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Friday, December 15, 2017

Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing presents World Day Against the Death Penalty Conference October 9-11, 2015 Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dallas, Texas

Journey of Hope cofounders SueZann Bosler and Marietta Jaeger at Sisters Helen’s side and Sam Reece Sheppard, George White and Bill Pelke have her back
Uganda 2014

Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing Cofounders George White, Marietta Jaeger Lane, SueZann Bosler, Sam Reese Sheppard and Bill Pelke invite you to join the Journey at SMU as we celebrate World Day Against the Death Penalty.

October 10th is World Day Against the Death Penalty and it is a project of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.  

Dr. Rick Halperin, Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU is a long time Journey of Hope friend and at present a member of the Journey Board of Directors. Rick invited the Journey of Hope to come to Texas. Many awards have been bestowed on Rick because of his human rights work throughout the years but when Rick was presented the Life Time Achievement award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2003 it said it all. Journey Cofounders, who are all murder victim family members welcome you to this conference which we are dedicating to death row family members around the world. Their stories need to be told and heard.

This world needs to have love and compassion for the family members who are suffering the terror of awaiting the state sanctioned killing of their loved ones. These family members will be welcomed by death row exonerees, and family members whose loved ones have been executed. We want to give them Hope and a chance to share their death penalty experiences. The Journey’s mantra is “love and compassion for all of humanity”. We know that if people have love and compassion for all of humanity they will not want to see anyone put into the death chamber and their life taken from them.

The Journey promotes forgiveness as a way to heal from horrendous events that have happened. Revenge is NEVER the proper response. Please join us and help us portray the human face of the death penalty for the world to see. This conference will inspire many as we speak from the heart and see how it gets people to change their minds on this issue.

Patty Dillon, Director and Writer of There Will Be No Stay will join us at SMU in Dallas. TWBNS is an intimate look at the effect the act of execution has on the executioner. TWBNS has only shown at film festivals in the USA and SMU will be the first international showing to a gathering of abolitionists. TWBNS has been endorsed by Susan Sarandon as being a unique and powerful perspective. It is indeed very powerful. Patty will also be filming at the conference for a Journey of Hope documentary.

David Kaczynski has been invited to help emcee the World Day conference. David has joined the Journey of Hope a number of times over the years and he is one of our strongest supporters.

There are other special surprises in the works. Names of those to be honored for their work we be released shortly. If you would like more info on the World Day Against the Death Penalty Conference please email us.

The World Day Against the Death Penalty Conference will conclude with the launching of a Journey speakers tour throughout the State of Texas Oct 12-25:

  • Houston (Oct. 12-17) We will be joined by Sister Helen Prejean for a day and a half on the 12th and 13th. David Atwood, authored Detour to Death Row and is the founder of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. In David’s book he states “Our efforts to organize were soon rewarded” …” in 1998, the Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing, led by Bill Pelke, George White, Abe Bonowitz and Sister Helen Prejean, ended its tour with a large anti-death penalty rally at the State Capitol.
    David is organizing the Houston area for the Journey tour. In his book David says “Ronald Carlson, Carol Byars, Linda White, Ami White and Jeanette Popp are five Texans who have had a great impact on my life. They are representatives of thousands of other people who have lost a loved one to murder and yet choose life over death. There are many others, including Bill Pelke of Alaska, Renny Cushing of New Hampshire, Marietta Jaeger-Lane of Montana and Bud Welch of Oklahoma. Whenever I listen to any of these speak out against the death penalty, I come to better understand the message of Jesus about forgiveness, compassion and mercy.” Both organizations grew as a result of that 1998 Texas Journey.
  • San Antonio (Oct. 18-23) Dr. Roger Barnes is helping organize in the beautiful San Antonio area. Roger has been a longtime supporter of the Journey.
  • Austin (October 24-25) The Journey will join forces with other abolitionists from around the state for 16th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty to the Statehouse and rally in Austin on the 24th and Journey speaking events conclude on the 25th. We just received the great news that Journey of Hope Troubadour Charlie King will be able to join us for events in San Antonio and the march in Austin.

Confirmed speakers for the tour include Randy Gardner, Bill Babbitt, Terry Steinberg, Delia Meyer Perez and Derrick Jameson. They will join the Journey Cofounders and others listed previously. We hope to add others as time draws nigh.

It is the Journey’s goal to bring Edward Mpagi to Texas for the conference and tour. The Journey of Hope traveled to Uganda last November to help Edward start the organization Ugandans Against the Death Penalty. Edward has been called the Mandela of Uganda.

More details coming soon on the conference and tour.

Please help us get out information on this Conference to your networks. This will be a valuable learning experience for all who attend. 2013 Journey of Hope’s World Day Against the Death Penalty Conference participants in Indianapolis left with a lot of precious seed to sow. The answer is indeed, love and compassion for all of humanity-

If you can’t join us but would like to contribute to our project it would be greatly appreciated. Please email us for more information on the tour.

“How do we change hearts? We have a Journey of Hope and we get people on the road. It is a very sacrificial thing to do something like this. It is hard. It takes dedication and it takes love from the victims’ family members to keep telling their stories over and over again. Let us put our energies with theirs; it’s the least we can do. Everybody should become an associate of the Journey of Hope and do whatever you can to support the Journey financially. Your contribution is appreciated to help turn death states into life states!” Sister Helen Prejean

Thank you, Hope to see you in Texas
Journey of Hope Cofounders