Information provided by Lower Moreland Township School District:
Back to school at Murray Avenue Middle school has a unique and timely focus this year: some students are engaged in activities for ‘Peace Day’, an annual day of global unity.
Peace Day first began in 1999, when Jeremy Gilley founded a non-profit organization called Peace One Day to institutionalize the 21st of September as Peace Day, and to make it a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.
In 2001, the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. By 2012, approximately 280 million people in 198 countries were aware of Peace Day 2012 – 4% of the world’s population.
Studies have shown that approximately 2% of those people (5.6 million) behaved more peacefully as a result. Peace One Day expects to double those figures for 2013, creating a solid foundation for informing 3 billion people about Peace Day by 2016.
In 2013, Peace One Day has set out to encourage organizations and individuals take specific actions to reduce violence around the theme: Who Will You Make Peace With?
At Murray Avenue School, Peace Day activities include Pinwheels for Peace, an art project in which students create and dedicate pinwheels to individuals who need peace in their lives, or individuals who have inspired them toward peace in their own lives. These pinwheels will be on display to the public along Murray Avenue, from September 20th through September 23rd.
Additionally, students may participate in an international videoconference hosted by Face to Faith, an organization which works to help prevent religious prejudice, conflict and extremism. Despite its name, Face to Faith is not a religious organization: it is unaffiliated; working with all those committed to peaceful co-existence, including those of faith and none.
The videoconference gives Murray Avenue students a chance to connect with directly other school children on a global scale to identify conflict their own lives and communities, and to ask: “who do I need to make peace with? How can I do this? Who will benefit when I do?”
More information about peace day can be found at http://peaceoneday.org/.