logo with tag

2019 international day of peace

"Creating a New Way of Being"


Friday, September 20, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza

Gilgamesh the King is the book chosen for 2019 International Day of Peace. The story of Gilgamesh was first carved onto clay tablets in Mesopotamia. Its message of compassion, forgiveness, and friendship has echoed through the ages from its origins over 5000 years ago. The people who lived in Mesopotamia discovered many things: irrigation, the wheel, the first codes of law, the 60-minute hour, and most importantly, writing. The Sumerians wrote the story in cuneiform, the first script in the world.
Each class attending the International Day of Peace 2019 will receive a copy of the book for their classroom.
Gilgamesh Book Image

Guests include Dorothy Paige-Turner, Xavier Ramey, Lewis Lemon (David Causey), Jane Addams (Sue Crandall), Storytellers Megan Wells, and Jim May, in addition to interactive peace-making activities.

View 2019 International Day of Peace Flyer

For more information email: connect2peacerockford@gmail.com

peace dove


What Is International Day of Peace?

The International Day of Peace, established by United Nations resolution in 1981, provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of Peace on a shared date (September 21). Around the world, the International Day of Peace is used to highlight the U.N. Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001 to 2010.

The International Day of Peace (IDOP) has been celebrated annually at the Peace Plaza in Rockford since 2003, hosted by the Keeling and Puri families. At the International Day of Peace, 1,500 individuals from the Rock River Valley, including around 1,000 elementary school children mostly grades 3-5 learn to:

• Celebrate the cultural heritage of our community
• Understand and appreciate individual differences and similarities
• Learn about peace through classroom study, music, activities, and meeting community and global peacemakers
• Become aware of our responsibilities as global citizens to strive for peace in our world


Our Program for the Day

Dorothy Paige Turner – award-winning, well-known and highly respected artist and music educator will tell the story of Constance Lane, the first black teacher and principal in the Rockford Public Schools. The newest school in the Rockford district is named after her.

Xavier Ramey– a Chicago native, CEO of Justice Informed and a noted educator, community activist and award winning public speaker, Xavier, will inspire young people and encourage them to "make the possible probable".

Carl Towns - masterfully brings history to life with the story of Lewis Lemon, a freed slave and founder of Rockford.

Lewis Lemon History

Sue Crandall- masterfully portrays local legend in peace-making history, Jane Adams, who graduated from Rockford College in 1881, founded and sustained the worldfamous social settlement of Hull-House.

Megan WellsGilgamesh told by master storyteller, Megan Wells: What's an ancient myth got to do with our lives or our future? Deep in every human are stories of how people behave AND how we ought to behave instead. Old myths show us deep imagination movies that teach us how to change!

Gilgamesh Story

Jim May – Emmy award winning storyteller, teacher, author and Peace Day favorite – We are pleased to welcome Jim back to share his stories of peace and understanding with the children.

    Interactive Peace -Making Activities

    Center for Non-Violence – will bring 2 mobile labs; the tech lab has computers and music equipment and the art lab is for sketching and drawing encouraging the children to use imagination in peace-related ways.
    Rockford Arts Council - learn to write like a Sumerian.

    Yoga for Everyone – stretch your body as well as your mind with Tami Bogardt.

    Tami Bogardt - Yoga

    Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department - get to know our Keepers of the Peace.

    Rockford’s Sister Cities will share their language, stories and customs.

    Students can also:  “Take the Peace Pledge”, have their passports stamped, do rubbings of the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” from the Peace Poles and meet the peaceful pigeons!

    To register your students for this free event contact: Karen.Bieschke@aol.com. Space is limited.

    For more information, or to participate in Rockford's International Day of Peace, please contact us.


2016 International Day of Peace - September 16th


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

The 2016 Day of Peace featured challenges of new students from different cultures on their first day of school and the lessons to be learned. Guests of the "Bridging Cultures" theme included: Dorothy Paige Turner, David Causey, Suzzane Crandall, Megan Wells, and Jim May.