Legendary musician, songwriter and activist Peter Yarrow from “Peter, Paul and Mary” captivated the Goshen College campus on Friday morning during a convocation in the Church-Chapel by singing a selection of his songs from the 1960s, inviting the crowd to sing along and sharing stories from his work with the Civil Rights Movement.
And Yarrow called the college students to start a new movement that is needed today. “You can be the messengers and creators, the way young people were in the Civil Rights Movement,” he said, referring to the huge need in modern society for civility and respect.
In addition to singing “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “If I Had a Hammer” for the crowd, Yarrow sang his song “Don’t Laugh at Me,” which is a plea to children to not call each other names, hurt each other or put each other down. “Bullying is an injustice and the antithesis is peace,” he said.
With his organization Operation Respect, Yarrow just spent time in Newtown, Conn., with the Sandy Hook Elementary School community. In December a mass shooting killed 20 children and six adults at the school. He and his colleague Mark Weiss, director of education for Operation Respect, offer an anti-bullying message that advocates for interpersonal peace. They presented a workshop for local educators as well on Friday and Yarrow presented a concert on the Goshen College campus later in the evening as well.
Jodi Beyeler is assistant public relations director at Goshen College.