Israel Hurtado just listened to his heart.
The message he received told him he needed to have a day to celebrate peace in Stockton.
That idea percolated for a year before he acted on it, gathering friends to help organize, and once he held the event in 2014, Friends of Peace was formed. The organization will hold its fourth recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, which actually is Sept. 21, with a potluck luncheon and program beginning at noon Sunday at Unity of Stockton, 2027 W. March Lane.
“Stockton is one of the places that’s on the top of the list for crimes,” said Hurtado, who practices meditation, self-healing and self-awareness. “I work in other places, and Stockton doesn’t really have a great picture. I go places and people ask me where I live and I say, ‘Stockton,’ and they say (incredulously) ‘Stockton?’
“I say Stockton has good things we can offer, too.”
Working for peace and recognizing International Day of Peace is one way Hurtado hopes to benefit Stockton.
“It’s changing the picture, the image, instead of helping the dark image of Stockton,” said Hurtado, a native of Mexico who has lived in Stockton 15 years. “My heart, my consciousness said there’s light in Stockton. Good things are happening. We need to form that image. We are part of that consciousness, Stockton itself. It’s a community. We might not be connected physically, but we are on an energetic level.”
Friends of Peace, advances its cause through monthly bulletins to interested email recipients and by sponsoring a student essay contest that it hopes will grow.
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