SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a home grown, grass roots initiative designed to promote tolerance through the act of symbolic weeding, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, has proclaimed August 28, 2011 as "Weed Out Hate Day." The declaration resulted from the unceasing efforts and worldwide acclaim of author, businessman and peace activist Marc Daniels, who promotes the cause of kindergardening as a means of combating social violence and school bullying.
Proclamation and Weed Pulling Ceremony: 11:00 am, July 4, 2011 at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, 413 S. Eighth Street, Springfield, IL 62701
Marc Daniels, Campaign Director of WeedOutHate.org will be joined by Rabbi Barry Marks of Temple Israel, Springfield, IL, in reading Governor Quinn's proclamation on the grounds of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Anti-bullying themed sunflower Peace Seeds will be distributed free of charge to visitors who attend the ceremony, which is sponsored by WeedOutHate.org.
According to the statement, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, "proclaims August 28, 2011, as WEED OUT HATE DAY and encourages communities throughout the Land of Lincoln to promote peace."
Through the efforts of Mr. Daniels and his organization, packets of sunflower seeds are given to children, which, when planted, according to Daniels, sprout from the "love and support of gardening," just like tolerance is the by-product of healthy and respectful interpersonal relationships among individuals and groups.
Daniels notes that "Removing weeds from our yards and gardens is a metaphor for eradicating the hate and prejudice that often pervades our interpersonal lives and communities." Journalists and bloggers around the world have cited Daniels' concept as innovative, as it teaches children about social inclusion through the act of gardening rather than preaching to them. For example, the renowned German born, Israel-based foreign correspondent Ulrich Sahm, who was instrumental in bringing the Schindler's List documents to the Yad Va Shem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, said "Just think of President Obama picking up this campaign and teaching children to weed out hate, and stop hating each other. This is the clue to stop the wars, stop hatred, and begin to really change the world." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp6iDdbLhQM)
Last spring, 4,000 seed packets were donated to the children of the Springfield, Illinois School District #186, as well as other schools and garden centers. Altogether, some 20,000 seed packs were distributed in 2011, which sprouted millions of sunflowers through Daniel's almost singlehanded efforts. According to this modern day Johnny Sunflowerseed, "One can just imagine the lessons being learned, as these sunflower seeds continue to germinate, grow and bloom. "