Furlow Charter School held its 2nd annual Jubilee International Symposium virtually on September 23, 2020. Along with sponsors the Georgia Department of Education, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Education Program, Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, T31 and Chattahoochee-Flint RESA, the theme of this year’s event came from Mattie’s poem “About Things That Matter“. This educational event brought over 350 educators from across the state of Georgia together to learn how Mattie’s messages of hope, peace, and resilience have been paired with foreign language acquisition to further global understanding and connection.
Excerpt from Jeni Stepanek’s 9/24/20 #MamaPeacePost about the event:
Yesterday was the 2nd Annual Jubilee International Symposium – a virtual gathering of information and inspiration – for peace and education and communication… #wow… …It was an honor to be the opening speaker for this amazing event, with the 2020 theme rooted in a poem Mattie wrote by that title when he was 10 years old. I had the privilege of setting the tone for hundreds of participants, and working side by side (and mask by mask) with some of the most amazing, passionate, purposeful, peaceful, and powerful women I have ever known…Laura J. Bauer (who has served as the Executive Director of Mattie’s Foundation since she retired from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving a couple of years years ago)….Kim Fuller (Jimmy Carter’s niece, spiritual teacher at Maranatha Baptist Church and Executive Director of the Friends of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, Georgia – where we were broadcasting our portion of the conference)… Marle Usry (Jimmy Carter’s niece and Education Specialist at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Education Program and program/materials creator extraordinaire)….JoAnna Arnold (Dean and educator extraordinaire who brought Mattie’s message and the Peace Certification Journey to Furlow Charter School and to the Peace Out Camp in Americus-Sumter County…And #mega-wow… to be in the space where Rosalynn Carter (former First Lady who helped bring mental healthcare and caregiving into the realm of “things that matter” and who works tirelessly for people and peace in all places), and Lillian Carter (President Carter’s mother, peace pioneer for the Carter family and global neighbors, woman of immense inner strength and faith and wisdom and understanding and justice and mercy and acceptance – things that matter that she nurtured in others… a person whom I did not have the privilege or pleasure of meeting in person but whom I know through so many amazing stories shared by the countless folks in her circle of family, friends, and admirers) roamed the halls and formed and shaped understandings of the world and amplified their views and commitment to “about things that matter” for then and for now and for next and for-ever and for-everyone…I am filled with awe, and gratitude, and hope… and peace… which are some of the many, many, many things that really matter… Thank you to the other presenters who provided amazing sessions throughout the day – logging in from all over the state of the Georgia and beyond… Thank you, Patrick Wallace and the Georgia Department of Education for believing in peace, and children and families, and educators and leaders, and for hosting this #2020AboutThingsThatMatter event…Thank you to all the participants who logged in from all over the country and beyond for a long but important day — #YouMatter!