Peace Tree Planting is a Symbol of Ending Community Violence and Sowing Seeds of World Harmony.
Chicago, June 1, 2012. A Peace Tree symbolizing ending violence in the Latino community and world harmony was planted on June 1, 2012 at Hurley Elementary School, 3849 W. 69th Pl. in Chicago. The Peace Tree Planting event was sponsored by the Latino Organization of the Southwest (LOS) and Chicago Area Project (CAP) in partnership with the World Harmony Run and Hurley Elementary School. Students from Hurley Elementary School garbed in ethnic costumes and carrying flags from many lands took part in the ceremony, which took place during Hurley Elementary School’s 4th Annual Multicultural Fair.
The Latino Organization of the Southwest and Chicago Area Project partnered with World Harmony Run for the event because that organization’s dedication to bringing peace and harmony to the world through international activities. The Peace Tree is also a symbol of non-violence. The World Harmony Run is a global relay that seeks to promote international friendship and understanding. As a symbol of harmony, runners carry a flaming torch, passing it from hand to hand travelling through over 100 nations around the globe. Another World Harmony Run project is planting peace trees throughout the world. “The World Harmony Run is dedicated to sowing the seeds of world harmony,” states member Mary Landi. “The peace trees symbolize growth and new life. World Harmony Run’s mottos is ‘Plant a Tree for World Harmony.’”
It is significant that the peace tree is being planted at during Hurley Elementary School’s 4th Annual Multicultural Fair. According to Hurley Principal Dolores Cupp, the Multicultural Fair is designed to bring understanding to the community about different countries. Every classroom picks a different country and during the fair students and parents visit the classrooms to learn about these countries.
Planting a peace tree is a natural extension of Hurley’s Multicultural Fair mission. “We are excited to be part of the global relay to promote international friendship,” states Mrs. Cupp. “We will be planting our tree, a symbol of the importance of planting seeds that grow and flourish. It is our hope that our students will grow and live in harmony with one another in their community and in their world.” Seventy students wearing international costumes and carrying flags from several countries including Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Croatia, France, Spain. China and India will participate in the Peace Tree Planting.
In addition to the Hurley students, Peace Tree Planting participants included Ald. Marty Quinn (13th Ward) and representatives from CAP, LOS, World Harmony Run and Hurley Elementary School.
Chicago Area Project and it’s affiliate organizations like Latino Organization of the Southwest have been partnering with The World Harmony Run since 2007 when the World Harmony Run participated in one of Chicago Area Project’s Olympic-style CAP Games. The Hurley Elementary School Peace Tree Planting is the second peace tree planting co-sponsored by CAP and one of its affiliate organizations during the past year. Another World Harmony Run peace tree was planted by the Wentworth Gardens Residents United For Survival on August 9, 2011.
David E. Whittaker, Executive Director of Chicago Area Project stresses the importance of the partnership between the World Harmony Run and CAP and their affiliate organizations. “CAP's partnership with the World Harmony Run creates a symbolic gesture that inspires the hope in young people that just as this peace tree is planted and grows, so can peace be planted and grow in their community,” Whittaker points out. “Also, just as this peace tree needs to be watered and nourished in order to flourish, peace in their community can be nourished by their positive thoughts and actions.”
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