On April 22, 2013, then U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy gave the following key notes speech to a group of Germany high school students in Berlin (see group picture, far right):
"This is a great project. If I had to pick two topics that I think are the most important to people everywhere, they would be: first, the message of tolerance that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. represenst; and second, the importance of environmental responsibility. It is important that governments take these issues seriously. It is also important that each and every one of us do all that we can as individuals to promote tolerance and the environment. This project combines both of these two messages: respecting and caring for each and respecting and preserving nature. It’s fantastic. What a great way to celebrate Earth Day. I think it is fantastic that this is a German-American project. It was inspired by Marc Daniels, an American gardener, author, and civil rights activist. He started a “Weed Out Hate” initiative three years ago. Since then young people in my country have been involved in various initiatives to symbolically root out weeds, which represent hate, and plant sunflower seeds as a sign of peace, love and respect."
It takes the lifelines of gardening, nature, music, dance, group discussion and performance therapy, to make this painful transformation tolerable. Weed Out Hate roots and contextualizes all of these holiday events into an integrated strategy for changing greedy weeds into nurturing trees.
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In coming months we plan to offer T-Shirts, balloons, bumper stickers, weeding tools, wild flower seeds and more.
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