Humanitarian and Founder of The Peace Bus By Marguerite Cleveland | Photo By In-Gear Media
Kwabi Amoah-Forson, humanitarian and founder of The Peace Bus, has long believed that people must choose to live together in harmony instead of hatred and division. In 2017, he decided to promote a message of peace in Tacoma. He started small with just two posters: one saying, "Love, Peace & Justice for All," and the other, "War is not the Answer. Say NO to violence." He set up in a local park and would engage visitors with his message. He now has transitioned to The Peace Bus, a baby blue 1988 Mitsubishi van that allows him to promote his message on the road. Kwabi’s goal is to travel the world promoting peace and to encourage people from all walks of life and beliefs to work together for the common good.
Working together for the common good can help bridge the divide and polarization the United States is experiencing. Kwabi’s projects include ways to combat poverty, a barrier to peace. This summer he is working with local restaurants with his “Every-Kid-Eats.” The Child Food Insecurity Rate in Washington has increased 40 percent since the pandemic, and one in six children experiences hunger. This project will help to provide hot meals to Tacoma children throughout the summer months.
Q. What prompted you to start your message of peace? A. While in grad school, I was feeling unfulfilled as ambiguity surrounded the direction I would take for my future, so I reached out to an old academic advisor from undergrad. His name was Peter Bacho. I told him that I was struggling, and he told me that I need to stop asking myself what I want to be and start asking myself who do I want to be. He said I need to ask myself about the ethics, morals and guidelines in which I would want to live my life by. He told me that is who you are. Think about these things, and once you understand, everything will fall into place.
After doing some soul searching, I realized that what I love most about life is seeing people from different walks of life coming together for a positive cause. It gives me chills thinking about it, it is so beautiful, it is everything to me. I thought, “What is that?” And to me it is peace. Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to peace advocacy and humanitarianism.
Q. We are seeing so much discord in our country. Can people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs come together for greater good? A. Yes, I not only believe that people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs can come together, I believe that it’s a must for humanity! If we want humanity to reach its highest height, for us as people to fulfill our greatest potential, we must find a way to come together ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table of opportunity.
There’s a remedy to creating a more peaceful world, and I believe that it involves addressing poverty, racism, and lack of quality education for our children. These injustices, if corrected, would work to create a better quality of life for all and set the foundation for peace.
Q. You hold an MBA from City University of Seattle. How have your business skills impacted your volunteer work? A. In business school I fell in love with the concept of marketing. I was intrigued on how organizations, companies and people can use words, aesthetic, video and photo to tell stories that invoke interest. I’m pretty good at marketing myself, and I continue to use the skill to promote peace and awareness.
Q. Can you share with our readers the impact your mom had on you becoming a community leader? A. My mom was my foundation growing up. A prime example of love at work. As a former school counselor, now retired, she helped her many students find clarity and vision for their lives. She did well to teach my brother and I about African American history, sharing examples of the many successes of individuals who looked like me. This home education subconsciously guided me in my belief of self-love and courage.
Q. Your latest project is "Every-Kid-Eats." How can our readers support your mission? A. Readers can Support the “Every-Kid-Eats” Campaign in two ways: Readers can buy “The Peace Bus with Kwabi shirt” by ETC. A percentage of the proceeds made from each T-shirt purchase will go toward helping feed hungry kids in our city. Shirts can be purchased on the ETC website and at their store (116 South 9th Street, Tacoma, WA 98402). They can also donate directly to the campaign through the official GoFundMe page for “Every-Kid-Eats.” Link to the GoFundMe can be found at ThePeaceBus.org and @thepeacebus Instagram page, link in the bio!