International Day of Peace celebrated today in OKC

If you’re in or near OKC this afternoon (Sunday, Sept. 21), you should drop over to Myriad Gardens to see hundreds of local children display their “pinwheels for peace” as a celebration of the International Day of Peace.

I went to this event last year, which was the first time this project came to Oklahoma City, and was very impressed by the enthusiasm and talent that was evident from the students. Besides a lot of colorful and creatively designed pinwheels of every size, there were many other wonderful things to see — multi-person puppets, multi-cultural dance performances, music, art, an arcade of community organizations.

The event should be much bigger and better this year, however, with the venue changed to the Myriad Gardens and a whole year to plan and prepare, giving many more young people a chance to participate.

In all, the children are getting a great education about diversity and understanding, and a chance to show off their own heritage to their community. It was a thrilling and uplifting day, to say the least!

Here’s the press release:

Pinwheels for Peace!

C.A.S.T. (Cultural Awareness for Students & Teachers) Sponsored OKC Area-wide School and Family Event
Sunday, September 21, 2008
From 3:00 p.m. till 5:00 p.m. at the Myriad Gardens

Located at Reno & Robinson in downtown OKC. 301 W Reno, OKC, OK 73102

Free OKC area event!

On September 21st, students and their families will join together with millions of students throughout the world as they participate in the U.N.’s International Day of Peace Celebration. Thousands of pinwheels with words about peace and harmony, made by youth, will spin in the wind on school campuses and throughout the Oklahoma City area, as well as in countries around the world.

Speakers at event will include: Superintendent of OKCPS Karl Springer, Superintendent of Putnam City Schools Paul Hurst, State Senator Constance N. Johnson, Mike Korenblit (Respect Diversity Foundation), Robert H. Cox (United Nations Association of Greater OKC), Linda Esser (C.A.S.T.) and Stanley L. Evans (Assistant Dean, O.U. College of Law).

Activities at the Celebration Event include: Anadarko Native American Dancers • Columbus “Sunorame” Folkloric Dancers • Hill Irish Dancers • OKCPS Linwood A+ Choir • Putnam City North’s Step Team ¨ • St. Andrew Dung Lac Lion Dancers • St. George Greek Orthodox Festival Dancers • Maya School of Dance • artist and performer Steve McLinn.

Create your own pinwheel for peace. Supplies provided for young and old!

Display Tables will provide nonpolitical information about peace from dozens of groups and organizations promoting peace within, among groups and with our environment. Displays will provide families with information about cultivating peace within and without.

Festival Seating on the Great Lawn (NW corner) – bring your blanket, lawn chair and water.

In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word.

Today’s students are bombarded with television images, video games, and magazine articles/newspapers that give importance to conflict and war. Violence has become commonplace and accepted as part of our society and, for some students, it is a way of life. It is our hope that through the Pinwheels for Peace project, we can help the students make a public visual statement about their feelings about war / peace / tolerance / cooperation / harmony / unity and, in some way, maybe, awaken the public and let them know what the next generation is thinking.

Imagine… Whirled Peace!
Plant a garden of pinwheels for peace.
International event sponsored by the United Nations:

Find additional information at these websites: