DOWNLOAD COPY OF
PEACE DAY AUSTIN INITIATIVE
Former Councilmember Laura Morrison with SICA's Latifah Taormina and Austin theatre director Robert Faires on the occasion of Mayor Leffingwell declaring September 21, 2013 to be Poems for Peace Day in Austin. SICA produces Poems for Peace annually, and Robert Faires directs.
The Peace Day Austin initiative — as a coordinated, partnership effort, grew out of the work the Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) was doing with Poems for Peace— which was in tiurn inspired by the passion and dedication of Jeremy Gilley and Peace One Day Gilley, who founded Peace One Day, was the driving force behind getting the UN to give Peace Day a set calendar date, September 21. Having a fixed day for Peace Day — also the equinox — served to inspire many peace activities all over rthe world — including Austin.
In 2013, SICA was given a Mayoral Proclamation for its Poems for Peace initiaitve. That led SICA director Latifah Taormina to ask, "What if we could grow what we are doing into a larger, more inclusive, collaborative city-wide celebration?"
Last year, Latifah together wth Dr. Susan Thomason, Director of Instructional Technology at Austin Community College, launched a series of "Peace Talks" to explore how we might create this larger and more inclusive celebration of Peace Day. Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle, Lesa Walker of Compassionate Austin, LuAnne Stovall of Peace Through Pie, Dr. Shirin Khosropour of ACC's Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Nicole Shiro, Rebecca Robinson, and Amy Layton of Hook'em Marketing all became part of that new conversation. The talks prompted SICA to create a Peace Day Austin website as a home for listing what everyone was doing for Peace Day.
This year, the team expanded. Global Austin, The UN Society of the United States -Austin Chapter, Amala Foundation, and Peace Through Commerce joined us. Lesa Walker and the Charter for Compassion were activating the participating initiatives of Compassionate Austin, 1 Billion Acts of Peace and Compassion Games. A number of significant community activists also joined our efforts.
We all loved the UN's Global Theme for Peace Day 2015" "Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All." This gave us inspiration and direction. And weren't we all ourselves forging partnerships for peace! And then, Global Austin shared that they were creating a Welcoming Week for our International Residents and Visitors in this same time period. Pefect! We then combined our Peace Day activities with Global Austin's Welcoming activities to create a totally Austin, totally global event: An eleven day celebration of Peace beginning on September 11, A Day of Remembrance and Service, and finishing on September 21, International Peace Day.
Use this site as a guide and resource for what's happening throughout our Peace Day celebrations — in Austin and around the world. We hope you will also find it a useful resource for building a culture of peace in ourselves and in our community.
Our team is a true Partnership for Peace. We are indeed dedicated to a world that dignifies all life and all people. Our Peace Day Austin initiative stands on the shoulders of the mission, vision, values and commitment of the collective organizations that are partnering together to co-create this varied and exciting celebration of Peace Day.
As Jeremy Gilley, the founder of Peace One Day, says: "Institutionalizing a day of peace is just a process. The real success of Peace Day comes down to individuals getting involved and taking ownership of the day."
Taking ownership is key. Taking ownership of the belief that it is up to us human beings on earth to bring peace to our fellow human beings.
To see videos of Jeremy Gilly telling his story and to learn more about his work, visit the Global Truce/Cease Fire and Peace One Day page of this site.