International Day of Peace recognition to feature global engagement and community partnership

During Peace Day 2018, students walk the Hesston College Global Walkway, which is lined with flag representations of the countries Hesston College students call home.

With a commitment to global engagement and gaining a greater understanding of common humanity, Hesston College is planning a week-long recognition of International Day of Peace with events from Sept. 16 to 21.

The featured event for the week is a Global Voices concert collaboration between Hesston College’s Bel Canto Singers and Hesston High School Singers at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Hesston College Bel Canto Singers are under the direction of Dr. Russell Adrian, and the Hesston High Singers are under the direction of Darren Enns.

“International Day of Peace provides an opportunity to explore and celebrate the gift of global presence on the Hesston College campus,” said John Murray, dean of global engagement. “It is an opportunity to begin to build cross cultural skills and relationships that are mutually enriching in their diversity, and to extend that gift beyond the campus to the local community.”

International Day of Peace, or Peace Day, is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. Originally established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, the day’s observance has expanded to be a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to and build a culture of peace.

Over the decades, Peace Day has developed a specific focus each year, with the 2019 theme being “Climate Action for Peace,” seeking to address the global climate emergency as a threat to security and stability.

Following the Global Voices concert, Hesston College students will present work on peace and creation care in a peace display open house in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center.

As the Hesston College community is made up of students from 26 countries, intentional global engagement and understanding is important to ensuring the campus community is cultivating its stated value of celebrating differences in backgrounds and cultures and making every effort to learn from each other.

“We are fortunate to have such a diverse learning environment at Hesston College, and we want to ensure all of our students have opportunities to learn from and appreciate the richness that our differences bring, yet also recognize the common humanity that unites us,” said Murray.

In addition to the concert, the public is welcome to attend Hesston College’s other Peace Day events and discussions:

  • Monday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m., Hesston College Chapel at Hesston Mennonite Church featuring the Hesston College Peace and Service Club.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m., Hesston College Chapel at Hesston Mennonite Church featuring the peace pole and global walkway.
  • Friday, Sept. 20, 11 a.m., Hesston College Forum on creation care at Hesston Mennonite Church.