on or before November 25, 2009 For an official entry form and Artist Release along with a complete list of rules and regulations, interested individuals can email CONTACT:Suzi Conklin Nance 40...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Please join us for Children of Uganda...Weapons of War

Bring Peace Not Pain presents....
The Children of Uganda...Weapons of War

Sunday, May 3, 20092 pm
St. Michael's School
180 Rhode Island Ave., Newport RI

Following the screening of "Invisible Children", a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Uganda's night commuters and child soldiers.

We will be join by
Grace Akallo

former child soldier and author of "Girl Soldier", will join us and share her past experiences as well as her hopes and vision of the future.

This event is open to the public and although
there is no charge
seating is limited so please call or email to reserve your space.

401.835.1736Bring Peace Not Pain,
123 Bellevue Avenue,
Newport RI

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Be part of sending the message…the message to BRING PEACE NOT PAIN to those in power.

Show your support for a peaceful world...send us your photo either wearing Bring Peace Not Pain merchandise or with a sign that reads BRING PEACE NOT PAIN, add your name and where the photo was taken and it will be printed on the official BRING PEACE NOT PAIN poster that we will distribute to those that need to hear our call.
Your photo will also be displayed on our website.

Thank you for your commitment to create a better world for all!


Please forward it to or visit or snail mail it to:

Bring Peace Not Pain
123 Bellevue Ave.
Newport RI 02840

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Please take a moment....

Bring Peace Not Pain, has been submitted on to complete for a $10,000.00 seed money grant. The winner is decided by number of votes it receives….so please go to and vote for us . This will allow us to continue to spread our message and sponsor a greater number of films and speakers. So please vote and pass this on, it just takes a second…click on this link and then hit VOTE. Thanks, Suzi

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What will we take away from this Financial Crises?

“Is broke the new black?”
Shiva Kunz

It’s not just that so many of us are wearing it that is relevant, it’s how we wear it. This will come to define us, both as individuals and as an era.

Will we lose ourselves in frustration and anger, spending our mental capitol on an endless debate on how things went wrong and deciding where to place blame? Or will we, admittedly with nostalgia and trepidation, begin to accept this transition and embrace it as an opportunity to perhaps reevaluate and redefine our priorities, goals and life direction. How many of us have gone through life on auto pilot, following the rules, living within the compounds of the “givens” we had come to expect and were expected of us, in exchange for the promise of “the good life”.

For many high school students college was “given”, the vast number of higher educations institutions and the growing availability of scholarships and loans has had college enrollments climbing year by year. This too has changed, as colleges endowments have suffered great losses many schools are shrinking the size of their incoming freshman classes and allocating more funds to students already enrolled, this coupled with the fact that many private college funders are no longer in business has taken the “given” of college away for many students.

Those recent graduates, where are they? They followed our path, excelled at our requirements and now stand ready with their new black suits and polished resumes in hand, waiting for life to begin. It was “given” that they would be fielding offers from companies, corporations and firms enticing them with promises of advancement and stock options. Only now they find darkened buildings with padlocks on what they thought would be their futures.

How about those that had long ago bought and paid for the dream, those that had long since silenced the rebellious rumblings and creative yearnings in exchange for the promise of “the good life“, they too have been discarded and padlocked out.

What now…where do we go from here? Is there no hope for that bight and shiny future we have been schooled to believe is the path to happiness? Did that path guarantee happiness? Were those growing numbers of college enrolment due to the drive and enlightenment of students in their quest for more knowledge, or was it that we, society had laid it out as the only way to ensure your ticket to the “good life”. Did we sell education primarily as a means to an end…‘you need it to get a great job”? Where our eager young graduates seeking entry into the corporate world because they were pursuing their passion or were they merely continuing to accept the “givens”…that upon graduation they would be offered and accept a position that would demand an abundance of their time, energy and skill but in return would guarantee their upward mobility? What about those that were midstream in their careers, those that have adapted their lifestyle to match their status, as their salaries have grown, so has their debt.

So many of us bought it, we accepted the blueprint and began at an early age to build the framework for what was promised to bring us satisfaction, security and happiness and enable us to do the same for our future generations. Unfortunately, for many of us by the time we paused to access if in fact this design was best suited for our personal needs and wants we were too far along in construction to make any meaningful alterations, and the thought of a teardown and rebuild was far too overwhelming. So we continue to roll along adapting and excepting life as it unfolds

Until now…this current financial crisis has cracked the foundation on which we have built our lives, leaving us in a state of uncertainty, the very thing that we have been programmed to evade. However if we embrace this opportunity to not just think outside the box, but actually redefine the box…or better yet abandon the box theory, we will have an opportunity to create the structure best suited to our personal needs. Like all situations, we individually and collectively, have a choice on how we will react to this situation. Will we be driven by fear and panic to just rush in and try to repair the current systems? Or will we see this as the great opportunity to take stock, to look at it with clarity and vision to systematically what was working and what wasn’t.

