UVU Reflection Center Commemorates International Day of Peace

Illustration by Gabriel Toscano

Continuing with a now-established tradition, UVU’s Reflection Center joined forces with the Office of Global Engagement as well as a local peace-building non-profit to promote peace during the yearly International Day of Peace. The event, which featured presentations, dialogue and personal reflection, allowed participants to hear from experts and participate in meaningful dialogue while developing a vision for a more peaceful future. 

Celebrated yearly on Sept. 21, the United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace invites the world to join in efforts to create a more sustainable, just, equitable and peaceful world. This year’s theme, ‘Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world,’ invites the international community to join efforts to address the challenges arising out of the COVID pandemic. 

Rachel Miner, founder of Bellweather International, an NGO focused on promoting and protecting human rights, kicked off the event with a conversation about the meaning of peace and the particularities of working within a framework that promotes human rights by utilizing data, community dynamics and grassroots organization to create sustainable campaigns around the world. 

During the event, the Office of Global Engagement and the newly minted Global Student Leadership council presented on the role of the university in promoting equity and peace in the local and international communities. Through the lens of the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDG’s) formulated by the UN, the council sees a need to connect the campus and students to issues of international concern. 

Council member Will Clark, a junior studying  political science, noted that every student should see campus as a “place to get involved,” adding that “students can make an impact in big places like the UN.” Fellow council member Dylan Tweed, a junior in the peace and justice program, celebrated the value of global and intercultural approaches, noting, “I’ve seen the value of this kind of education that has widened and broadened my perspective … you would be hard-pressed to find someone that wouldn’t benefit from that kind of education.”
Their remarks concluded with a presentation to drum up support for an upcoming conference. In October of 2022, UVU will host the largest conference in its history, inviting speakers from around the world to speak on a large range of issues surrounding the UN’s sustainable development goals. The “Why it Matters Conference” is currently accepting paper proposals as well as applications for local youth committee members. Applications and updated information about the conference are available online at www.uvu.edu/global/.

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