Peter Yarrow

Legendary musician and activist and Founding Director of Operation Respect: "Don't Laugh At Me, a key initiative in our nation's response to physical and emotional violence among children.

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Peter Yarrow Speaker Biography

A successful artist and activist, Peter Yarrow‘s talent is legendary. His songwriting has produced some of the most moving songs that Peter, Paul & Mary have recorded, including “Puff, The Magic Dragon,” “Day Is Done,” and “Light One Candle.” This musical creativity has always gone hand in hand with Yarrow‘s commitment to social change.

Many issues have moved Peter Yarrow to dedicate his time and talent over the years: hunger, homelessness, nuclear threat, education, equal rights and more. Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Yarrow is most proud of the Allard K. Lowenstein Award, which he received in 1982 for advancing the causes of human rights, peace and freedom. Throughout everything, his music has been an advocacy, and he has proven that when we come together for a common goal, positive change can take place.

Yarrow‘s most recent project utilizes music and video along with character education curricula to help establish safe, compassionate and nurturing environments for children in schools and summer camps across America. Launched in over 10,000 schools, Operation Respect: “Don’t Laugh At Me” was hailed by virtually the entire educational community as a key initiative in our nation’s response to physical and emotional violence among children. Peter Yarrow is the Founding Director of the program and feels that it is perhaps the most important advocacy effort of his entire career.

Throughout his life performer Peter Yarrow has embraced the notion that music—with its power to build community and bring change—can be a particularly powerful organizing tool, as well as a source of inspiration. That’s why he is looking forward to performing in Chicago in front of a large Peace Corps audience, a group he calls “the most skillful, humane leaders in America.”


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