Peace and Conflict International celebrates International Peace Day

Mike Suechting

The Peace and Conflict International organization celebrated International Peace Day by hosting a screening of Jeremy Gilley’s documentary “The Day after Peace” on Tuesday.

There were 65 students and community members who attended the screening, which “is a better turn out than last year,” said Peace and Conflict International President Kayla Wright.

The United Nations General Assembly started International Peace Day in 1981 in conjunction with the United Kingdom and Costa Rica.

With the help of Gilley, the three sponsors set International Peace Day for Sept. 21 and declared it as an international ceasefire day.

“There has never been a day in the history of humankind where the global community hasn’t killed each other,” Gilley said in the film.

The documentary showed the struggles and achievements of Gilley’s 10-year journey to promote peace and make International Peace Day a globally recognized day.

Gilley formed an organization called Peace One and it promotes peace day around the world.

“Over 100 million people in over 100 countries are marking the day today in many different ways,” Gilley said in the film.

Event Coordinator and Vice President Rachel Menz said the club wants to promote Gilley’s message and get more people involved with promoting peace.

Following the film, members of the organization and government professor and faculty advisor David Andersen led a discussion with the audience.

The final discussion point, “Do you think Peace One Day is possible?” saw the most audience participation.

“To be honest, before the movie I thought no, but after watching the movie I think it maybe possible,” said Mayra Ramirez, government and ethnic studies major.

After the discussion, people moved upstairs for a reception where the organization served food, drinks and listened to three poets reciting personal works related to peace and conflict.

Members of the organization stressed the importance of peace and often referred to the movie during the reception.

Peace “is our moral responsibility, just to make an attempt. There is no question whether it is achieved in our life time or not,” the Dalai Lama said in the film, “We are human beings and we have the responsibility to show the right path.”

Mike Suechting can be reached at [email protected]