LV unveils peace pole

A peace pole dedication ceremony on the University Mall Wednesday brought together students and faculty to pray and sing in the name of world peace. Steve Kinzie and Jane Dibbell sang “Wash My Eyes,” which was one of the many songs performed during the ceremony. The peace pole project was launched in Japan as part of an an effort to emphasize harmony above conflict. The languages inscribed on ULV’s pole represented some of the languages spoken on campus including English, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. / photo by Nancy Dyleuth
A peace pole dedication ceremony on the University Mall Wednesday brought together students and faculty to pray and sing in the name of world peace. Steve Kinzie and Jane Dibbell sang “Wash My Eyes,” which was one of the many songs performed during the ceremony. The peace pole project was launched in Japan as part of an an effort to emphasize harmony above conflict. The languages inscribed on ULV’s pole represented some of the languages spoken on campus including English, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. / photo by Nancy Dyleuth

A peace pole was planted in the University Mall Wednesday to mark the commencement of a three-day Engendering Diversity and Community Conference.

Steve Kinzie, peace studies instructor, and Debbie Roberts, campus minister and director of the peace studies program, led the ceremony.

Students and faculty attended the event, and international students read peace prayers in their various languages.

Liz Canales, a behavioral science major, led the world peace prayer.

“I’m a peace studies minor and I love being involved in activities that promote peace and awareness on campus,” Canales said. “I think the peace pole shows unity and diversity on campus because of the different languages on it.”

The pole itself displays the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, Chumash Indian, Japanese, Swahili, Arabic and English.

Everyone who attended the event recited the World Peace Prayer:

“Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.”

There are more than 1,000 peace poles across the world. The original pole in La Verne was first dedicated in 1999, but it was stolen three years ago.

“We have been waiting for the perfect time to dedicate the new peace pole,” Roberts said. “And today kicks off the Engendering Diversity and Community event that is also connected with peace, justice and women’s issues.”

Kinzie explained the significance of having the peace pole at ULV.

“It will be a visual symbol of a commitment to peace, which is part of the mission here,” he said. “When students walk past they will be reminded.”

Rhian Morgan can be reached at rhian.morgan@ blueyonder.co.uk.

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