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World Storytelling Day - Wise Fools: Wisdom on the Folly of War

  • Landmark Center 75 West 5th Street Saint Paul, MN, 55102 United States (map)

Each year, on or around March 20, WORLD STORYTELLING DAY, there are events in 25 or more countries, celebrating storytelling and the inherent theme, "If I can hear your story, it's harder for me to hate you." This year's global theme, WISE FOOLS, is based on the ages-old fable which teaches that sometimes, those considered to be foolish are the wisest among us.

In the evening's stories, "wise fools" will frequently be revealed as "those who speak truth from the heart even in the face of popular opposition." In the wake of the Burns/Novick Vietnam documentary, the stories of this evening examine the war from multiple perspectives. The event is is dedicated to Dr. Harry Skornia, founder of public broadcasting and an ardent peace activist.

6 p.m. - Information fair with Veterans for Peace, storytelling organizations, TPT, Minnesota Humanities Center, and member groups of Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.

7 p.m. - Our Storytellers

Larry Johnson - host/organizer; served in Vietnam as an unarmed medic. Past president of Veterans for Peace and author of SIXTY-ONE, 61 stories calling for less war, more walking, and no arguing on veteran care.

Allan Bostelmann - an infantry veteran, Al is a licensed clinical social worker emeritus.  He is a facilitator for Veteran Healing Memories workshops, and is articulate on what Just War Theory really says.

Father Harry Bury - U of M Newman Center priest and peace activist in the 60s, Bury was invited to Vietnam in 1971, by the Vietnamese, to help stop the war.  He is author of AN INVITATION TO THINK AND FEEL DIFFERENTLY.

Phuoc Thi Minh Tran - an award-winning author, Phuoc was the first Vietnamese immigrant to become a librarian in Minnesota.  She left her homeland as a "boat person," following the fear and despair after the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Chante Wolf - an award-winning photographer, writer, artist, and educator, Chante served 12 years in the Air Force, including Desert Storm in 1991.  She is an activist with Women's Veteran Initiative.

John Varone - Vietnam veteran, lifelong musician, and former national Veterans for Peace board member.  John is also past President of the local VFP Chapter, an honorary member of the Mendota Dakota Community, and leader of veteran flag carrying at Pow Wow.

Nothando Zulu - Founder/Director of Black Storyteller's Alliance, she is a lifelong political activist, living Dr. King's truth that we'll never solve poverty and racism, spending so much money sending our youth to kill poor people overseas.

The event is free, but donations are gladly accepted for the August honoring of the Kellogg-Briand Pact and Frank Kellogg, the only Minnesotan to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  Kellogg helped engineer the international treaty, signed in Paris, August 27, 1928, to outlaw war.  That event is August 26, also at Landmark, as part of this year's National VFP Convention.

RSVP's are not required, but if you do, we'll save your seat till 6:45, plus we'll send you our best information on parking near the Landmark.  Thankfully, this year, there is no WILD GAME in town that evening.  RSVP, or questions to:

Larry Johnson:  Host and Organizer for World Storytelling Day

Author of SIXTY-ONE, 61 stories calling for less war, more walking, and no arguing on veteran care.   
Currently Natl Chair for the OGP (Old Gardening Party) to keep the world safe for children, gardening, and storytelling.
Find him in the woods, on public transit, or at