Friday: Observe Peace Day Philly

On September 21, Peace Day Philly will continue representing Philadelphia in the worldwide observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The theme for this year’s global day of ceasefire and nonviolence is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.” Peace Day Philly 2012 Partners are the Office of International Programs, Drexel University and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia.

Across the Philadelphia region, over 60 diverse organizations, twenty-one police districts (as well as P.A.L., victim services and other units), dozens of free libraries, numerous schools and universities will be participating in Peace Day Philly through a wide variety of peace and nonviolence related activities. In addition, those in the legal profession across the region will observe “legal ceasefire day.” The Peace Day Philly website, www.peacedayphilly.org, includes many ideas and resources for observing Peace Day.

“Peace Day is a day to join together in our common humanity, with each other and with the world community,” said PDP Coordinator Lisa Parker. “The power of Peace Day to make a difference can – and should – go far beyond 24 hours. The more individuals, groups and communities become involved in meaningful ways, the more significant and lasting the impact across the Philly region will be.” Peace Day Philly also encourages organizations to use September 21 as a platform for communications about ongoing peace related work, and media to feature local peace and unity-building efforts on Peace Day.

Peace Day Philly’s public event for the International Day of Peace will take place in LOVE Park on Friday, September 21 at 11:30am. Scheduled for this program are public figures, including Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez. The gathering will conclude with a minute of silence at noon – a global activity in all time zones.

Highlights of Peace Day Philly 2012 programs (there are over 25) include:
– A “Peace and Public Health” Panel Discussion with area experts on violence as a public health issue, sponsored by the Office of International Programs, Drexel University (Sept. 21, 1pm)
– “Peace from the Inside Out: A Program of Meditation, Reflection and Music” sponsored by the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (Sept. 21, 7pm)
– A “Play for Peace” Soccer Tournament with teams representing West African immigrant communities, sponsored by PDP, Palm Solutions and these community leaders (Sept. 22, 10am)
– A Special exhibition by the international organization Mayors for Peace, which will feature images and stories of victims in the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Sept. 21, 2:30pm, 5pm)
– Intercultural Journeys Concert (Sept. 19, 7:30pm) and “Can You Hear God Crying?” Kimmel Center Concert (Sept. 21, 8pm), with performances by renowned trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe

Additional offerings include: a walk and vigil against gun violence, presentations on environmental issues and the health costs of war, an intercultural celebration with university clubs, films, discussions about international issues including United Nations interventions, environmental education programs for kids, mindfulness meditations, a yoga benefit, music events, an interfaith children’s festival, a restorative justice conference and a cross-state Pennsylvania youth video conference forum on educational justice.

Peace Day Philly is a volunteer initiative to increase local participation in the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21). Peace Day Philly’s goal is to be a catalyst for contemplation, dialogue and positive action related to personal, local and global levels of peace and nonviolence. Peace Day Philly also hopes to raise the visibility of global and local issues related to peace and nonviolence and promote initiatives working toward a culture of peace.

Contact: Lisa Parker, Coordinator, Phone: 215-688-6127 / email: peacedayphilly2012@gmail.com / website: wwwpeacedayphilly.org / Twitter: @peacedayphilly

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