Peace Day

Each year, UofL commemorates United Nations' International Day of Peace with an event. Read about some of our past events.

Peace Day, 2017 - Peace Expressions

September 21, 2017

Credits: M.C.—Logan Stearman
Parkview IGA, Springfield, KY

  • Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program, Blake Gerstner
  • ISL&RP Northern Ireland, Kylee Lowes and Maddie Witcher
  • Professor Cherie Dawson-Edwards
  • LGBT Center
  • Resilient Families Project, Savanna Cooper and Elias Chavez
  • Student Government Association, Vishnu Tirumala
  • Martin Luther King Scholars, Elizabeth Peña and Hinna Williams
  • Engage Lead Serve Board, Peggy Schnell
  • Psi Chi, Madison Smith
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bayley Amburgey
  • Anne Braden Institute, Laura Valentine, Amberli Seay, Kelly Weaver
  • Women 4 Women, Tahja Brown
  • From ROTC to Peace Studies, Professor Russell Vandenbroucke

The General Assembly of the United Nations established The International Day of Peace in 1981.This annual day, September 21, provides an opportunity for people around the world to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. From education to the arts, social justice to sports, health to the environment, neighborhood issues to service for others, millions of people around the world participate each year. The University of Louisville has commemorated what we call PeaceDay annually since 2011.

For more information U.N. International Day of Peace website.

This undergraduate certificate program is open to any student with any major in any college. Requiring only 12 credits, including an elective met by an approved course from twenty different departments, the PJCT certificate is added to a student's transcript upon graduation.

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on: analyzing conflict and its causes; transforming conflict through nonviolent methods; and practicing peacebuilding individually, locally, nationally, and internationally. The PJCT program provides life skills that employers seek: listening, cross-cultural communication, understanding conflict, and developing the ability to work through conflict.

More information on the PJCT certificate.

A new RSO on campus, SAPJ strives to bring together individuals that want to create and encourage peacebuilding in our community. Bring your peace passions, and let’s do something with them!

Interested? Please provide your contact information at our table tonight, or email Savanna Cooper at

Peace Day 2017 Talks


Peace Day, 2014

The International Day of Peace celebration at the University of Louisville focused on “Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa.”

South African poet-performer Diana Ferrus gave a spoken-word performance, “A Hard Walk to Dignity: South Africa 20 Years After Apartheid,” and then participatde in a panel discussion there with historians Tyler Fleming, UofL, and Steve Davis, University of Kentucky, and African Student Union representative Amina Ahmed.

A showing of “12 Years A Slave,” the 2013 film adaptation of a slave’s narrative memoir, was offered in Floyd Theater, Swain Student Activities Center.

Students also distributed tokens throughout the day as “random acts of kindness” in the student center and at the Thrust Theater event.

UofL’s Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation Program and the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research offered the free, public events to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. Additional sponsors are the College of Arts and Sciences’ International, Diversity and Engagement Programs office; and the departments of theater arts, history, Pan-African studies and women’s and gender studies.

Peace Day 2013

UofL commemorated United Nations' International Day of Peace in and around the Red Barn!

Cards in the Community Service Fair
This giant celebration of service brought more than 60 community organizations to campus to speak with students directly about their peacebuilding efforts and opportunities for community service. The Office of Leadership and Service organizes it. Free Lunch for those attending.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell
This documentary revealed the inspiring story of a community of Liberian women demonstrating for peace—and helping to achieve it—after years of civil war. Their leader, Leymah Gbowee, subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize. View the film’s trailer

Four Little Girls
Spike Lee documents the domestic terrorism against a Baptist Church in “Bomingham,” Alabama that occurred only three weeks after the March on Washington 50 years ago. The Department of Pan-African Studies lead a post-film panel to explore some of the enduring issues relating to justice, Civil Rights and Trayvon Martin.

Adam Dahmer, Zachary Todd, The American Dream, and special performance by the Bamboozle breakdancing crew

Peace Day 2012

Video recordings of these talks may be accessed at Peace Day 2012 Video and on the College of Arts and Sciences YouTube Channel

Dr. Vincent Harding: "The Last Years of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Future of America"

Russell Vandenbroucke: "Peace Studies: A Window to Our World"

Susan Duncan, Interim Dean, Brandeis School of Law on Restorative Justice and Adolescence C. Anneta Arno, “Injury and Violence through a Public Health Prevention Lens”

John Mueller, The Ohio State University, "the Demise of War?"

"Hands Across the Divide in Northern Ireland" (art from Ulster Project International: An Adolescent Cross-Community Project).

"Return to the Land of Dragons: Photographic Impressions of Vietnam," U.S. Army veteran Michael Moryc on his return to Vietnam 40 years after serving there." Opening of photo exhibit.