Every year, Peace Day Philly—the local initiative for the United Nations International Day of Peace—provides diverse programs focused on topics related to personal, local and global peace and justice.
And Philadelphians still have time to join the effort.
In its 11th year, Peace Day Philly invites individuals, organizations and communities to participate in Peace Day by engaging in meaningful peace and justice-related activities in their home, school or community on or around Sept. 21, the release states. This Tuesday is officially the International Day of Peace.
“The City of Philadelphia is proud to support Peace Day Philly, which fosters a message of peace and unity that’s needed now more than ever,” said Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “I encourage all Philadelphians to learn more about this international day and how they can get involved to promote and sustain peace in our communities.”
The events began last week with a Civil Conversations Workshop where participants were able to hone their skills for respectful listening and authentic sharing to practice ways to respond and work through difficult moments in conversation. Other events spanned from the viewing of a short film titled “Hello Sunshine – A story of Hope, Healing and Survival”; a panel in collaboration with Arcadia University representing global think tanks, academics and practitioners with combined experience in public health, peace and conflict resolution and global peace trends; a program where participants had the opportunity to try mindfulness and to hear information about safety in the workplace, immigrants’ rights, and issues related to women of color; and more. The latter was also a collaboration with iBelong and the Department of Behavioral Health.
The whole motivation behind these series of events leading up to Peace Day is to create change not just on the local level, but also both on a personal and global level as well. This was achieved through a course sharing the 3-step process to create a more peaceful and loving society; another event covering conflict resolutions; a lovingkindness mediation; a morning park cleanup; a self-positive reinforcement event titled the Mantra-thon; a speaker series titled Nuclear Disarmament and the Nuclear threat in the Asian Subcontinent; a free one-day orientation as an opportunity for anyone who has basic experience with Restorative Justice to brush up their facilitation skills and join CORA Good Shepherd Mediation’s team of volunteers; and finally the Peace in the Streets event that shows how citizens, interfaith coalitions, and trauma-informed policing can build more peace on Philly’s streets.
There is still plenty of time for Philadelphians to join in the movement.
According to the release, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the International Day of Peace in Philadelphia, interested participants can join the annual Peace Day gathering with live music leading up to the global minute at noon. Rev. David Brown, peace activist and professor at Temple University, and Erica Atwood from the City of Philadelphia, will share their perspectives about creating a more peaceful Philadelphia while there, and this free event will take place in Rittenhouse Square on 18th and Walnut streets. Masks are encouraged.
Then, from 3 to 6 p.m. on the 21st, another free and open to the public event will be taking place at Concert Garden, at 2056 Ellsworth St. Philadelphians can join the arts and education organization BuildaBridge International, and celebrate Peace Day through offerings of live performances and experiential arts activities.
Lastly, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. this Tuesday, there will be a film and workshop titled ‘Love is the Answer.’ According to the release, as minority communities face the daily prospect of racial profiling, and police officers face relentless scrutiny by an anxious public, tensions mount as lines are being drawn in the sand. These tensions can only be eased by finding common ground with each other to help people and communities heal. This particular event is offered by the Peace Center and registration is available online.
This year, program organizers also worked in cooperation with both the School District of Philadelphia and the city’s police department to engage students grades 1-12 in Peace Day using their new Peace Day Tool Kit.
To find out more about Peace Day Philly 2021 and all of the events being offered, visit peacedayphilly.org