Dozens of Austin area organizations are hosting special events for the public to commemorate and celebrate peace throughout the Days of Global Unity through September 21, as part of the 5th Annual Peace Day Austin. The events culminate on September 21, International Peace Day, with a citywide press conference at Austin City Hall with Austin’s Mayor Adler, Austin Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Justin Newsom and special performances by poets, performers and musicians. A full list of Peace Day Austin activities and participating organizations can be found at www.PeaceDayAustin.org.
Peace Day Austin is a local initiative made up of various organizations that encourages local participation in, and observance of, International Peace Day – a worldwide day of peace established by a United Nations resolution in 1981. In 2001, the UN urged all citizens to commemorate Peace Day through education and public awareness to help make it a reality every year. Austinites join millions of people around the world participating in activities, events, concerts, and festivals.
Kicking off Peace Day Austin 2018, Amy’s Ice Creams is offering the signature Peace Day flavor (classic Mexican Vanilla with Reese's Pieces mixed in) at all Austin-area locations through September 21. Amy’s Ice Creams Founder, Amy Simons states, “Peace is a beautiful word that implies love, cooperation and sharing. I believe in putting individual energies together to elevate the conditions of all humanity and the planet. Amy's Ice Creams' purpose is to positively impact people’s lives on a micro level and we all can take steps towards world peace."
Peace Day Austin was spearheaded in 2014 by Latifah Taormina, who served on the Austin Arts Commission and is former Executive Director of the Austin Creative Alliance. She also founded the Poems for Peace global initiative in Austin four years ago, which has been included as a Peace Day Austin event. Taormina, having moved to California, handed the reigns to the team at Motley Crew Media, who have shared the Peace Day Austin journey with Taormina since inception and want to see it continue to grow. With a new generation of peace makers in place, Motley Crew Media, along with dozens of others are creating and hosting events and activities, as well as spreading the word about Peace Day Austin (see highlighted list below).
The global theme for International Peace Day 2018, ‘The Right To Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70,’ celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inspires the continued partnership of Peace Day Austin and GlobalAustin as well as the many other organizations that unite in this initiative.
Latifah Taormina of the Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) which founded Peace Day Austin says, “With the current, very tense climate surrounding race, immigration, sexuality and religion, spreading peace and kindness couldn’t be more essential. I believe 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 to raise awareness of the need for peaceful resolution of conflicts of all kind. The Peace Day Austin website, www.PeaceDayAustin.org, lists many ways in which people can either celebrate on their own or participate in scheduled Peace Day Austin events. Highlights include:
“Pay Peace Forward” with a citywide Peace Selfie Campaign - now thru September 21, Austinites are encouraged to post their peace selfie on social media with #PeaceDayATX
Amy’s Ice Creams, special Reese’s Peace ice cream flavor available at all Austin-area locations from until September 21.
Global Austin’s Peace Through Diplomacy on Wednesday, September 19, 6:30 pm, at the Mabee Ballroom at St. Edward’s University, 3001 S Congress Ave.
United Nations Association – Austin Chapter: Pathways Through Peace on Thursday, September 20, 7:00 pm, at Ireland House, Consulate General of Ireland, 515 S. Congress Ave.
AISD’s Maplewood Elementary Human Peace Sign with entire 500+ campus of students, staff and parents on Friday, September 21, 9:00 am, Maplewood Elementary, 3808 Maplewood Ave.
Image projection to celebrate Peace Day Austin on the Topfer Theatre on Friday, September 21 from dusk to dawn, ZACH Theatre, 202 S. Lamar
Global Minute of Silence at Noon on Peace Day, Friday, September 21
Peace Day Austin Press Conference & Proclamation with Austin’s Mayor Adler and Austin Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Justin Newsom on Friday, September 21, 10:00 am, Austin City Hall, 301 West 2nd St.
Peace Day Austin includes the following organizations and initiatives; 1 Billion Acts of Peace, Amy’s Ice Creams, Asian American Resource Center, Austin Community College, Austin Parks & Recreation, Austin Sister Cities International, Baked by Amy’s, Charter for Compassion, Classical Music for the World, Compassion Games, Compassionate Austin, GlobalAustin, HI Austin, Interfaith Action of Central Texas (IACT), KMFA, Maplewood Elementary, Motley Crew Media, Peace Through Commerce, RecoveryATX, St. Edward’s University, Subud International Cultural Association (SICA), Terrazas Public Library, UMLAUF Sculpture Gardens and Museum, Unify, United Nations Association of United States, Austin Chapter, VSA Texas, YMCA Austin and ZACH Theatre.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.