What is the Ribbon International?

The Ribbon is made up of countless panels of cloth each showing peoples desire for disarmament, a healthy environment or for peace. The original theme of the Ribbon "What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever in a nuclear war." The concept originated with Justine Merritt in 1982 while living in Denver, CO. She requested friends and relatives to create their representations of cloth segments using sewing, painting or any other suitable medium. The panels measured three feet by one and a half feet with a tie on each corner so that they could easily be joined together. The idea spread rapidly through places of worship, schools and organizations. The first Ribbon events were held in the United States and Japan. They culminated on August 4, 1985 commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the nuclear bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On that day eighteen miles of Ribbon panels were joined together in Wash., D.C. and in Hiroshima the A-Bomb Memorial Dome was encircled with Ribbons. Since then the Ribbon has become an ongoing project in countries around the world.

The Ribbon

The Ribbon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Ribbon in South Africa

In the summer of 2012, youth representative Gina Leow traveled to Cape Town, South Africa as part of a volunteer program for the International YCMA. While there, she spread the message of the Ribbon which is similar to the South African philosophy of Ubuntu. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his book No Future Without Forgiveness, "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed." This resonates with the mission of The Ribbon International in that the ribbons, which celebrate the beauty and importance of life, are symbolically tied together to represent all of humanity in protecting Earth's life. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

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