City of Brotherly Love Leads for Peace Day, 9/21

By Lisa DiNardo Parker, founder of Peace Day Philly

September 21 is the International Day of Peace, or Peace Day.

Peace Day Philly, now in it’s 6th year, encourages people and organizations to get involved in Peace Day as a global day of local opportunity. Like other major cities, Peace Day Philly presents events over the course of a week – some collaborative in nature, some offered by other organizations. 30+ organizations annually get involved across the Philly region. Peace Day Philly works to present a mix of programs related to personal, local and global peace.

Philly’s new Mayor plans to be at the City Hall event on Peace Day, and will hopefully share the minute of silence at noon with the world. The Pennsylvania State Senate will again approve a resolution in support of Peace Day. The day’s events will include a screening of the film “The Same Heart” about global child poverty and a bold way to address it. This event is in keeping with this year’s UN Theme – The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace. Eradicating poverty is the #1 SDG.

We encourage organizations and people to get actively involved by doing something that is meaningful to them related to peace. Activities can involve education, the arts, social justice, nonviolence, the environment, global issues and more. The website,, provides many ideas and resources for getting involved and moving people from thinking into action.

When we first designed the site we wanted it to give people diverse ideas for observing the day. We decided on the question ‘What Can You Do?” and have been building upon that since 2011. The What Can You Do? section has been replicated by 4 North American cities and has been adopted by the global website

Peace, A Universally Shared Local Matter

Interview with Ms. Deborah Moldow, World Peace Prayer Society and Co­Chair, International Day of Peace Committee at the United Nations, August 27­­.

By Mariko Siegert 

Peace Day Philly takes place around and on the United Nations International Day of Peace (IDP), or ‘Peace Day’. How will it be celebrated this year, and what does IDP mean to us as global citizens? Why are local peace initiatives, such as PDP, are important in promoting a culture of peace globally? Ms. Deborah Moldow, World Peace Prayer Society and Co­Chair of International Day of Peace Committee at the United Nations explains.

What will happen at the UN for Peace Day?

There will be a very special observance at the UN on September 16th this year, the final International Day of Peace of Ban Ki­moon’s term as Secretary­General. He will ring the Peace Bell as usual, and then move into the student video conference – along with two women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and several UN Messengers of Peace, including Dr. Jane Goodall, Midori and Michael Douglas, who will serve as M.C. There will be a live hook­up to two UN Peacekeeping missions, in Cyprus and Liberia. Students will present their own peace projects and enjoy a rap video on the Sustainable Development Goals, which are this year’s theme as “Building Blocks for Peace.” At 12 noon, Mrs. Ban will ring a Bell of Peace made of recycled weapons of war and lead a Minute of Silence that the students can replicate on September 21st, joining many thousands across the globe.

Why do you think civil society has responded so strongly to a global day of peace?

We are becoming a global civilization, so we need global holidays that we can celebrate together as one humanity. Because the International Day of Peace was established by a UN resolution, it belongs to every nation of the world equally. In addition, a day to celebrate peace reminds us of all the components of a culture of peace that go beyond the cessation of conflict, such as activities for children, faith and/or interfaith services, and concerts, art exhibitions, sporting events, poetry readings, environmental projects and more.

What would you like to share about how initiatives like Peace Day Philly, Build the Peace, Peace Day Austin etc. are raising the visibility of and engagement in the IDP?

Local initiatives for the International Day of Peace such as Peace Day Philly, Chicago Build the Peace, Peace Day Austin and others are tremendously important for building the kind of healthy communities that lead the way to a culture of peace. Everyone can get involved in the celebration. Cities and towns that host such events can not only influence their nations to proclaim Peace Day, but also form a global network of joy and peace.

Most of us are so busy we do not have many opportunities to think about how our lives ­ what we think and do ­ is connected to what it happening across the city and across the world. Realizing this interrelatedness beyond the boundaries of time and place, I think, is very important. Globalization has been making our world smaller and smaller for decades, which means many things yet includes greater interconnectedness.  The International Day of Peace is a wonderful reminder that our lives are part of the global community.

Mariko Siegert is a student in the Ph.D in International Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

Learn  more:

Full List of Events

…and don’t forget Peace Week Delaware!

Peace Week Delaware (PWD) is gaining momentum and attracting attention across the First State. Our inaugural series of peace-themed arts events, workshops, lectures, concerts, films, and festivals will run from Sept. 18 to 25 – Sunday to Sunday – bracketing International Peace Day on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

We’re excited to report that events are in the works for Rehoboth and Lewes, in addition to the many events planned for New Castle County. All told, we anticipate more than two dozen events statewide—maybe more!

Here’s what we know now:

PWD will begin Sept. 18 with a children’s peace art exhibition at the Delaware Contemporary. It will include a potluck friendship dinner with Muslim neighbors, meditation workshops for envisioning peace, training in alternatives to violence, a talk by internationally admired peace activist John Dear, street events in Wilmington neighborhoods, a Day of Peace in Judy Johnson Park, and the third annual March for a Culture of Peace. PWD will close Sept. 25 with the youth-oriented Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.

View the current schedule. New events are being added as they are finalized. Check back often to see how the list is expanding.


Additional Notes and Resources:

The NGO that has done much to raise awareness and participation in Peace Day is Peace One Day.

History of Peace Day:


Here is the London initiative for Peace Day:


And in Canada:


Most of the cities in the International Cities of Peace Network do something for the IDP:


Here is an example of a city that adopted Philly’s broad based approach to Peace Day. Instead of just doing events, outreach in Dayton was done to encourage organizations to get involved:


Hong Konghas done amazing things the last three years:




More African countries have peace day celebrations/observances that involve governments as compared with the US.