The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on September 21st. Established by the United Nations in 1981, the purpose of the day is to strengthen the ideals of peace among all peoples and all countries. Peace Day celebrations are planned across the globe, from “Peace Walks,” to simultaneous meditation, to musical gatherings and more.
The theme of this year’s Peace Day is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.” This theme underscores the importance of how all segments of society – business, government, nonprofits, schools and the faith community – can work together for a more peaceful and just society. For instance, Choose Peace/Stop Violence, which aims to reduce youth violence and create safe, healthy and thriving environments for children and families, is a joint initiative of United Way of Broward County (FL), the School Board of Broward County and Children’s Services Council of Broward County.
Volunteers and staff with more than 150 Broward County schools, libraries, afterschool programs and organizations have signed on to take part in the 6th annual Choose Peace Week Celebration starting on Peace Day. More than 100 will participate in CHALK4PEACE, a children’s sidewalk chalk project that spreads messages of peace and takes place worldwide every September. But anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. Use this site to find organized events in your area and for inspiration to celebrate Peace Day in your own way.
As a graduate of the University for Peace, John J. Ramirez, Jr. celebrates peace through his work every day at United Way of Bucks County (PA). In a recent email, John underscored how Peace Day – and peacebuilding -- is tied to our work. He wrote, “I believe that United Way is an evolving agent for what has been coined ‘positive peace’ -- working for security and development, but also beyond, to strive in solidarity to promote and support the fulfillment of individuals and communities around the world.” John also said that he’s been able to use his education in peace studies by being “able to act locally and dream globally” while working at United Way.
“World peace” seems daunting. “Positive peace,” though, is something we all can achieve, every day, through small acts of kindness and by volunteering. After all, when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. And we help build peace. Live United.