The speaker in room 724 on October 4th at 12 noon was presenting on something that had been triggered by the war with Iraq ten years ago. Shirley McDonald, representing “Grandmothers for Peace” of Nevada county spoke as part of the Crossing Borders, Building Bridges series hosted by Neelam Canto-Lugo. McDonald began by saying that many peace activists are older and that new young ones are needed. McDonald said that her organization used to be part of a international group but was kicked out for changing the logo from an anti nuclear centered message to a peace centered message. McDonald said her organization now operates independently focusing on local positive action. McDonald said Grandmothers for Peace tries to not protest the bad but rather support the good, although she admitted having been arrested for protesting in 2003, but said that was because she wanted to go on record as being against the war she was protesting. McDonald said she believes the United States is imperialistic and similar to Nazi Germany. She said that regardless of good ends in mind the means must be nonviolent saying “the means are as important as the ends to me”. McDonald went on to say that she is against the “other” mentality and wants to create a world peace focusing on small goals to start with. She urged the crowd to take steps to bring about whatever they were passionate about. McDonald cited as an example of what Grandmothers for Peace does saying how they gave a Good Neighbor award to a manager of a K-Mart who after speaking with them on the subject of M-rated video games agreed to lock them up and enforce ID checking to make sure no minors acquired the games illegally. McDonald further said how her organization had helped to curb the previously unchecked powers of military recruiters on high school campuses. McDonald said her organization also works with the Nevada County Fair using “Posters for Peace” and other gimmicks. She constantly encouraged the crowd to use their gifts to influence their passion whatever it is; “mine just happens to be peace” she said. One thing McDonald said was that her organization tries to play up the harmless grandmother image giving cookies away wherever they go. Some of her members she said volunteer for anti-bullying training at schools. She made a point to say that “it isn’t about trying to avoid conflict” saying that what was important is how one deals with conflict. “Awareness is the first thing” McDonald said. When the subject of judging people came up Canto-Lugo interjected that judgement leads to prejudice. The presentation closed down with a discussion of the organization’s image. “There’s something about grandmas” McDonald said referring to their non confrontational character. One person in the audience, which was smaller than usual, said “I’m glad I came”. McDonald finished saying that for change to occur small steps were needed to get the momentum going.