By Rebecca Irby - Executive Director, PEAC Institute
Wow! What a year this has been!! 2020 started out feeling full of hope and promise for new things and so much opportunity. As we are all still figuring out our way through this pandemic and social awakening, I wanted to recap our year and share some of our processes.
We started the year very excited for the NPT Review Conference in New York. We were all working on the World Conference Youth Assembly. As the pandemic bore down, we realized we would have to pivot and change our approach. We decided to hold the youth conference still but now online.
We held the Conference on May 2nd, a Saturday at 9 AM, and had over 300 participants from all over the world! We found we were able to engage even more people, and the conference felt more accessible. We wanted to make sure there was an interactive aspect to our conference but did not want to keep people online for hours, so we broke things up and had our breakout sessions two weeks later.
“Black History is important and needs to be taught! Black Joy needs to be celebrated! Everyday! The fight for freedom is nowhere close to over. Modern-day slavery is real.” Fannie Lou Hamer https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=342&v=XZYinmLyOxI&feature=youtu.be. We found it especially important to look inward as the Black Lives Matter protest continued to grow nationally and abroad. We Started having much-needed conversations with all the institutions we are apart of as well as run. Systemic racism is prevalent in ALL our systems, and it is up to ALL of us to help dismantle it. Those of us who are touched by racism the least are the very people who are needed to step up the most right now. We continue to hold space for difficult conversations and provide a space where solutions are discussed AND enacted.
Such an amazing day of conversation, art, and music! We honored the survivors of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by looking at the history of the bomb, where we are today, and how we are on the verge of finally banning these abhorrent weapons. We spent the 10-hour broadcast at Universe City and highlighted all the amazing work they have been doing to bring food to their community, especially during the pandemic.
We wanted to continue the conversation on decolonization and how we can contribute. We also thought it essential to discuss the US elections and our thoughts for the future. From the tile, you can tell we are very hopeful for the future, but we also understand all the hard work is about to start! We invite everyone to join us as we build our new world together.
It’s been a long, arduous climb to this point, but the win feels good! The passing of this treaty and entering into international law is the beginning. We now have to ensure that as money is divested from the nuclear industry, it is reallocated into public health and wellbeing, breaking down systemic racism, education, and green energy.
Our last conference was for International Human Rights Day. We took a look at how racism and colonialism affect human rights around the world. We revisited our conversation on hope and had a throwback lunchtime poetry hour.
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