Oklahoma City Celebrates U.N. International Peace Day at the Capitol

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Candace Liger of ACLU Oklahoma speaks at the International Peace Day rally hosted by UNA-USA Oklahoma City (Richard White photo)

The United Nations Association of Oklahoma City (UNAOKC) hosted a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Thursday in honor of U.N. International Peace Day.

An estimated crowd of 40 gathered at the at the steps of the Capitol at 6 pm for a casual rally before the special session began Monday.

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Dr. Nyla Khan speaking at the Capitol (Alejandra Salinas photo)

Richard White, Director of Communications for UNAOKC, began the laid back affair without podium or microphone and introduced the guest speakers: Dr. Nyla Khan of the University of Oklahoma and Rose State College, Maurianna Adams of Community Alliance of Oklahoma, Camille Landry of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, and Candace Liger of ACLU Oklahoma.

Khan spoke about the effect of U.S. foreign policy as it relates to international peace. “The perpetuation of a politics that emphasizes, reinforces, or creates cultural myopia and monocultural identities in societies as diverse as those of the US and South Asia would be the bane of our existence,” she declared.

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Maurianna Adams speaking at the Capitol (Kuaybe Basturk photo)

The next speaker, Adams, discussed peace as it relates to our local community. Landry touched on a wide variety of topics from environmental justice to racial justice and closed her speech with a poem.

Liger spoke about peace as self-care and asked the small gathering what personally brought them peace and related it to what brought her and her family peace. She emphasized self care in a world where peace is disrupted by systemic racism in local bureaucracies.

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Camille Landry speaking at the Capitol (Alejandra Salinas photo)

After the short speeches, the crowd moved to the south lawn to plant “pinwheels for peace,” a program that local schools and Girl Scout troops contributed to by decorating pinwheels. After the picturesque presentation was planted in the park, the group made plans to meet afterward at local patio lounge The Pump on NW 24th St.

UNAOKC will be having its next public event on October 26th at 6:30 pm at Jones Assembly. Their monthly Young Professionals Happy Hour will be hosting Jamie Caves of Sisu Youth Services, a shelter for at-risk teenagers.

More photos from the event can be found below:

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Come Together on UN International Peace Day at the Capitol

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Join us on Thursday, September 21st at 6:00 PM and unite at the State Capitol steps to observe United Nations International Peace Day.

Listen to five community leaders working to promote respect, safety, and dignity for all: Maurianna Adams, Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, Debra Echo-Hawk, Dr. Nyla Ali Khan, and Candace Liger.

5Adams is the founder and President of CommUNITY Alliance of Oklahoma, a non-profit working to facilitate ally development and intersectional coalition building. She has been featured on News 9 and has articles published in The Journal Record, The Oklahoman and various newsletters.

4Dickerson is the founder and Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma. She is a current member of the MLK coalition board, OKC PRIDE, Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Jusitce, and the Board Secretary of the Nat’l association of Black Social Workers.

1Echo-Hawk is is a Coordinator with the Pawnee Nation Elders and an activist for indigenous rights in Oklahoma. She is co-founder of the Pawnee Seed Preservation Project, an organization that works to preserve indigenous Pawnee corn.

3Khan is a visiting professor at The University of Oklahoma and the author of three acclaimed books. Her second book, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan, examines the seminal spiritual and political role of women in Kashmir and is used as a teaching text at several universities.

2.jpgLiger is the founder of the Abstract Ebon Collective, Community Organizer for American Civil Liberties Union, and an award-winning performance and spoken word artist. She was recognized for the 2017 Social Justice Activator Award from the YWCA of Oklahoma and the 2017 ACLU Angie Debo Civil Libertarian Award.

We have partnered with community organizations to decorate pinwheels for peace and will be planting them on the South Lawn. We have plenty extra left to decorate. Tell the world why peace is important to you.

After the event we will be exploring nearby Uptown Oklahoma City to relax and celebrate a year of accomplishments and look ahead for the coming challenges. We hope to see you there. RSVP and share the event with your friends on Facebook:

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