SJVC Students Walk for ‘Peace One Day’
On September 20th almost 300 of San Joaquin Valley College’s (SJVC) students, staff and faculty participated in creating awareness about violence among nations and in our homes through Peace One Day events on their Temecula campus. “By bringing Peace One Day to our students, we are striving to achieve peace in our local community, which brings us one step closer to achieving real peace in the world,” says SJVC instructor Sandra Schiffner.
In 1999, filmmaker Jeremy Gilley launched Peace One Day to begin to establish an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. In 2001, just days before the September 11 terrorist attack, the United Nations adopted September 21st as the International Day of Peace. It is a day not only about creating peace between nations, but about supporting non-violence in our homes, schools and communities. His documentary, “The Day after Peace”, has provided much of the inspiration for San Joaquin Valley College’s commitment to celebrating this day and this idea.
Peace Day provides an opportunity for groups and individuals – especially young people – to become involved in the peace process. Across the nation, across the world, people gathered to show support for non-violence at home and abroad.
Students at SJVC’s Temecula campus filled out “peace pledge cards” which stated how they might promote peace in their own lives and in the world around them. Instructors devoted class time to discussions about wars, the proliferation of violence, the difficulties of maintaining peace, and the importance of freedom on both a local and international scale. The day’s activities concluded with an ice cream party, raffle, campus photo and a ‘flash mob’ of students and faculty set to “Party Rock Anthem”.
To commemorate Peace Day, several other San Joaquin Valley College campuses held fundraising events and organized walks in support of agencies that promote peace or that provide resources to victims of domestic violence. Most SJVC campuses orchestrated their events to allow all students enrolled in day and evening Medical, Business and Technical class sessions to participate.
Jeremy Gilley’s next objective is to have introduced 3 billion people to Peace Day by the end of this year. Peace One Day wants to engage all sectors of society to observe September 21 through the practical manifestation of non-violence and ceasefire in accordance with UN GA Resolution 55/282, and encourage action on Peace Day that creates a united and sustainable world. Websites: Peace One Day at peaceoneday.org. International Day of Peace at internationaldayofpeace.org.
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