Bimini Peace Retreat: A Gathering of Leaders for Non-Violence and Social Justice

BimininAfrican Diaspora Tourism, in coordination with Bahamas Tourism and the AD King Foundation, Friends of the African Union, and Joe Beasley Foundation, has organized the Bimini Peace Retreat.  This wellness/ peace retreat serves to honor Ms. Naomi King, Mr. Joe Beasley and Mr. Ansil Saunders as Global Peacemakers. It will include a tribute to Martin Luther King, panels, luncheons, demonstrations of African and Bahamian Junkanoo dance, spiritual-related activities, yoga sessions, and visits to important sites such as the Bimini Straw Market, the Bimini Museum, and Bimini’s signature natural attraction, the “Healing Hole.” Here are excerpts from the press release:

Tired of all the violence and social injustices of today? Then joining others in seeking solutions with spiritual foundations on a serene island is for you. Organizational heads, spiritual leaders and others for the promotion of peace and nonviolence are invited to join the wellness / peace retreat in Bimini, Bahamas this November 1-3, 2013. The purpose of the retreat is relaxation, rejuvenation, spiritual renewal and the contemplation of ideas to counter violence and social injustices. Retreat participants will also pay tribute to one of the greatest peacemakers of all times, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when they visit his memorial bust that was set up by the Bahamian government last year. Leaders will be able to network, exchange ideas and experience culture heritage tourism in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

[. . .] Kitty J. Pope, publisher of says that a retreat in Bimini is ideal because this is where Dr. King went to reflect, pray and convene with nature. “This peace retreat is about the same thing. This is not a conference, but a spiritual retreat where leaders of organizations will go for contemplation and reflection about nonviolent solutions as King did,” says Pope.

The bust of Dr. King was erected in Bimini because this is where King wrote two of his most noted speeches including his final ‘mountaintop’ speech. When Dr. King visited Bimini, he was accompanied by noted boat builder and prize-winning bone fisherman Ansil Saunders, who took him out to the mangroves for quiet time to write. “King used to say that he felt like he could reach out to touch the face of God when he was in Bimini,” says Saunders. “Even though King said he lived under the threat of death, he got a sense of peace and relief from pressure when he was in Bimini.” Dr. King was killed several days after his last trip to the islands.

Dr. Babs Onabanjo, CEO of AD King Foundation will serve as chair of the convening organizations and Mr. Wesley Kabaila, Chief-of-Staff of Friends of African Union Congresses will serve as co-chair. The Honorable Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism of the Bahamas, who is a proponent of cultural heritage and faith-based tourism, is the honorary chair of the wellness/ peace retreat.

Retreat participants will convene in the Fort Lauderdale/ Miami area in order to travel together by high speed ferry to Bimini, the closest Bahamian island to the US.  Groups will travel by bus from Atlanta and other cities in Florida and the south to connect with the ferry.  Flight information is available upon request for those who do not wish to travel to Fort Lauderdale by bus or car. Information regarding flights to Bimini instead of ferry is also available for those interested.

For more information and to register, visit


You may also contact Kitty Pope at  or call (404) 549-7215 or contact Dr. Onabanjo at or (770) 873-9265.

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