by Marjorie York
As we gather around the peace pole to observe International Day of Peace, it is very gratifying to know that people all around the world are celebrating a very important and meaningful day. The United Nations created the day in 1981 to strengthen the ideals of peace among nations. The main event that is being presented by the Miami Dade County Community Relations Board will take place on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 10:00am at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach.
This year’s theme is “Together for Peace, Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All” which corresponds to the Community Relations Board’s mission to intervene and reduce community tensions at times of crisis while promoting understanding, communications and respect among diverse groups. Board chairman Edward Shohat stated, “Peace Day is one of the most important events on our calendar each year. Thanks to the devotion and hard work of Marjorie York, a CRB member and constant activist for good in Miami Dade County, the success of Peace Day is assured. I want to welcome everyone to the day which memorializes the hopes for peace here and worldwide.”
The peace pole at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is an original hand-crafted monument created by the Sunflower Society’s art teachers Winsome Bolt an Denise Marlow with the word “peace” carved in eight languages. It serves as a permanent reminder for people to live in harmony with one another and is a site for peace related activities to take place.
The day promises to be stimulating for everyone as many exciting activities are being planned including a peace assembly, peace march, youth dialogue, musical performances and the presentation of county and city proclamations presented by city officials. The youth dialogue will be conducted by Priscilla Dames of Wingspan Seminars who is an expert on conflict resolution. Students from the eight feeder pattern schools in Miami Beach will create symbolic drawings of peace which will be displayed at the garden the day of the event. Youngsters from Mrs. Pinto’s SHAPE club will make paper cranes with peace sayings that will be given to everyone. Pupils from Miami Beach Senior High School, Nautiles Middle School and Feinberg-Fisher K-8 Center will be attending the event. Lunch will be provided for all participants.
We will be announcing an admirable project for the coming year as we partner with Miami Beach’s Sister City Committee. There are ten sister cities which were established to form continuing relationships and understandings between individuals and communities. The ten consul generals will be invited to our event. Hopefully, students and residents can become pen pals throughout the year.
The concept of the peace pole is my legacy to the community. Please join us for this inspiring day and remember its’ message during each day of the year.
Marjorie York is a community activist and civic leader in Miami Dade County and a member of the Community Relations Board.