Community and organizational leaders participate in the Global Peace Tree planting ceremony. Photo by Kim Bojorquez

UVU joins other communities throughout the world that have been recognized for effort toward unity and peace with a Global Peace Tree; the planting ceremony was held outside the Losee Center on Nov. 28.

UVU is the site for the first peace tree to be planted in the United States. There have been seven other Global Peace Trees planted throughout the world. SHEROES United and Art4Peace partnered to bring the peace tree to UVU.

According to the event information page, “[t]he peace trees planted are meant to recognize a community and people in that community that have stood for love and peace.”

Diversity and inclusion are key themes to the unity and peace that were promoted at the event.

“Inclusion is one of UVU’s Core Themes,” President Holland wrote in his message on the UVU Inclusion and Diversity webpage. “We have made and will continue to make progress in providing a learning and working environment that recognizes the value of each individual that steps foot on our campus.”

Munni Irone with Art4Peace spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion as foundations for peace.

“I know just accepting diversity is the first step for peace,” Irone said.

Irone spoke about the peace tree and the Statue of Responsibility, which is also outside the Losee Center. They are among many projects she participates in to promote peace.

Gary Lee Price, the sculptor of the Statue of Responsibility, Sean Reyes, the Utah State attorney general, and Mark Wheatley, the legislator from Utah District 35, were also present and participated in the planting ceremony.