Urbana University events promote peace, remember local 9/11 victim

John and Beverly Titus started the Alicia Titus Peace Fund in 2002, and ever since have worked to promote events to benefit local community members and encourage discussions about peace. Their daughter, Alicia Titus, was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

“We were trying to find ways to change the culture we’re living in and stop the cycle of violence which led to Alicia’s death,” Beverly Titus said. “What we wanted was to provide programs and events that would help educate university students as well as community members about what a culture of peace means and what it will look like.”

The program has provided numerous events in previous years, including sponsoring a day of service in which students and community members were encouraged to volunteer and learn how to give back to their community. This year, events include a 5K walk and run, as well as a keynote address by Marianne Williamson, an author and founder of the Peace Alliance. That group is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting a culture of peace.

Since its inception, the Alicia Titus Fund has raised more than $70,000 to promote issues like social justice and community volunteerism. It has also provided scholarships for Urbana University students committed to similar ideals.

“Alicia loved traveling and learning about people and cultures,” Beverly Titus said. “Through her fund, we also try to provide programs that educate people about all religions and things that are supposed to join us together as a human race rather than divide us.”

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