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Gonzaga to Observe International Day of Peace with Series of Events


SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University will observe the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 with a daylong series of events to foster discussions about human rights, peace, and steps to advance peace. A public reception on campus the night before, titled “Celebrating Spokane Human Rights Organizations,” will launch the events.

That reception, sponsored by Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force, features a brief presentation by author and peacebuilding expert David J. Smith emphasizing the importance of peace work to combat hate. The event begins at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20 in the Hemmingson Center’s Cardoner Ballroom (third floor). RSVP for the event.

Formerly with the U.S. Institute for Peace and author of “Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace,” Smith has more than 30 years of experience spanning the fields of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. He will also attend the events on Sept. 21.

Kristine Hoover, associate professor of organizational leadership at Gonzaga and director of the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, explains the impetus for the events.

“As members of the Gonzaga community, our commitment is to educate students for lives of leadership and service for the common good,” Hoover said.

Events on Sept. 21 are by invitation only and are designed for Gonzaga students, faculty and staff with the exception of the Peace Pedagogy Faculty Workshop, 3-5 p.m., which is for higher education faculty in Inland Northwest. This event, in the Hemmingson Center Auditorium, includes an opening reading by Gabriela Marquis, winner of the 10th Annual Eva Lassman Memorial Writing Contest.

Other Events Include:

  • A visit to philosophy Associate Professor Ellen Maccarone’s “Theories of Solidarity and Social Justice” class and discussion (11-11:50 a.m.).
  • A “Community Song for Peace” in which all GU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take part in a worldwide event to mark the International Day of Peace. Timothy Westerhaus, Gonzaga’s director of choirs and vocal studies, will lead a chorus of Zags lifting up their voices to promote peace. Song lyrics will be distributed before the event, which begins at noon in the Hemmingson Center Concourse. The song will be “Ukuthula.”
  • “Peace Jobs Lunch Talk,” facilitated with GU career and professional development staff and student leaders (12:30-2 p.m., in Crosby Center.
  • “Peace Curriculum Building Dinner Talk” with School of Professional Studies faculty and staff (5:30-6:30 p.m.), in Hemmingson Center, Room 211).
  • “Peace Flag Ceremony” for the Gonzaga community with the organization One Peace Many Paths Spokane as part of its “Compassion Games” (6:30-7:15 p.m., Hemmingson Center Rotunda).
  • “Peace Jobs Student Fish Bowl” for GU students RSVP and other invited students. This event features opening comments by Ava Shariffi, 2016 graduate of Spokane’s Lewis and Clark High School, known for her “We Are All Human” speech, and Skyler Oberst of the Spokane Interfaith Council (7:30-8:30 p.m., Hemmingson Center Auditorium).

About International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed worldwide every year on Sept. 21 and is dedicated to creating a culture of peace. The day was established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution with the General Assembly declaring the day be devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” Visit to learn more.

About Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies

The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies advances the academic field of hate studies and links the Gonzaga community with experts and key stakeholders worldwide through activities of inquiry, scholarship, and action-focused service. The Institute is directed by Kristine Hoover, Ed.D., associate professor of organizational leadership at Gonzaga.

Inspired by Gonzaga’s mission and heritage, the Institute works to advance the global commitment to human flourishing and the common good. Founded in 1997 (as the Institute for Action Against Hate), the Institute is a positive, enduring, and distinctive catalyst within academia toward greater knowledge of the human condition, the advancement of human dignity and human rights, and the hope of a just, inclusive public life.

For more information, contact Kristine Hoover at (509) 313-3831or at

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