Peace Day Austin, together with GlobalAustin’s Welcoming Week for Austin’s resident international and immigrant communities, are hosting an 11-day, citywide celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace from Sept. 11-21. A full list of dozens of activities and participating organizations can be found on the Peace Day Austin website, www.peacedayaustin.org.
Beginning with the Austin Firefighters’ Memorial Service, Stair Climb and Bagpipes & Drums on Friday, Sept. 11, Austinites will have multiple opportunities to commemorate, participate and celebrate in community peace activities. There will be a Mayoral Proclamation on Sept. 17 and the celebration culminates with a press conference and reception at City Hall on International Peace Day, Sept. 21, with Austin’s Mayor Adler offering closing remarks. Special guests will include Consul General of Mexico, Carlos Gonzalez Gutiérrez; Consul General Adrian Farrell of Ireland, representatives of the participating Peace Day Austin organizations and a performance by Conspirare Youth Choir and the Akins High School Choir.
Other events include Poems for Peace, hosted by Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) and Austin Parks & Recreation on Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. at Dougherty Arts Center. Peace Potluck Picnic, Peace Crane Project and Therapy Sisters concert is Saturday, Sept. 19, 2- 9 p.m. at Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Rd. A Global Minute of Silence will take place at noon on Peace Day, Monday, Sept. 21.
The global theme for International Peace Day 2015, “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” inspired the partnership of Peace Day Austin and GlobalAustin as well as the many other organizations that have joined this initiative.
Latifah Taormina of SICA, which spearheaded Peace Day Austin said, “With the current, very tense climate surrounding race, immigration, sexuality and religion, ‘dignity for all’ has become our rally cry. It’s also been a hallmark of the best of Austin leadership — including our current Mayor. I think Austin can make a significant contribution to the global effort to build a lively culture of peace in our world.”
In 2009, the United States Senate passed a resolution in support of the goals and ideals observed on Peace Day and encouraged all Americans to observe Peace Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and educational activities. Peace Day Austin grew out of the work the SICA was doing with Poems for Peace— which was inspired by Jeremy Gilley and Peace One Day. Gilley was the driving force behind getting the UN to give Peace Day a set calendar date, Sept. 21. Peace Day Austin is now a collaborative grass roots initiative to explore, express, share, welcome, and celebrate what peace means to each of us as we travel from 9/11, a Day of Remembrance and Service, to 9/21, International Peace Day. This year, Austinites will be joining millions of people around the world participating in Peace Day activities.