Local Woolman students rally today for the International Day of Peace
Today, students and staff from Woolman Semester School are rallying together in support of the International Day of Peace. The rally will take place in downtown Nevada City on the Broad St. Bridge from 4 to 6 p.m. All are invited to join them in a display of solidarity for peace and justice.
This year will mark the 30th anniversary since the United Nations declared an International Day of Peace in 1982. According to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21 is a day officially dedicated to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” Since its creation, this day of peace is celebrated globally with parades, music festivals, teach-ins, massive works of art and much more.
Despite the long history and global support for the International Day of Peace, the majority of youth have never been exposed to this day of action. Consequently Emily Zionts, the Woolman Semester School’s peace studies teacher, is excited to introduce her students to this important holiday.
Though this year will be the first time Zionts will take students to rally for peace in Nevada City, the Woolman Semester School has been the only semester program to explicitly teach peace and sustainability.
Peace Studies at Woolman encourages the students to explore the meaning of peace and the root causes of violence and gain an understanding of nonviolent techniques for living, both personally and politically.
Zionts says about her class, “One of the most important concepts in peace studies is the idea of peace as a process and not an ending point. The terms ‘positive peace’ and ‘negative peace’ are used to differentiate between two understandings of the word. Negative peace is the perspective that our culture is most familiar with, the one that you will find in the dictionary: an absence of violence. On the other hand, positive peace denotes action. It is created and nurtured through community, collaboration, a diversity of voices and justice. What is missing in the former definition is crucial.”
Friday’s peace rally will be a gesture of positive peace for the youth. It will be a chance for them to use their voices and creativity to bring peace as well as issues of justice and equity into the public’s sight. They, along with millions of people all over the world, will choose to speak up for a different world and different way of solving problems.
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