DU Celebrates International Day of Peace
The University of Denver took time this week to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Campus Life and the Center for Multicultural Excellence hosted a variety of events around campus, including: an interfaith ceremony, an interfaith breakfast and discussion, and an action kickoff celebration.
University Chaplain Gary Brower proposed DU’s participation in the daylong international observance as a way to bring awareness and knowledge to the importance of peace following the summer’s many acts of violence. “We wanted to take the opportunity to give the community a chance to say, ‘This is not who we are at DU,’” Brower says.
“We are a great private University dedicated to the public good,” he says. “We need to harness the resources of the University and really empower students, faculty and staff to engage with one another to understand each other’s stories, coming from difference places — in the University, in the country, in the world. Then we can go out and we can actually do something for the public good.”
The interfaith service was an opportunity for the DU community to pray for peace and understanding. Different religious groups contributed songs, prayers and readings from their traditions. The interfaith breakfast, which included remarks from Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, gave community members the opportunity to share stories of peacemaking and religion. The action kickoff was an opportunity to join peace-promoting projects created by campus organizations.
“There are so many bad events going on around the world right now,” says one DU sophomore. student. “I think it is really important for everyone to bond together and understand that even though bad things happen, we do have a community and we do have a task to undermine these events and make sure that everyone feels safe and welcome.”
According to the UN General Assembly, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 as a way of “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples.”