UN World Day of Peace
International days are occasions to address global problems and to educate the public on issues of concern. The intention of the day of peace was for all hostilities and violence to cease for 24 hours. But achieving true peace entails much more than that. It involves creating societies where all people can flourish in a world where all feel treated equally. The 2022 theme for the International Day of Peace is “End racism. Build peace.” We all have a role to play and a contribution to make in this. Racism harms not just the lives of those who endure it, but also society as a whole. We all lose when our communities are characterized by discrimination, division, distrust, intolerance, and hate. These attitudes undermine peace. The work to overcome racism is everybody’s responsibility. We need to keep the ideal of a world free of discrimination, a world where compassion overcomes suspicion and exclusion, as our goal and focus.
That all may be one.
Support movements for equality and human rights. Speak out against hate speech – both offline and online. Promote anti-racism through education. Teach children to respect everyone. On this universal Day of Peace reflect on what that implies for you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls.
Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting. Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.
Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.
Secretary-General António Guterres
Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.
No human race is superior; no religious faith is iferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them
The piano keys are black and white
but they sound like a million colors in your mind.
Maria Cristina Mena
I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.