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Peace Day in Chicago turned 38 this year!
Continuing this long history, The Peace School, along with the Chicago Build the Peace Committee, celebrated the United Nations International Day of Peace with a program in the Daley Plaza. I don’t know how they manage to fit so much in a one hour program – speakers, presentation of the embassy representatives, wishing for world peace by individually calling the names of 192+ countries, dancing and entertainment, a hip hop performance by Chicago’s own Limitless Soundz, Lord AV, accompanied by Chicago youth. Here are some 5* images from Peace Day!
- How Many Ways Can You Say Peace? – The students of Mozart School decorated a quilt with the many ways of saying “peace” – ranging from the peace symbol, to doves and flowers, “paz” (peace in Spanish), and my personal favorite, which is the heart/peace symbol combined with a heart! Loved it – Mozart School rocks with peace!
- Waiting for the Flag Ceremony (2) – Children MAKE the flag ceremony such fun. Each year, several schools participate, using buses to transport the kids to Daley Plaza. In this image they are waiting for the ceremony to begin. Part of their training as flag bearers is to prevent the flag or pole from touching the ground — you can see in this image that some students have the flag poles resting on the tops of their shoes. We do this out of the respect for the people and the country.
- Safire – The Middle Eastern dance team of Safire provided a whirling, twirling dance that captivated the audience. In this image, one dancer is wearing a butterfly themed outfit to accentuate her moves.
- Sustainable Development Goals (2)– The United Nations coined the theme “Sustainable development goals: building blocks for peace”  for the International Day of Peace. The theme was immortalized in a hip-hop music video produced by Flocabulary (an organization that uses hip-hop to help students learn and master academic content; see more on Flocabulary at flocabulary.com ). It was further promoted to youth globally with a contest kicked off by the 100 day countdown to Peace Day. 
“Seventeen sustainable development goals,
To improve the life all around the globe!
Protecting human health and the environment,
Whatever bed we make, we’re going to have to lie in it!”
Local hip-hop artists Limitless Soundz and Lord AV lead a group of Chicago students in the grand finale performance.
- Ten Thousand Ripples — This art installation (artist: Indira Freitas Johnson) appeared in my neighborhood on the International Day of Peace. The underlying theme for this sculpture is spreading peace throughout Chicago’s communities. I had seen another copy of this art in another lakefront location, and loved it from afar. According to the artist’s statement, it “is an invitation to reflect on the possibility of finding peace in our lives and in our communities.” Coincidence? I think not.
Thanks for joining in this visual review of the 2016 Peace Day activities in Chicago. Hope you enjoyed these 5* selections!
 Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper. Source: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/
 The United Nations Education Outreach Section sponsored a contest for students to express their ideas on how the Sustainable Development Goals can help build peace. See the videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLhcvaNT33Bs8ZvB4j6d8w/videos?sort=dd&shelf_id=0&view=0