The Empowerful Podcast was created to share the profound stories of movers and shakers who are positively impacting the world. Together, we believe we can amplify that change. We live by the motto of an old African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
In today's episode of the Empowerful Podcast, we are joined by the visionary behind Preemptive Love — Jeremy Courtney. Preemptive Love has a mission "to end war." It's an audacious goal, which Jeremy acknowledges, but isn't willing to back down from. Since the early 2000s, Jeremy and his family have lived near the frontlines of conflict in the Middle East, offering help to those most in need through relief and jobs and striving to create peace through "preemptive love" and empathy. Join us for a conversation about Jeremy's calling to help, his journey to the Middle East, and Preemptive Love's role in the "new normal."
September 11, 2001 is a day that Americans remember all too well. Most folks can recall exactly what they were doing on that morning, and the emotions they felt that day. For Jeremy, this day was a pivotal moment in his life. While most of the country fed their fear and anger towards the entire Middle East, Jeremy was drawn towards compassion and empathy for an entire region that was being lumped in with a small group of radical ideologies. Against the advice of friends and family, Jeremy and his newlywed wife, Jessica, packed up their lives and headed to Turkey to see how they could help steward peace in the region. As one could expect, this wasn't an easy transition; Jeremy spent the first couple years struggling to reconcile his role as a Western missionary in a very foreign culture. Eventually, Jeremy stumbled upon an opportunity to help make a connection for a young girl to receive life-saving open heart surgery. As word spread throughout the local tribal networks of the "bald American who was helping save kid's lives," Jeremy finally settled into his new role. Preemptive Love was born.
Since its inception, Preemptive Love has been able to help thousands of refugees from conflict zones across Iraq, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Isreal, and more. Their work ranges from serving the most basic needs by providing food, water, shelter, and all the way to tech workforce development and career advancement. They believe the solution to ending conflict is both reactive and proactive in nature; it's also deeply in service to their communities, acting with love and empathy across the spectrum and regardless of the situation. To learn more about Preemptive Love's work, check out their latest short film Love Anyway.
As Preemptive Love's footprint has grown, so has Jeremy's influence. A two-time author and sought-after speaker on peacemaking and activism, Jeremy continues to follow his north star and live by his values. In talking with Jeremy, it was obvious his passion and commitment to the work he is doing. Amidst all the pain and suffering he has witnessed, Jeremy has maintained his faith and optimism. There are plenty of roadblocks along the way, but he is committed to continuing on his journey to end war.
When the COVID-19 pandemic overtook the world, as a social enterprise, we recognized knew we had to step up to find a way to help. Our initial step was to offer a custom-designed product in partnership with local artist Kyler Martz to raise money for Feeding America and honor the solidarity and collective support within our community. For the second iteration of this, we wanted to take a more global approach to relief efforts. As we started working with Dana Tanamachi, our next Artist in Residence, Preemptive Love came to the forefront as an organization we deeply believed in and wanted to support. Named a top "trustworthy, vetted" COVID-19 responder in a watchdog list heralded by the New York Times and former President Obama, we knew Preemptive Love would be an absolutely incredible organization to amplify and partner alongside. Still available for purchase, $5 of every MiiR x Tanamachi product is donated directly to Preemptive Love in support of their COVID relief efforts.