https://youtu.be/9T0GAZ3NpSw

On September 20, 2023, the Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation at LCC International University kicked off this year’s theme “Pathway " />
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LCC International University > News and Events archive > Pathways towards Peace: LCC celebrates International Peace Day 2023

Pathways towards Peace: LCC celebrates International Peace Day 2023

2023-10-12

Video from the event: https://youtu.be/9T0GAZ3NpSw

On September 20, 2023, the Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation at LCC International University kicked off this year’s theme “Pathways towards Peace” in recognition of International Peace Day 2023.The grand opening began with the Images of Peace Gallery. A photo exhibit by the LCC community, showing a beautiful mix of ideas about peace. When guests wandered around the gallery's lovely displays, they were tasked with thinking about all the different ways one can think about peace. Mehrdad Rezaie, a fourth-year LCC student, shared, "After looking at all the photos and descriptions in the gallery, what I noticed the most was how we all have different ideas about peace, even though they're similar to what most people think." Mehrdad's words show how the photos enabled various thoughts on what peace means and how it's different for everyone.

The Images of Peace Gallery wasn't just for looking at pictures; it was a chance to celebrate all the different ways we think about peace.  Public Favorite Awards were given out to Eva Dziamidchyk (first-year student), Loc Huynh (second-year student), and Monika Gansauskė (CIE Program Coordinator), whose photos (“Sea Play”, “Beyond Borders- Where You Find Common Ground” and “Seize the Peaceful Light”) touched many. Their pictures, along with others remind us that peace isn't just one thing but a mix of many experiences, each part of the big picture of living together in harmony.

September 21st was International Peace Day around the world.  Three events were held.  With the moment of silence, like previous years, the peace center took a moment to reflect, pray for, and recognize places of conflict. LCC faculty and students stood in solidarity as they wove a connected circle with yarn  between participants in Defehr lobby and recognized the need for peace in our communities and around the world. In the evening, we experienced a Village of Migration. The aim was to offer insight into various types of migration and migration stories of people globally.  As participants walked between tables they were introduced to the realities  for those on a path of migration. Impacts such as forced separation, the dangerous journey, new home struggles, stressors, opportunities, and hope. Each table, hosted by an LCC student, highlighted stories, struggles, and questions around someone’s migration story. The event finished with an interactive activity where students and LCC faculty creatively participated in drawing and showing their own migration stories.

“Pathways towards Peace” ended on the third day with a Circle of Life, combining a circle of emotions with active listening and witnessing  and a potluck dinner. Circle of Emotions led by Naomi Enns, Director of Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation, featured six students sharing their stories with examples to bring real life awareness to the stages of migration and the feelings that are often experienced . For example, a student recognized how guilt was experienced during their migration journey and how that made them feel. While one shared a sense of hope, another expressed being hopeless and fearful. Indre M, a  Lithuanian sophomore student, shared her experience of being a part of the circle. She said, “The thing that stood out to me the most during the event was the variety of stories that we have here at LCC. From planned emigration to forced emigration, all the stories that were shared, showed a unique and beautiful background that the majority of LCC students have and I was grateful to hear these stories and speak about my own emigration journey.”

The event closed with the celebration of a potluck dinner with the LCC community enabling more conversations around migration with people from all walks of life.

As violence continues with ripple effects globally, International Peace Days was a week of taking a pause from our everyday lives and continues to be a reminder to practice peace.

Authors: Meder Mukai uulu and Farida Alimi, CDCT interns.

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