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Alicia Nicole Titus
June 11, 1973 – Sept. 11, 2001
On Sept. 11, 2001, Alicia lost her life along with so many other Americans in the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks. She was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund was established in August 2002, by the Titus family and their church friends, all of whom have ties to Urbana University. It was created to carry out the legacy and spirit of Alicia’s life by sponsoring programs that promote and support a culture of peace at the University and within the community.
After losing their beloved daughter, John (Class of ’77) and Beverly (Class of '90) have advocated for peace education in the community and at Urbana, along with the UU Student Peace Alliance. It’s John and Bev’s mission to mend that concern and create a culture of peace.
Alicia lived her life in peace and harmony, longing for a world in which people would get along with one another. After her violent death, her parents, John and Bev Titus, began speaking out for peace and justice issues. They joined September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, whose unifying principle is to turn our grief into action for peace.
It is Alicia’s family’s, church’s, community’s and friends’ hope that she is remembered as an exuberant and vital young woman. Her life was dedicated to the pursuit of peaceful living among human beings and loving one another. According to her father, she opposed violence, hate, prejudice, killing and any unkind act against another living thing. Her true nature and human existence were the complete opposite of the evil forces that took her life.
Dear Friends of the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund,
Today would have been Alicia's 44th birthday. For her last birthday on this earth, sixteen years ago, we spent a joyous family day at our home in Michigan. As the sun was setting that evening, Alicia wanted to go for a motorcycle ride with her dad. We rode around the scenic countryside for awhile and ended up at Half Moon Lake to watch the sun set over the water. It was truly a beautiful, transcendent experience as we shared this spiritual, peaceful moment together. I cherish these memories and special moments with loved ones as we experience God's beauty and love together. One of the many lessons I have learned after Alicia's death is to make the most of each day with our loved ones, for tomorrow is promised to no one! And, to take time to experience the goodness and beauty of life; Alicia was a wonderful example of how to live life in accordance with this.
In this day and age, that can be a tall order! It seems like every day we hear in the media about violence, killings, wars and terror attacks, exacerbated by divisive rhetoric from government leaders...the result is that we become jaded in our thinking, angry, distrustful, fearful and pessimistic. So, how do we rise above this cloud of despair? How do we learn to trust that there is "Divine Providence" that ultimately will help us overcome this "evil" that abounds? And, how do we find peace in the midst of so much violence and hatred? This is our challenge as individuals, as communities, as a country and as a world, to learn to communicate better and to find common ground. This is the hope and the vision that came to us after Alicia was violently killed by terrorists on 9/11, and this is the power of love that will overcome the hatred, the fear, the distrust, the rage and contempt that fuels the fire of evil!
Through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, with your generous support, we are building a culture of peace one program at a time. Last year on September 11th, we hosted renowned author, world speaker and peace maker Marianne Williamson along with the World House Choir for a packed house at Urbana University. Bev and I shared some of our story as well. Also, during this event, through collaboration with the International Cities of Peace, the City of Urbana, Alicia's Peace Fund and Urbana University, Mayor Bill Bean announced Urbana’s designation as the 145th international "City of Peace". With this designation comes a commitment from community leaders to work towards "creating a culture of peace for its citizens". A City of Peace, as officially defined by the International Cities of Peace, is a community that endeavors to make progress against violence and foster a culture of peace through education; sustainable economic and social development; respect for all human rights; equality between women and men; democratic participation; understanding, tolerance and solidarity; communication; and the promotion of international peace and security. With this commitment Urbana is distinguishing itself as a leader in the effort toward greater understanding, compassion and peaceful living! We should all be thankful for the wise leadership in promoting a culture of peace.
The previous day we hosted the annual Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run which included kid's peace activities, music and food. This year we will host the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run/ Walk at the University at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 9th at the Student Center.
This past year, in addition to the events above, we hosted two evening workshops on Nonviolent Communication with Diane Diller, an NVC certified trainer. This approach to better communication is designed to find our common humanity with anyone, foster conversations rather than arguments, address difficult situations effectively and compassionately, find win-win solutions, and strengthen already-close relationships. What a wonderful concept!
