Held each year on Sept. 21, the United Nations has declared this as a day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.”

“The International Day of Peace is a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect on how they can express peace within themselves, their classroom, their school community, their local community and the global community,” Mount Madonna Head of School Ann Goewert said. “Actions of peace are powerful and a single act can make a significant and lasting difference.”

This year’s theme, “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals,” represents a call to action that recognizes the individual and collective responsibility to foster peace.

“Peace is needed today more than ever,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization.”

All of Mount Madonna’s preschool through grade 12 students will attend the commemoration, which will be held in the school’s upper campus Assembly Room. The event will include students reading peace poems from different spiritual traditions, and songs from the high school choir and MMS elementary students.

Mount Madonna School will also welcome Buddhist teacher and activist Tenzin Chogkyi to speak on nonviolence and actions for peace.

Tenzin is based in Santa Cruz and became interested in meditation in the early 1970s. She began practicing Tibetan Buddhism in 1991 during a year-long study in India and Nepal. She worked in administrative positions in several Buddhist centers in the 1990s, and completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period. In 2004, Tenzin took monastic ordination with the Dalai Lama and has practiced as a monastic for nearly 20 years.

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