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Peace and Justice

Articles from Servas Members Addressing World Peace and the Universal Human Condition

Peace & Justice Blogs

Many Servas members are doing exciting and interesting things to enhance opportunities for Peace and Social Justice. Perhaps you are involved with a local, or national, project to improve the environment, helping with refugees, engaged with various democracy enhancing projects, or a community food bank. Other Servas members may want to know, maybe even join in the effort. We invite you to contribute your story about your personal efforts to buttress Peace and Social Justice. 

Featured Articles

Unique peace and justice articles submitted by Servas members that are particularly well-written and/or might be of special interest to members. Tell us about it. Submit your stories here.

Click here to send in your story.

Click here to contact the US Servas Peace Secretary.

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  • April 02, 2023 1:16 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    By Yosi McIntire, US Servas Peace and Justice Secretary

    The current military budget is approaching $1 trillion.  Today, most holders of the more common mutual fund portfolios are not concerned about being invested in weapons manufacturers’ stocks. Much of the American public has essentially bought into acquiescence. Typically, college students have little knowledge or interest in the anti-war movement that once thrived on campuses.

    Joan Roelofs’ new book “The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States” (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2022), suggests the answer is money.

    Particularly important is the fact that military bases have been placed strategically across the country, often in remote rural areas, where they become the life blood of economic development. Millions of American workers find jobs with military contractors or their subsidiaries, which finance scholarships and internships.

    The military’s extensive philanthropic endeavors have helped to normalize militarism. A significant portion of grants to universities, businesses and engineering firms are geared to research and funding to train the next generation of weapons-producers. Opposition to U.S. foreign policy in universities has resulted in dismissal from employment.

    According to Roelofs, our over-reliance on military spending is taking its toll. The link between bloated military spending and issues such as climate-change inaction, environmental protection, the crisis in public education, health-care, housing, poverty, etc. has been all but abandoned while the military industrial complex that General Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address in 1961, continues to always gets its way. Meanwhile we are witnessing a continued deterioration in civilian industrial infrastructure, political polarization, a negative balance of trade, and a mounting deficit.

    Investment in civilian research, and an anti-war movement are desperately needed.

  • April 02, 2023 1:12 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    by Deirdre Marlowe

    US Servas, just like Servas International, has a Peace & Justice Secretary. Both organizations have mission statements: Peace and understanding through travel and hosting. In this context, what do Peace and Peace & Justice mean since Servas is not an advocacy organization? 

    Here Peace & Justice refer to efforts that “encourage individual and collective action by citizes as actors in society for the promotion of peace and justice in the world. It seeks to strengthen citizen responsibility both locally and globally.”

    When we invite people from elsewhere into our homes, and vice versa, we learn about others – we represent our country, and they theirs. Few traveler or host experiences are negative, and even when they are, we reason that not everybody from, for example, France, can be like that so it’s a win for peace and understanding.

    There are many ways to work for peace and not all of them involve directly protesting or fighting war. It becomes more complicated when you are put in the position of deciding whether or not something is a “good” war, e.g., World War II, or perhaps the current conflict in Ukraine. You are working for peace if you actively support any of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals. And so, by definition, Servas hosts and travelers are all working for peace and justice.

    We would love to hear about member efforts. Share your story here.  

  • April 02, 2023 1:10 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Francisco Salomon Luna, SI Peace Secretary on the Road

    While at the recent 2022Servas International Conference 
    and General Assembly (SICOGA)_ meeting in India, I applied – and was selected – for the International Peace Secretary position. I will serve for three years in this capacity together with Mei Wang from Taiwan. 

    I was born in Mexico in 1980. My origins are a mixture of European, Asian, Middle Eastern and indigenous Mesoamerican. I was offered a scholarship to study in China and joined Servas in 2004. A neighbor's daughter, who had taken a trip to Europe using Servas contacts, recommended this organization to me. During my stopover in Seoul, South Korea, I sought Servas hospitality. It turned out to be an extraordinary experience! I was treated as if I were a family member or a lifelong family friend.  

    When I returned home from China, I wanted to offer that same hospitality to Servas travelers visiting Mexico. I contacted Servas to express my interest in participating more actively as a volunteer. I became an assistant to Lilli Kerekes, the Mexican Youth coordinator. In due course I took over as Youth coordinator. In 2010, I participated in the first International Youth Meeting held in Mexico. After that, I became the Servas Mexico Peace Secretary as well as coordinator of Mexico City. In 2017 and again in 2020, I was elected Servas Mexico National Secretary. Throughout the Covid pandemic, in addition to being a host and traveler, I participated in Servas meetings in Kyrgistan, Costa Rica, Spain, Korea and India. I also engaged in the SYLE program in Brazil and Making Connections in Israel.  

    While at the recent 2022 SICOGA meeting in India, I applied – and was selected – for the International Peace Secretary position. I will serve for three years in this capacity together with Mei Wang from Taiwan. As International Peace Secretary, I intend to maintain communication with other National Peace Secretaries to try to promote activities and events that promote Servas and that connect Servas to other organizations that have the similar objectives.  

    I believe that small actions can have significant impact. Everything counts in the promotion of peace. The virtue of selfless “hosting of the pilgrim” appears in all the religions, cultures and philosophies of the world. Welcoming strangers into our homes, generates a positive energy that raises our consciousness and broadens our understanding. As ambassadors of our respective cultures of origin, the interaction between host and traveler convinces us that even if in many ways we are different and may have different view-points, we can be good friends. This is something of great value when we consider the human actions that sustain the world.  

    -- Translated by Yosi, U.S. Peace Secretary

  • April 01, 2023 8:42 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Graphic of US Servas Peace Award MedalionBy Yosi McIntire Peace & Justice Secretary

    Do you know a US Servas member who is doing some noteworthy things to make our world a better and more peaceful place … someone who inspires you to do more? Maybe it's working with refugees, or putting water and supplies in the desert for immigrants, or setting up gleaning operations for a food pantry, or working to promote racial justice or gender equality. If so, they might be eligible to receive one of three US Servas Peace awards to be presented at our 2023 National Conference this October 6-8 … the weekend before Indigenous Peoples Day.

    Our National Peace Secretary, Yosi McIntire, and the US Servas Community Outreach team will review applications, then forward their recommendations to the Board of Directors. The member whose efforts are deemed "most worthy" will receive recognition at the US Servas 2023 Annual Conference this Fall. The awardee will also receive up to a $500 reimbursement for conference related expenses. In addition, US Servas will make a $500 donation in the member's name to the umbrella non-profit group under whose auspices they worked. The Peace Text BoxSecretary may present up to two additional awards of $500 each ($250 conf expenses plus $250 donation). It is our hope that winner(s) or their designees will make a brief presentation at the conference.

    We look forward to hearing the stories of our amazing Servas members. Show how much you respect their efforts by sharing their stories with the rest of us.  Our website is being updated to include details and a submissions form for the award. In the interim, please submit their story (or yours) to me at

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The Gendered Digital Divide 

By Yosi McIntire

Unquestionably, digitalization is rapidly transforming societies. Unprecedented socio-economic advances can be expected. However, it is generally acknowledged that young women, girls, and gender-diverse youth and adolescents—especially poorer ones in rural areas—are disproportionately and systematically excluded from access to technology. ... more

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