Today I’ll be talking about an event, a worldwide celebration that happens on Sept. 21 each year. Yes, a few months off yet, but if you are hosting an event then, you have to start planning, oh, about now!
This Quick Point was recorded on June 9, 2016.
Did you know that Oklahoma City has been celebrating the International Day of Peace, in one form or another, for 10 years!?
Wait! You didn’t know there was an International Day of Peace? Oh, yes, grasshopper, and we here in central Oklahoma are right on it.
Sept 21 is the day set aside for this annual recognition of the critical need for peacemaking in our world, and peaceful relations on every level. You can visit internationaldayofpeace.org to learn about its history, and to see the many, many events that take place all around the world. It’s a wonderful thing that we are part of this people empowering movement.
The first event in OKC was in 2007, and it was called Pinwheels for Peace. We gathered at the Gold Dome, then serving as something of a community center, and enjoyed the crafts, music and dancing of hundreds of local schoolchildren. It was quite magical, I was especially impressed with two huge Dove of Peace puppets and just hundreds of handmade multicolored pinwheels, of various sizes, decorating the grounds of the Gold Dome, brought by the schoolchildren who created them. What a photo op that was!
In later years, the event found new organizers and venues, but retained its focus on bringing attention to personal and global desire for tolerance, mutual understanding and respect, and justice in government and civic institutions. Last year there was a very timely panel discussion about police relations in OKC’s minority communities, with Police Chief Bill Citty and local pastor of the East 6th Street Christian Church, Rev. Jesse Jackson.
In OKC this year, the event marking the day will take place on Saturday Sept. 24 and organizing is already underway!
Right now, the plan is to have a youth-focused parade around Myriad Gardens, in conjunction with the Turkish festival on that same day, and to culminate in a presentation during the program on the Turkish Festival’s stage to highlight the young people participating in the Day of Peace activities. The procession will feature international groups, youth groups, faith groups, along with advocates for peace and sustainable development. This plan, with a youthful and festival atmosphere, really brings the event back to its roots, and I would not be surprised to see a few Pinwheels for Peace in that parade. Maybe even a dove puppet!
If you or your school, faith group or community organization would like to be involved in the organizing, or just find out how to join in the fun on Sept. 24, contact Bill Bryant at 405 (760-5322) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org In the past, teachers and youth leaders have helped their children create things to bring to the event, or write about their dreams of peace, to practice a dance to share, or any of an endless number of things that can teach them that peace is not only possible, but that they can be part of making it happen. What better lesson could there possibly be?
I’ve posted some pictures of previous International Day of Peace events in OKC on the post for this podcast, which you can find at pointingleftmedia.com. You can also find there an audio recording of last year’s panel discussion I mentioned earlier. It’s still quite relevant. Well, peace and goodwill never go out of style, do they?
The next planning meeting for the Oklahoma City Day of Peace festivities will be on Wednesday, June 22nd at 6pm at the Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 N. Classen Blvd in OKC.
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Produced under a Creative Commons license. 2016 Oklahoma Activist.