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Identity & Community

International Day Of Peace Encourages Nonviolence In Pittsburgh

International Peace Day

  The United Nations established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to raise awareness about how violent behavior affects nations, schools and families alike, encouraging cease fires in war-torn nations and local reflection on how individual action affects others.

For the 15th year, Pittsburgh is participating with a rally, non-denominational prayer service and a festival. Sister Barbara Finch, the co-founder and co-organizer of the local observance of the International Day of Peace, said locals can take this as an opportunity to assess.

“Take 24 hours to contemplate and refrain from all forms of violence,” she said.

This collective effort to notice and shun acts of local violence is an important step, she says.

“It’s not just listening to the news and doing nothing about it, but being actively involved as a community in solving the issue,” Sister Barbara said.

The rally begins noon Monday at the City-County Building portico with Mayor Bill Peduto and other officials scheduled to attend. The service includes a candlelight vigil for Pittsburghers who died since last Sept. 21.

“Their names are read," she said. "We reverence and we remember how much of a loss it is to a community to lose so many lives in that way.”

People are encouraged to continue active steps against violence throughout the year, not just for one day. Fostering a healthy sense of community is a good place to start, she said.

“I think we have to get back to the spirit of, ‘we come together as groups of people and help to find those resolutions.’”

More event information can be found here.