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A creative blog by Lisa Schultz on The Whole 9

Lisa Schultz has spent a lifetime observing the human parade. Now at the helm of The Whole 9 and The Peace Project, she reports in on her findings and asks that you join in.

We’ve got the whole world in our hands.

We’ve got the whole world in our hands.

Back in 2012, filmmaker Michele D’Acosta and I, along with Edward Bockarie and Elias Bangura traveled throughout Sierra Leone not only distributing crutches to those that didn’t receive them in The Peace Project’s effort, Operation Rise, where we distributed 10,000 pairs of crutches across the country on World Peace Day 2011, but talking to people about what makes peace in the wake of the verdict proclaiming Charles Taylor guilty of war crimes.

At each stop, we met with concerned citizens and the disabled community and explained our mission: to empower people to live better lives. The globe that you see in this photo was used to collect donations for our proposed Peace Center and as we traveled from city to city, if you watch this video:, you’ll see that some of Sierra Leone’s most badly disabled citizens including those afflicted with polio and those that were blind, reached into their pockets and often pulled out whatever they had to show that they wanted to be part of the solution.

For reasons that don’t bear explaining, our work took a detour shortly thereafter, and the money we collected is still in the hands of our trusted partner in Sierra Leone, Community Association for Psychosocial Services.

For three years I have vowed that we would make good on our promise to the people that made a decision on whether to eat that day or donate and thus, I’m thrilled to share that we have plans to go back to Sierra Leone and, in conjunction with one of the most honorable human beings I know, Edward Bockarie, and his team from CAPS, will be building the Peace House in Kailahun adjacent to one of the most notorious sites of violence during Sierra Leone’s civil war, the Slaughter House. Architect Stephen Gardner once again raised his hand and together we’ll start working on designs post haste.

This work is funded in many ways: one of them is our annual Call for Artists where we ask artists from around the world to join hands with us to co-create a more just world by simply sharing your art. Thus far, artists from over 60 countries have participated, lending their creativity to creating incredible change.

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, painter, illustrator, graphic designer or simply a doodler, I invite you to lend your voice and your art to this cause that we all share: creating a better world for us all.

Visit for details and to take a look at this year’s early entries including those from Vince Mattina, Brian Leighton, Jesse Hunter, Jen Ditchik, Angie Brooks, Susan Stone, Kenneth Vick, Lily Nava and Rickey Hoefnagel.

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