There’s still time to become part of Peace Days 2020 Winnipeg.
While many of this year’s events are being held online or virtually through Zoom in light of COVID-19, community members still have plenty of opportunities to become involved and engaged.
David G. Newman, co-chair of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg peace builder committee and chair of Rotary 5550 World Partners, said the event is an initiative "inspired since 2003 by Rotarians and friends in Winnipeg, and the vision of the Asper Foundation for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights."
According to the Peace Days 2020 Winnipeg website, Peace Days is "a space that’s been created to promote and inspire understanding, goodwill and compassion locally, nationally, and internationally, (and) it supports and motivates people who want a culture of peace and compassion. It encourages conversations and relationships that will inspire action, commitment, and the promotion of positive peace and peace literacy."
In the same spirit of previous years, Peace Days 2020 Winnipeg has brought together a number of venue participants who will do their part to raise awareness for the cause and promote positive peace at events in the city and online. These events include a peace walk on Sept. 18 — an all-day event on Zoom, when students across Manitoba will showcase peace-focused art pieces; a meditation for peace on Sept. 21 — an online event held in collaboration with Peace Days Montreal that has previously been held at St. Boniface Cathedral; and an event titled Walk Together to Support Women and Promote Peace on Sept. 27 — a Zoom event, which will include a discussion about peace and the situation in South Sudan and around the world. It will focus on the challenges facing women and children in conflict areas, including how COVID-19 has affected those living without health-care.
"This is a grassroots movement, a local to global initiative," said Newman, who lives in St. Boniface, noting that September 21 is the International Day of Peace. "This day is part of the origins of what we do. It’s an important day in our community."
Newman said the organizers of Peace Days 2020 Winnipeg have collaborated with the organizers of Montreal Peace Days and both organizations are sharing information of some of each other’s upcoming events and partnering on others.
He said another key element to Peace Days is its 12 objectives. The first three objectives, for example, are: positive peace through peace literacy education and action; system changes to integrate compassion and humanity through leadership, education and empowerment; and learning from people of the world — particularly women and children — who are oppressed and impoverished about values, the impacts of abuses of power, violence, greed and cruelty.
Newman said one of the functions of the movement is, in some respects, to take "the Kumbaya out of peace" and give things a structure and pillars to use as guides.
"It’s about providing a free flow of information, and providing pillars as part of the definition of positive peace," he said.
"It’s about teaching people how to nurture great attitudes and great potential to flourish in society."
Visit www.peacedays.ca for more information.
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family. In June 2012, Fuller crossed the Red River to write for the Lance, and has spent the best part of the last decade getting to know the people and places that make southeast Winnipeg such a diverse, eclectic and culturally enriching place to live. A patriotic Brit and supporter of Southampton Football Club, he hopes to see England win a soccer world cup in his lifetime. Twenty years after immigrating to Winnipeg, Fuller — a graduate of the University of North London and Red River College’s creative communications program — now prefers coffee and doughnuts to tea and crumpets. His journalism journey started with an internship at the Winnipeg Free Press in January 2008, which was soon followed by a nine-month stint as a general assignment reporter at the Winnipeg Sun. Despite his allergies, he’s the proud father of his girlfriend’s four cats. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111. . Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7111