13 Ways to Advance Peace: Reflections on Peace Week 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Two men shaking hands with art in background Peace advancement has many intersecting layers, perspectives and possibilities. For the past two years, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (CPA) has invited Waterloo Region to celebrate peace in ways they find most meaningful. Peace Week runs during the International Day of Peace, celebrated each year on September 21. During Peace Week 2018, 13 events explored peace from diverse perspectives.

For some, peace was something to reflect and meditate upon. St. Jerome’s University created space for collective meditation to pray for peace.

Others were focused on dialogue to unpack what peace means to individuals and communities. The Peace and Conflict Studies Department at Conrad Grebel University College facilitated a conversation circle focused on what peace means and how communities can work together to achieve peace. Waterloo Region Nonviolence invited the community to discuss obstacles that exist which block peace advancement.

Peace was explored through musical celebration. Bobcat Bartolo & The Liberation welcomed the community to “raise the vibrations for peace” through song.

Peace was embodied. Queen Street Yoga held a class with proceeds going toward The Healing of the Seven Generations.

Some saw peace advancement as sparking challenging conversations. Theatre of the Beat premiered #ChurchToo, a collection of seven vignettes that artfully depicted systemic roots of sexual abuse in Christian contexts.

Peace was sought through ceremony. The All Nations Water Walk was a time to honour the water and connection of all peoples to creation.

Peace was engaged through exploration. Waterloo Public Library gathered partners in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math for a day of discovery for youth at STEAM4GOOD.

Celebration and learning was seen as a way to advance peace. The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre hosted their 15th annual Pow Wow. There was celebration of drumming and dancing, and stations where visitors could learn about different aspects of Indigenous cultures.

Peace was shared through storytelling. The Institute of Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies hosted a book launch for the Orie O. Miller Diary, detailing the experience of Mennonite Central Committee’s first relief mission during the First World War.

Peace was acknowledged by remembering. The Mennonite Archives of Ontario displayed Sites of Nonresistance: Ontario Mennonites and the First World War, which tells war stories of a different kind, and lays out an alternative memorial landscape—the landscape of nonresistance. Also on display was The World Remembers, presenting the names of 1,033,167 soldiers and nurses on all sides of the First World War who lost their lives. Both exhibits are still on display.

Finally, peace was built through art. The CPA hosted a reception for A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land curated by the Korea Art Forum. This exhibit communicated hope for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

The CPA is situated within a community where peace is a priority for many. In our work, we don’t strive to re-invent the wheel, we strive to catalyze collaboration between the many initiatives, organizations and individuals that are working for peace.

Thank you to all our partners involved in Peace Week 2018! Are you interested in getting involved in Peace Week 2019? Contact Amy Zavitz, CPA Coordinator, to find out more.

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