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International Day of Peace – Overcoming Racism Inside-Out

Featured Image: Organizers of the International Day of Peace event placed doves around the Albert A. Sheen Campus to direct guests to the location of the event.

Alicia Taylor |

ST. CROIX – Students on the Albert A. Sheen campus gathered in EVC 401 Friday, September 16, to observe International Day of Peace. This is the fourth year English 100 students and faculty have organized and held this event on St. Croix.

“Because of Beyoncé and the national news, we decided the focus of overcoming racism was a topic that needed to be addressed and discussed,” said Mary Wilder, Assistant Professor of English. “Instead of just reading about it, we want students to be involved and talk about the issues we presented today.”

To assist in getting the focus across to the University students, Judge George Cannon came to speak about peace within and without.

Cannon expressed that racism isn’t unique to a particular group and that true peace is found within the chaos. “If inside the chaos you can still do a constructive job in efforts to change the world, then you have achieved inner peace,” said Cannon.  

English 100 students read aloud their own peace poems in regards to racism and how the world can obtain peace. Students also read aloud quotes and analyzed them.

Guest speaker, Xawntonia Franklin, an Alternative to Violence trainer, then shared her own advice of achieving peace. “Imagine that every single person is like one of those letters you receive that is mishandled, crumpled or soaking wet – the envelope is the exterior of a person, but the content inside is a love letter from God.”

Franklin Continued, “Consider that regardless of their exterior, they are related to God. If we can imagine that, then we have a deeper connection and understanding of love and peace.”

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Dream Team, former English 100 students, pose with Miss Dominica Caribbean United States at the International Day of Peace held on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. (Photo courtesy of Leanne Morancie)

The Dream Team, former English 100 students, presented “Racism: Where Do We Go from Here?” As well as the transformative quest in studying Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video.

“Beyoncé’s formation video addressed a lot of the controversial issues that we as a society are facing today. We need to discuss these issues and assist in putting an end to persecution and violence, “said Mere Koert, a student apart of the Dream Team.

“In order for the violence and persecution to end, we need to stop and take a minute to spread the love,” said Koert. “We are all one race as discussed in the ‘I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White’ video. We are all brothers and sisters, and no one will receive peace until everybody receives peace.”

Thanks to the current and former English 100 students as well as Wilder, students of various nationalities and ethnicities were able to gather together to observe peace.

As Wilder and the other students voiced, the key thing to take away was to just do it – spread the love.

 

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