These are only a few of our efforts since Alicia's death to "be the change we want to see in our world" and we thank you for your continuing support. Other events and activities are included in the enclosed brochure. To date, through all of our contributions, we have raised nearly $89,000, some of which has been used to establish a permanently endowed scholarship at the University for an entering female student who wants to make a positive difference in our world. After Alicia was killed it became clear to us that we must try to find a way to stop the ongoing cycle of violence. A motivating force was, we did not want others to have to experience the deep pain of losing a loved one through violence as we had! Oftentimes we may think our efforts are futile, yet, through purposeful intent we create a "ripple effect" in all we do that eventually will be felt by the whole. Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead stated, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has". If each of us committed our lives toward peaceful living, we can and will make a difference! As stated in our brochure for The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, "We believe that peace is not just the absence of conflict. It is rather a state of harmony which occurs when human beings live together with active respect for one another and as responsible stewards of our natural environment, seeing all of life as integral to the health and wellbeing of the whole of creation. Let us all join together and continue Alicia's legacy of peace."
Blessings and Peace,
John and Bev Titus, Parents of Alicia Nicole Titus, 9/11 Victim
January 30th – April 4th
Celebrating the Season for Nonviolence
The City of Urbana, recently designated the 140th International “City of Peace” and Urbana University, A Branch Campus of Franklin University are in the fourth year of promoting and sponsoring programs for the “Season for Nonviolence” through The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund. The Season for Nonviolence , is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. In 1997, to commemorate the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Season for Nonviolence was organized. The Season for Nonviolence has since become an important educational and media opportunity to bring communities together, empowering them to envision and help create a nonviolent world, one heart and one day at a time. This year we will once again kick off the season with the
January 22nd - 26th
Great Kindness Challenge.
Last year the entire Urbana City School District participated along with Graham, Mechanicsburg and West Liberty-Salem Schools which involved over 4500 students performing acts of kindness. Our Champaign County Students were part of this global event which took place in over 90 countries, involving more than15,000 schools, with more than 10 Million students performing over 500 Million acts of lindness! We encourage everyone in our community to join in the challenge and support our youth in their efforts to be kind. More information can be found on the Great Kindness Challenge website, including a downloadable family version of a list of acts of kindness.
March 19th – April 23rd
FREE Nonviolent Communication Class
Every Monday from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
As we continue celebrating the “Season for Nonviolence”, and continue our vision of creating a culture of peace, The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund will offer another FREE 6-week Nonviolent Communication class for community members, high school students and Urbana University Students. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is an approach to living that has roots in Gandhi's teachings on nonviolence. It refers not only to physical violence, but also to any other way we “attack” others or ourselves, such as through judgment, criticism, and blaming. Many of us long to hold others and ourselves with consideration and respect, but we sometimes find it hard to live these values in daily life. NVC gives us practical tools for embodying these values in any situation.
Diane Diller, an NVC trainer certified by the Global Center for Nonviolent Communication, will share how this practice helps us to communicate in a more loving and respectful way. Please join us on Mondays, March 19th – April 23rd from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. This Nonviolent Communication class, will be held in the Moore Conference Room, downstairs in the Urbana University Student Center.
To register please call Tammy Leiker at (937)772- 9246. Space is limited and the class is free, so please RSVP.
Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund Volunteers Clean up Railroad Street in Urbana
On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund sponsored a “Day of Service” to give back to the community. Over 30 volunteers came together to serve in memory of Alicia and others who lost their lives or have been impacted by the attacks of 9/11. The group spent several hours cleaning up Railroad Street in Urbana.
John Titus, Alicia’s father, sincerely thanked the city of Urbana and the Urbana University students, faculty, friends, family and community members. It was a wonderful experience.
The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund sponsors programs for the community and Urbana University that promote and support a culture of peace. Service opportunities are available throughout the year. To learn more about these initiatives or to volunteer, contact Bev Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Run for Peace
See past race results:
Titus Peace Fund Hosts Speaker
The Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, in partnership with Urbana University and the Dayton International Peace Museum, hosted Paul K. Chappell on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 at the Urbana University Student Center. Paul is a former Army Captain, Iraq War Veteran, noted author and international speaker. This event was open to the public and was an eye-opening experience from someone with a unique and refreshing perspective on waging peace in the midst of war.
Paul is a West Point graduate who serves as Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Part African-American, part Asian and part Caucasian, Paul grew up in a violent household in Alabama with a father who fought in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He has spoken at over 50 colleges and universities, several international events, numerous community groups, and has appeared on The Travis Smiley Show, C-SPAN/Book TV and PBS.