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#peacejam2022 Annual Peace Jamboree is Here!

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On September 21 every year, the global #defyhatenow community converges online to share perspectives on peacebuilding efforts carried out worldwide.

#defyhatenow joins the international community today September 21, 2022 to mark the UN International Day of Peace – #PeaceDay! As is the case every year since 2015 all lovers of peace initiatives and processes are encouraged to organise or participate in activities aimed at promoting peace wherever they are.  As such, at #defyhatenow we choose to #Act4Peace through an annual virtual get-together known as #peacejam. To “jam” for peace is simply by means of improvising peacebuilding actions without extensive preparation but to develop new ideas and ways of doing things spontaneously with the energy coming from the creative interaction of the participants as they share perspectives around a particular theme and propose ideas of peacebuilding and social cohesion. 

The first #defyhatenow social media #peacejam took place in Juba, South Sudan, in 2015 and each year’s activities are coined around the UN global theme. The 2022 theme for International Day of Peace is End Racism; Build Peace! The broader #defyhatenow topic we hope to understand is: Why is it difficult to talk about racism? We are joining the United Nations in standing up against acts of hate online and offline, supporting the global calls for peace, and jamming with people from all over to look at new ways to end violent conflict. Racism is also a catalyst of coarsening public discourse that normalizes hate, denies dignity, and spurs violence. No country is immune from intolerance or free of hate!

This year, we hope to explore: How racism affects the response to conflict and peace-building?

According to a quote on the UN website, “achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms.  It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and background.

Points of discussion

●      What is racism?

●      Why is it difficult to talk about racism

●      How is racism related to tribalism?

●      Systemic & structural racism in Africa

We will be sharing insights on how the world responds to conflicts in different locations based on skin color looking at experiences in Cameroon, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

●      What is racism?

Racism is the belief that a certain race of people, usually of the same colour, tend to have specific attributes that make them superior to other races and thus undermining the other races that are not of their own race.

The politics of hair and colorism.

●      How is racism related to tribalism?

The discussion here will be on how racism and tribalism are interrelated.

Racism and tribalism are structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized. Both are responsible for a lot of ills in modern society.

The effects of racism range from daily interpersonal interactions shaped by race or tribal based opportunities for good education, housing, employment, etc.

Tribalism can be attributed to aspects of underdevelopment, corruption, unfair opportunities, rigging of elections and violence etc.

From these definitions, it is important to note that both potentially carry elements of personal, collective, and/or political self-interest. They are all grounded in the desire of an individual or group to dominate, exploit, or assault others.

●      Why is it difficult to talk about racism?

●      Systemic & structural racism in Africa

#peacejam2022 is also about celebration, showcasing our artistic and cultural values. We will be entertained by artists from different parts of the world through poetry, music, spoken word and theater performance. 

One celebration, Several Locations!

In addition to the virtual annual session, onsite activities are organized before and during the international Day of Peace. Our Project Lead, Stephen Kovats, is currently participating in the UN Peace Day activities at Olua refugee settlement near Adjumani in Uganda. In South Sudan, onsite events are planned at Scenius Hub in Juba where discussions around peacebuilding will be taking place. In Cameroon, simultaneous activities are running in seven out of the 10 Regions of the country. From the Northern Regions, going down South, through the Littoral, West and Centre Regions, local actors and stakeholders from different parts of the national triangle are championing actions for the promotion of peace, in celebration of the day reserved for them!

At the end of this year’s #peacejam2022 our hope is to have people speak out against all forms of discrimination and hate be they online or offline. To have participants understand the need for a renewed social contract, based on rights and opportunities for all, to tackle poverty and exclusion, invest in education, and rebuild trust and social cohesion. Extend solidarity to everyone fleeing conflict or persecution without any discrimination based on race, religion or ethnicity. Let us all create #PeaceDay every day! This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!!!

About the International Day of Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution to provide globally shared date for all humanity to commit to a Peace building culture above all differences; the UN General Assembly has declared this day as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Calling on everyone to ensure that people of every race, ethnicity, color, gender, religion, creed and sex enjoy a sense of belonging and safety, and have an equal opportunity to contribute to the success of building an environment void of hate and violence be it online or offline. 

But as per the UN, achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms.  It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race, color, sex or tribe, adding that we all have a role to play in fostering peace. Tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute to this effort.  It is in this light that the UN coined this year’s theme: “End Racism. Build Peace!”







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