Student Wants to Promote Peace through Understanding

May 5, 2007

Author: Nick Pinto

Source: Newburyport News

NEWBURYPORT - Though still in high school, Keri Pennell wants to change the perceptions of religion for those much older, because they're not always wiser.

Last summer, Pennell attended the Anti-Defamation League's Camp IF, an interfaith camp for Muslim, Jewish and Christian teens.

Pennell said the camp was an eye-opening experience, one she wants to share with others.

"Talking with people from these other religions, I realized that people from their traditions have suffered under Christianity, and Christians like me have suffered at the hands of their religions," Pennell said. "We've all done it to each other. It makes you think about how important it is to communicate and understand each other."

But it's not something Pennell is just thinking about. When the city's Commission for Diversity and Tolerance began planning for May as Peace Month, she decided to take the lead by organizing an interfaith service in the name of peace.

The leaders of Newburyport's various religious communities will gather at the Peace Pole in the city's riverside sculpture garden tomorrow at 4 p.m.