GRCC Peace Day event features speech by mayor, music



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

Sept. 14, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mayor George Heartwell will be the featured speaker at Grand Rapids Community College's commemoration of International Peace Day on Sept. 21.

The event, from 11:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza, will include performances by a GRCC choir and world drummers Sam Gould and Greg Secor. Heartwell will speak at 11:40 a.m. Chef Gilles Renusson, a professor from GRCC's Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, will organize students in his annual sugar pull at 12:05 p.m.

English professor Shavval Fleming, who organized the commemoration, said she hopes it inspires people to look for ways to continue promoting peace.

"Our GRCC campus community will be joining the international community -- our international family -- this day to celebrate and channel positive energy, good will and love," she said.

"In a world often fraught with hate, war and general unrest, GRCC hopes to remind members of our campus community of the latent potential each person possesses to positively impact present conditions and to inspire all to help others navigate this sometimes treacherous landscape in order to reach a place where there is -- finally -- the recognition of the oneness of humanity and the need for peace for all."

Whether they can spend an afternoon or a few minutes, students will have plenty of opportunities to participate. In addition to the sugar pull effort and the musical performances, students will get to chalk the plaza, sharing their own messages of peace. They also can enjoy custom cookies created by SICE students, and get a free button.

Students will be encouraged to mark the event on social media by taking selfies in front of a Peace Day banner and posting them to social media with tags of #GRCC, #GRCC_PeaceDay, and #PeaceDay.

If it rains, Peace Day activities will take place on the third floor of the Student Community Center, 122 Lyon St. NE.

The U.N. General Assembly established the International Day of Peace -- often referred to as World Peace Day -- in 1981. It is held on Sept. 21 to strengthen the ideals of peace among all nations. To learn more, click here.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.