Let us dig deep inside of ourselves, ignite our inner strengths and passions and begin to redesign and build our lives as we choose. Scary...yes, this demands a complete paradigm shift in our thinking. In order to stay in step and follow the ordained path we have been taught to accept rather that to question and we have allowed fear to dictate our actions. Now it is time to rise above our fear and to question all, to question society, to question government but most importantly…to question ourselves. To question our actions, our reactions, our wants our needs…to self indulge in the quest for self discovery. It is time to take chances, to let our creative juices flow…to challenge the status quo. It is time as a society that we embrace the dreamers amongst us, that we teach our children to be thinkers not just depositories of knowledge.

To the students that will not be starting school in September, and the recent grads that are unable to secure the positions you had hoped to, as disappointing as this is, know that hope is far from lost. Things may not be happening just as you had planned and prepared, but life has some wonderful things in store for you. Take this time to try something you never thought you would, there are millions of programs all over the world as well in most communities that will offer different experiences and exposure to worlds quite different from your own. Open your self up, self teach, explore your self…your likes and dislikes, talk to people that you would never think you would have anything in common with…think…question…create… try new things…trust your self… this is your time, make it count. Realize that you have control of your destiny, make the decisions that you believe are right for you, and if they turn out to be wrong decisions, that’s part of the discovery. Learning what is not right for you is as important as learning what is right…have faith in yourselves. Enjoy!

To those of us caught midstream, with the survival of life as we have known it and as we have worked diligently to create, is severely threatened…it is an opportunity for us as well to redefine our priorities. To step back and evaluate, we have created this abundant life but at what cost? Have we traded years of our precious time…time that could have been spent with love ones or pursuing our passions in exchange for possessions? For many the cost was well deserved, to others perhaps not, there is no right or wrong answer here, just a reminder to look deep and as we move forward do so with a clear vision of where we came from.

Although we didn’t choose for this financial tsunami to hit, we must remember that we can choose how we wish to deal with it, and like all storms this too will pass.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Governmental Failing

The Thailand Navy abandoned hundreds of Rohingya refugees in the middle of the sea leaving them to die or wash ashore somewhere else…….In Malaysia rather that turn them out to the sea they turn them over to human traffickers at the border of Thailand. …….As the rebel FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) are brutalizing and savagely killing civilians, members of the Rwandan Army are sent to protect the innocent civilians, but instead they have also been raping and terrorizing the civilians…...Although the Indonesian government is quick to condemn other nations about their lack of child labor laws, it does nothing to protect is own children, many of whom work 16 hour days, 7 days a week, for very little if any pay.

These are just a few examples pulled from recent news stories of where and how governments are falling short in valuing human life. Where does this leave us?

How have we continued to evolve, to learn, to discover, to invent…. to so drastically change the world, in areas of technology, medicine, the arts…yet we have failed to grasp the most basic humanistic understanding? How have failed to recognize that the destiny of man supersedes the destiny of any individual nation?

This leaves us at a time where we must strive to come together, to break down cultural, religious and lifestyle barriers…to see the differences in our daily trappings as nothing more that window dressings…and to know that we are bound together by the blood that pumps through our hearts.

We must speak out…act out…reach out and teach at every opportunity...because one by one, we can, we must and we will universally create a radical change in how we see each other.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day xoxo

In the spirit of Valentines Day, let today be all about your hearts and allow LOVE to freely flow …from others and to others. There is nothing that can alter our mood or our outlook quite like LOVE…both when we share it and when we receive it.
I wish you LOVE in abundance and everyday.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


"Hope is the physician of each misery"
Irish Proverb

Is there a more powerful motivator? A more potent prescription? A stronger life line? Hope creates the roadmap to a better situation. Hope is the springboard to action. If we can see it...dream it…or imagine a better outcome then we have the option of achieving it….then we have hope.
That hope will nurture and guide us thru our challenges…but we must protect it the last flame on a burning ember...for when that flame of hope goes goes the warmth and light giving us the ability to see our way…leaving us again in the cold darkness of despair.

