Public invited to kick off Hawaii's inaugural Peace Day at the Capitol on Friday

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jeannie Lum, (808) 956-4244
Matsunaga Institute for Peace
Posted: Sep 17, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace (MIP), in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi, invites the public to celebrate Hawaiʻi‘s Peace Day at the Capitol this Friday (Sept. 21).

Capitol ceremonies include a forum on peace education at 3:30 p.m., followed by special Rotunda festivities at 5 p.m.

The event is presented in honor of Hawaiʻi being the first state to annually proclaim its own Peace Day, which is celebrated around the world as the United Nations International Day of Peace. Introduced by Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu on behalf of young members of the Hawaiʻi Buddhist Association, the Peace Day bill was signed into law by Gov. Linda Lingle on April 18, 2007.

The Matsunaga Institute for Peace provided testimony for four bills regarding the promotion of peace during this past legislative session. The two bills that passed were HB 345, or the Peace Day bill, and HR 173, which requests the Matsunaga Institute to convene a working group to explore the possibility of designating Hawaiʻi as the "Geneva of the Pacific". MIP will hold a forum, "What can Hawaii Bring to Peacemaking?," to explore some of the controversial issues that continue to divide our community and whether Hawaiʻi can and should aspire to be a center of peacemaking in the Pacific region.

"Peace education encompasses much more than what has traditionally been the study and eradication of conditions of war and violence," said Jeannie Lum, associate professor with MIP and a key organizer of Peace Day. "Today it embraces transforming our world from cultures of war to cultures of peace addressing conditions of human survival -- ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability, planetary stewardship, social justice consciousness-raising, and spirituality."

The public is welcome to join the discussion at the MIP Forum from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium, Chamber level. The inaugural Peace Day festivities will follow until 7:30 p.m. in the outdoor Rotunda and will include speeches by Gov. Lingle and other dignitaries, performances by Vicki Gorman, Ignace Jang, I-bei Lin, Raiatea Helm, and the Hongwanji Mission School choir, awards for the "Expressions of Peace" contest/display, and a candlelight ceremony statewide moment of prayer.