Burlington Students go to UN together on Peace Day

September 11, 2012

Fifty Burlington Students of diverse cultures from Burlington High School, Winooski High School, Essex Junction High School and South Burlington High School are invited to participate in a peace-building workshop on Saturday, September 15 at the Chill Out Center. Children of the Earth, www.coeworld.org, a UN –NGO, and workshop host Vermont Peace Academy, www.vermontpeaceacedemy.org will guide youth leaders to learn inner reflection for ethical living and model active listening, non-violent communication and conflict transcendence. During the training, students will also design and plan “Sustainable Peace and Sustainable Future” projects to be carried out in their local communities.

Youth leaders of Diversity Rocks, a youth organization of Burlington, will work with their American born peer leaders from area high schools to attend the Peace Day event at the UN and work side by side to build on-going community projects with the hope to be selected to present at UN on a Peace Day in the future. 

Following the initial workshop the students will travel to the United Nations in New York City for the International Day of Peace, September 21. The International Day of Peace, also called Peace Day, provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on this shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. This year the conference’s theme is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.”

Each year United Nations holds a conference for international youth peace leaders at the UN assembly hall of UN headquarters in New York City. UN Secretary General and UN peace ambassadors make speeches to youth leaders.  During the conference, the UN Secretary General conducts a bell ceremony international youth leaders present their peace building projects, and participate in a world flag ritual. Hundreds of Vermont youth leaders have been participating in this celebration since 2003 through Vermont Peace Academy and Children of the Earth.

There is follow-up planned for these students to support on-going implementation of local projects.

This event is co-sponsored by Vermont Peace Academy, Diversity Rocks, Children of the Earth, Burlington High School, Winooski High School and Essex Junction High School.  It has received is financial support from the Bay and Paul Foundations.

For further information, please contact:

  • Dr.  Kenneth Hood, Chair of Vermont Peace Academy, at 802 578 2981 or via e-mail: Hoodkw@aol.com;
  • Mrs. Laurie Stavrand, Director of Vermont Refugee Settlement, at 802 338 4627 or via e-mail: lstavrand@uscrivt.org
  • Ms. Amy  Mellencamp, Principal of Burlington High School, at amellenc@bsdvt.org.
  • Ms.Katherine Jennifer Helm, Assistant Principal at Winooski High School, at jhelm@winooski.k12.vt.us.
  • Dr. Nina Meyerhof, Director of Children of the Earth, at nina@coeworld.org

Vermont Peace Academy
Address:  70 Farrington Parkway,
Burlington, VT 05408
Telephone:  802 578 2981 or 802 355 6306
Website:  www.vermontpeaceacademy.org

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