GHS students advocate for peace



GHS students in Mr. Francis’ Global Issues class take initiative to support International Peace Day, which took place on September 21st.

In 2001, the United Nations instituted a day of ceasefire, thanks to the hard work of actor and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley. Since then, the day has been used to vaccinate children in hostile areas, launch a 3-year project in Africa to raise awareness, and decrease violence in all forms around the world.

By 2025 Gilley hopes to have 5 billion people away of the day, and GHS students have stepped up to continue the effort.

Students created a slideshow that was sent out to homerooms, put post-it notes on students’ cars, announced it to the entire school, and used social media and their leadership positions to encourage people to learn about the cause.

The slideshow, which can be found here, details different resources for people to educate themselves, and different ways students can help the cause and spread awareness.

One student, senior Kayky Barbosa, decided to make peace with a rival of a different scale. Before the national anthem at his meet, Barbosa led the group in a moment of silence to recognize that even in their competition, they could find common ground to commemorate the International Day of Peace.

“International Peace Day happens every year on September 21, to positively change the way that we behave towards each other and our environment; to reduce violence and raise awareness in our communities,” Barbosa said. “This is important because we want to, as a Gloucester community, be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to violence in our community. Acknowledging International Peace Day allows our community time to take a step back, and remind us that although we live in a world of chaos, we still can find peace in ourselves and each other.”

Of course, stopping wars and terrorism is a huge part of why the day was made, but it is not limited to big-scale items. The day of peace is meant to discourage violence on all levels, whether that be domestic violence, fights between friends, or war. Because a lot of people don’t have the means to help with big-ticket items, there are other ways that people can make peace, like making up with someone you’re in a fight with. 

More information about International Peace Day, and what you can do to help can be found here.