Peace week brings community together

Have you ever wondered why humans go to war, why we only care about our own survival and disregard the state of others or why humans just cannot be peaceful?

These are some questions that the Peace & Conflict Studies Department and the Conflict Resolution Resource Center hoped to have you think about during Peace Week.

“Peace Week is an opportunity to celebrate and align ourselves with the International Day of Peace,” said CCE junior and organizer of Peace Week Melissa Fourrier. “It is a chance to promote PECS and the CRRC while embracing what peace means.”

From Sept. 21 to Sept. 25, organizers and participants rushed in to attend over 10 sponsored events held.

These events varied from the second annual Schmoozefest to a panel discussion on the Iran nuclear deal to a visit from Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan discussing her mission to create a peaceful Greensboro.

Every event focused on the concept of peace and expanded beyond the mainstream definition of no violence and a quiet environment.

At Schmoozefest, over 100 people showed up, hoping to meet people that shared their interests and build friendships they would not have made otherwise in the Carnegie Room.

Dozens attended the Iran nuclear discussion to hear six panelists elaborate on the recent deal and its implications, successes and shortcomings. Though the deal was successful in containing the Iranian nuclear program, many attendees questioned the panelists’ extensively in Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Auditorium after they were done speaking.

Many listened to Vaughan’s vision of Greensboro’s future. Putting a stronger focus on diversity, developing police accountability and preserving the environment were only a few of the topics Vaughan elaborated on in King 222.

Many more events occurred throughout the week as well.

However, due to scheduling problems “3 Ways to Win Every Argument” had to be postponed. Instead, it will be held on Oct. 10 from 11:00-12:30 p.m. in King 227.

By the end of the week, Peace Week accomplished its goal of having the Guilford community question its preconceived notions about the concept of peace.

Debates about the greatest threat to world peace even arose.

“The globalization that has occurred worldwide has been the greatest threat to world peace,” said Early College senior Pratham Chhabria. “Our mixing of cultures and ideals lead to the tensions that corrupt today’s peace.”

Though many opinions conflicted, the discussions were positive.

“Guilford has the chance to become a pioneer and shine a light on the International Day of Peace with their concept of Peace Week,” said Fourrier. “This could be a signature program of the College.”

The week’s organizers have high aspirations of spreading Peace Week to other college campuses.

The city of Greensboro has even expressed interest in recognizing the International Day of Peace and a citywide Peace Week concept.

“(The Greensboro City Council creates) a lot of resolutions for good reason,” said Vaughan. “And, I think (the International Day of Peace) is one with good reason.”

In the past, Greensboro has been a trailblazer within North Carolina in cultural, environmental and economic respects. The city now has a chance to make an impact on a national level.

“I think Peace Week was an effective concept,” said Early College junior Shiv Oza. “The potential is sky-high for Peace Week.”

Peace Week’s positive reception has changed the opinions of many Guilford students.

“This world needs more doers and less talkers,” said Oza.

In the end, peace was the focal point of the event.

“Peace is more than just the absence of violence,” said Fourrier. “It starts with individuals helping out others.”

Opinions aside, Peace Week hopes that you embrace and strive for peace, however you define it.