By: Marjorie York
Environmental issues and sustainability are currently the most important topics of discussion around the world, so “Climate Action for Peace” was chosen as the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace. Ayuda is the proud sponsor of the event which will take place on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention
Center Drive, Miami Beach. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “Nature does not negotiate”, and he emphasized that governments should focus on a green economy.
Ayuda was founded in 1977 by Diana Susi who is president and CEO of the non-profit organization. The mission of Ayuda is to help improve the lives of children and families who are underserved and/or at-risk through education, life skills training, and programs that support
self-sufficiency. The board is chaired by DeAnne Connolly-Graham.
As a community activist, I conceived the idea of the peace pole as a permanent place for peace-
related activities to be held. Winsome Bolt and Denise Marlow, art teachers with Sunflower Society program, created a unique handcrafted monument with carvings of doves and the word “peace” in eight languages.
The day promises to be stimulating for everyone as many exciting activities are planned starting with a peace assembly. The county proclamation will be read by Commissioner Eileen Higgins and Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements will present the city proclamation. The keynote address will be given by Mayor Dan Gelber. Musical selections by Miami Beach Senior High School students will be sung throughout the morning.
I am always pleased when school youngsters participate in this noteworthy occasion. Students from all of the eight feeder pattern schools as well as from Ayuda will create symbolic drawings that will be displayed at the garden the day of the event. They will also make peace signs which will be carried during the peace march that will be led by School Board Member Dr. Martin Karp. The youth dialogue will be conducted by Priscilla Dames of Wingspan Seminars who is an expert on conflict resolution. Mrs. Pinto’s SHAPE Club will make paper cranes with peace sayings written on them which will be given to everyone. Students from Miami Beach Senior High School, Nautilus Middle School, and Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center will be attending the event which will be filmed by Mrs. Pierce’s film class. Lunch is being sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida.
The observance of International Day of Peace at the peace pole is my legacy to the community.
Please join us for this important and inspiring event and remember the message of peace every day throughout the year.
Majorie York is a longtime community activist and civic leader in Miami Beach and Miami Dade County. She is also a proud board member of Ayuda.