John Titus, co-founder of the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Champaign County Historical Museum, 809 East Lawn Ave.
A resident of Champaign County most of his life, Titus graduated from Graham High School and Urbana University, where he worked as Dean of Students for 11 years and served on the board of trustees for 12 years.
He, along with his wife, Bev, collaborated with university personnel and community organizers to develop programs for the university and community on issues of peace, social justice and non-violent communication through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, housed at the university until its closing earlier this year.
Since the death of their daughter Alicia, the Tituses have organized, presented and been a part of hundreds of events in their daughter’s name to bring about a more just and peaceful world.
The Tituses raised their family in Champaign County until their move to Michigan in 1997. After their retirement in 2009, they returned to Champaign County and now divide their time with their home in Michigan on Half Moon Lake.
Titus’s career began in the mental health field, working as a youth counselor before moving to the field of higher education.
While working for Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, tragedy struck. On Sept. 11, 2001, their oldest daughter, Alicia, was murdered while working on United Flight 175 by terrorists who hijacked her plane. In his book, “Losing Alicia: A Father’s Journey After 9/11,” he describes intimate details of this tragedy, their grief journey that followed and their decision to fight for peace rather than war, and justice for those involved rather than more killing.
Shortly after 9/11, after speaking publicly against “civilian casualties” resulting from war, the Tituses joined September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization of 9/11 family members. Titus served on the steering committee for this organization for several years.
His presentation at the Historical Museum will include these issues and his decision to promote peace and justice over war and destruction.
Space will be limited for this free program due to social distancing. Masks are required.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.