10 Gr1 8 Peace Assembly HB 10 Gr1 8 Peace Day Assembly HB Image7On Friday, September 22, the Hillsborough campus gathered in the GCC to observe International Day of Peace by reflecting on how we, as individuals, can achieve peace in our daily lives. Observed around the world each year on September 21, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations, and the General Assembly dedicated the day to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and amongst all nations and peoples.”

Earlier in the month, PreK–12 Equity & Social Justice Coordinator Alegria Barclay led a powerful assembly at the Upper School featuring five members of the faculty sharing deeply personal and moving stories centered on making peace with themselves, their families, and their coworkers.

To introduce the assembly at Bay Meadows, Alegria shared, “In these times, the notion of peace can feel almost out of place. At our most cynical, it seems but a pipe dream — a throwaway concept trotted out by politicians and beauty pageant contestants — but peace is a possibility. It requires work and perseverance to achieve. There is no other path to it than through it. The larger peace we seek begins within each of us.”

In Hillsborough, the assembly opened with a version of jazz pianist Bill Evans’ meditative song, Peace Piece, performed by a student/faculty ensemble led by math teacher and musician-at-large, Steven Chanan. The arrangement set the tone for what became a thoughtful and self-reflective assembly.

After reading Annette LeBox’s powerful and universally accessible picture book, Peace is an Offering, the community heard from Spanish teacher Veronica Guevara who spoke about her cultural heritage and her efforts to reclaim her family’s Spanish-speaking heritage, lost for a generation to the pressures of cultural conformity. Next to share was lower school PE teacher, Zubin Mobedshahi, who shared his path to peace regarding a conflict between teachers at the start of the year.

The Hillsborough and Bay Meadows assemblies provided an opportunity for students to hear about the struggles adults have in making peace. This is the essence of learning by doing and lifelong learning — no matter your age or experiences, peace can be difficult and requires conversation, empathy, and compromise.

After hearing from teachers and having the chance to silently reflect on the concept of peace while fifth-grade student Cami Y. played some pieces by Schubert, the 1st –8th grade students shared their thoughts on how they could make peace with their siblings, parents, and friends, old and new. Several students shared that reading, making music, and creating art brings them inner peace.

As a community, we will continue to provide opportunities for dialogue and the expression of our feelings about achieving peace in our classrooms, sports teams, and clubs across all divisions.

 September 29, 2017



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