On Friday, September 16, 2022, 9 students from DVFriends’ Upper School Model United Nations joined 700 young people at the UN Headquarters in New York for the annual youth commemoration of the International Day of Peace.
The United Nations sets aside every September 21st as the International Day of Peace – a day to strengthen the ideals of peace by observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. This year, the theme was “End Racism, Build Peace.” The virtues of ending racism and bringing peace to our world and in our communities are particularly important to our identity as a Quaker School and reflect our school’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
During their visit, the students heard from the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, some celebrity speakers, as well as other students who presented their initiatives to end racism. After the presentations, our students concluded their day with a visit to Quaker House, the home base of QUNO (Quaker United Nations Office) in New York, where they shared their takeaways from the day with QUNO staff and brainstormed ideas for things DVFriends could do in our school and our wider community to fight racism and work for peace.
Senior Ella Vilardo reflected on the experience saying, “Being selected to visit the UN for Peace Day was an amazing experience I'm proud to be a part of.”
Upper School Director Jim Miller added, “For students who have shown leadership here at DVFriends, this was a great opportunity to see what actionable leadership looks like from a national and global perspective. Not only did they hear about initiatives that promote peace and fight racism during their morning at the UN, but they immediately started planning their own initiatives back at the Quaker House. I am so proud of the way they took the best parts of the morning's messaging and started organizing themselves to take action in our own community.”