City of Midland, Groups Plan Celebration of International Day of Peace

In a world filled with conflict, one city in Michigan is celebrating its status as an International City of Peace.

A group of nonprofit organizations is hosting A Midland Celebration of Peace to commemorate this year’s International Day of Peace and to educate, inform and celebrate creating peace in the community.

Judy Timmons, treasurer and historian for the Nonviolent Peaceforce Midland Chapter, one of the event’s sponsors, said this Saturday’s block party will have music, dancing, food trucks, games, crafts and face painting, as well as prizes for the most impactful peacemaking ideas.

“We’ll have several speakers talking about International Cities of Peace and what that means,” Timmons outlined. “Along with what our nonviolent Peaceforce group has been doing over the years and kicking off our Neighborhood Week, which starts on Sunday.”

The Midland City Council has passed a resolution designating Saturday as the Midland Celebration of Peace, observing groups and events promoting peace. Two other Michigan cities, Houghton and Hancock, have also received the designation.

Timmons pointed out the Nonviolent Peaceforce is an international organization dedicated to transforming the way people think about handling conflict. She noted the organization travels to “hot spots” around the world and work to settle conflicts without the use of violence.

“They can’t bring guns,” Timmons explained. “They have to come to this neutral territory, if you will. It takes a lot of effort on the team’s part, but they have been very successful in bringing a consensus and an agreement.”

Timmons added being part of an organization like the Peaceforce brings a lot of satisfaction when their work brings results.

“Any time you put a spotlight on something, and it’s a feel-good type of thing, it makes people feel better about themselves,” Timmons observed. “We all know the good feeling we get when we help someone else, so I think we are making a difference.”

Other sponsors of the event include the Midland Rotary Club and Creative 360, a nonprofit community arts and wellness organization. The event is from 2-5 p.m. Saturday at 1517 Bayliss Street in downtown Midland.