It is our duty to embrace hope, protect and cultivate hope… not just our personal hope but also to foster hope in all those who touch out lives. A better day, a better life, a better world are all with in our grasp…but the power to bring that to fruition will depend upon hope.

As we go through our day let us allow our hearts the freedom to envision peace in our hearts, a brighter tomorrow and a right and just world. Let us also be mindful of bringing hope to the lives of others…

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Embracing the inevitable…when a change occurs that we fear, finding the strength and skill to exercise our power over the effect of the change.

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer

We cry out for change…yet what do we resist more? How is it that innately we are such creatures of conformity yet our instinct is to be agents of change…how do we manage the two…how do we empower ourselves to make the needed and desired changes. There are many kinds of changes...but for the most part they fall into two categories…the ones we desire and implement and the ones that affect our external life yet we have no control over. For now we will focus on change that we desire…change that we hope will enrich our lives.What are the changes we want to our own lives…our relationships…our communities? What are we willing to do in order to enact that change? Do we believe that the identified change will warrant the time/energies taken to achieve the change? How will we go about it? What are the tools needed to support the endeavor? What is our game plan? When at first of blush of things not working out as we had planned will we have the will to persevere? It is in the answers to these questions that we will find the basis for implementing our changes.As daunting as a plan of change can be…it is also most invigorating…it is reminder that we hold the keys to our destiny...that we can achieve our desires.They say Spring is the time of renewal, a time of new growth, of change…I however believe that fall is the true season of new beginnings…of fresh starts. Perhaps as the air thins and the light sharpens, vistas previously blurred by the summer sun’s haze, are now easily with in our view and with such clarity, contrast and brilliance. For many of us fall brings that same precision and depth of sight inward…to how we see ourselves, to see how far we can go, to see the plans and projects we previously abandoned and neglected as we embraced the allure of summer and life outside, we see again with renewed energy and zest.If we take that clarity of vision and like a child on the first day of a new school year, think mainly of the new opportunities, yes, last year was important, its lessons provided the foundation on which we continue to build,…it is from here that we begin anew.As a child September was a time of fresh new notebooks, razor sharp pencils and books that still hold the smell of the ink. It still is …our lives are like those new notebooks…the notebook itself, it’s cover and binding ... is the current structure or framework of our life, but the blank pages …our future…ours to create and enhance. The pencils…the tools we will need to ensure success. The books are our access to knowledge, self knowledge, acquired knowledge and yet to be acquired knowledge, and our willingness to open them.Like a new student full of hope and energy, look at the situation you are choosing to change, look with clarity and honesty and form the list of the changes you wish to make, then arm yourself with the proper tools… a road map, clearly highlighting both your starting point as well as your desire destination… your itinerary, when and how you will be implementing the needed steps…a clear understanding of the importance of the change, a firm belief that you are capable of achieving it, a vision of your life when the change has taken place, and access to any and all knowledge you have that will aid you in your success.So as fall arrives, and the stores are stocked with shiny bright new school supplies…shinny new hope, hope that this will be the year…the year I get all my homework done...the year I make the A team….the year I pay attention in class…that this will be a great year….LET THIS BE YOUR YEAR…your season of CHANGE…Change that YOU design!!!Good Luck…Suzi

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Power of our Assumptions

My friend Robyn sent me this story this morning...

A Violinist in the Metro
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year-old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Peace..we long for our hearts and in our world...why does it allude us?

Is our longing for it, that what keeps it at bay?

Is the absents of peace the multiplier that allows our experiences to be transformed into negative thoughts and feelings thus pushing us deeper and deeper into the dark abyss of our minds as we replay the events of such, on our inner screen...over and over again.

What if peace were in our grasps…this very moment? Would we commit to it? Or have we become so accustom to dancing on the rim of despair that the thought of achieving inner peace itself frightens us. The thought of change, transformation…commitment even when we have glimpsed the abundance of rewards can paralyze us.

So how do we shake off our self imposed shackles and succeed in filling our hearts and lives with peace? By conscious choice, with practice and by trusting ourselves that we are not only capable of obtaining and sustaining peace, but that we are worthy of that peace.

Daily Exercise: Starting with three (3) minutes…Sitting in quiet, acknowledge that you alone have control of your thoughts, your mind and your heart…then for the time allotted allow only thoughts of love and acceptance (for self and others) to circulate in your mind…when thoughts of fear or anger appear just redirect your mind. This takes practice but as we continue to practice it will become easier to transcend the negatives and access the bliss and peace in our hearts.