Many people talk about the need for peace. The Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) it taking the initiative to celebrate the International Day of Peace in our community. The world-wide commemoration was begun by the United Nations in 1981 to strengthen the ideals of peace among nations. In Miami-Dade County community members are invited to gather at the peace pole and join in peace promoting activities at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive on Monday, September 21, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
As a community activist, I conceived the idea of a peace pole as a permanent place for peace-related activities to be held in our community. Wisome Bolt and Denise Marlow, art teachers with the Sunflower Society program, created a unique hand-crafted monument with carvings of doves and the word “peace” inscribed in eight languages.
The mission of the CRB is to intervene and reduce community tensions at times of crisis while promoting understanding, communication and respect amongst diverse groups. CRB Chairman Rev. Dr. Walter T. Richardson stated: “Each year, and more than that, it is important that we be intentional about bringing together our diverse people around the theme of peace. Our real job as community leaders and stakeholders is to make peace with others.”
This is the second year that the CRB will mark the event in Miami-Dade County and activities this year are aimed at engaging youngsters from local schools along with community leaders, activists and other area residents. Students from the eight feeder pattern schools in Miami Beach will be creating symbolic drawings of peace that will be displayed at the Botanical Garden on the day of the event. Pupils from Miami Beach Senior High School, Nautilus Middle School and Fienberg- Fisher K-8 Center will attend the festivities.
Also participating will be members of the Miami-Dade Youth Commission which was established by County Commissioner Barbara Jordan in 2011 to provide Miami- Dade’s young people with a vehicle to have a voice in county government. Each County Commissioner appoints two representatives to that Youth Commission and Travon Pierre is the current chairman.
The day promises to be stimulating and enjoyable for everyone. County and City of Miami Beach proclamations will be read by elected officials. Apeace march is going to be led by band members from Miami Beach High School and peace songs will be sung. Other activities will include a peace assembly, musical and dance performances and a youth dialogue.
Executive Director of MCCJ Roberta Shevin is helping to produce the Peace Dialogue and members of the public are invited to participate with the young people. MCCJ’s mission is to advance understanding and respect among all cultures, religions and races. MCCJ was one of the honorees in last year’s CRB International Day of Peace program.
The peace pole is my legacy to the community, and these exciting events will emphasize the concept of peace among our diverse peoples. Please join us for this important and inspiring day that help encourage all of our people to live in harmony with one another.
Marjorie York is a community activist in Miami Beach, a civic leader in Miami-Dade County and a member of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board.