Peace Day: We Are Each Messengers of Peace


On September 21st of each year, the whole of the world grows a little brighter in a moment of reflection for a very important reason: Peace. This year, the United Nations Day of Peace will center on Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks For Peace.  It is at this time in history that we must all unite to address suffering, inequity and environmental destruction – issues that without question we can improve or solve while working together. It is through these Sustainable Development Goals (see how JGI is addressing these goals here) that we set out on a journey toward peace.

“We are horribly aware of the problems facing humanity today: poverty, hunger, social inequality and shocking environmental degradation. How can we help create a better, fairer world in which we all live environmentally sustainable lives and thus ensure that future generations have the benefit of the natural world?”

– Jane Goodall (excerpt from full Day of Peace statement)

Part of Jane and the Jane Goodall Institute’s steps toward peace for our world is using the enormous power and fantastic minds of youth. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots started as a moment between students in Tanzania and Jane, taking time to think about that which is dark in this world, and how it can be changed. Born from that is something that exists in 100 countries with 100,000 projects involving the most driven and miraculous youth one could imagine. These young people learn about our planet and the interconnections of all things, working on projects to help people, animals and their environment both locally and globally. Roots & Shoots youth choose to make a difference everyday.

We are all messengers of peace, and can make a difference everyday too.

To get some perspective on how Roots & Shoots youth feel about peace, check out their responses below:

Copy of Danielle

Copy of Mariah

Copy of Mariam

Copy of Ray

Copy of Vicky

Copy of Yifan

Copy of Barend

“The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity. Member States have responded with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development… It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms. An agenda for the planet, our common home. An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership.”— UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Peace can be a difficult concept to unpack completely, and an even more difficult idea to find in our daily lives and our world. It is however, an essential element to our well being – an instrumental tool for a balance between all living things moving forward in harmony. As our founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, is a UN Messenger of Peace and is personally bound to the mission of bringing peace to our world, she knows that despite the darkness, we must work toward this dream.

To observe the United Nations International Day of Peace with JGI and Jane, check in 9/16 at 9am EST on Dr. Jane Goodall’s Facebook. Dr. Jane Goodall will be in attendance along with the JGI team, Roots & Shoots as well as other UN Messengers of Peace, several Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and distinguished guests. Please also check our Jane Goodall Institute Facebook page, twitter and instagram @janegoodallinst #peaceday for more and follow our Roots & Shoots Peace Day Facebook page for ways to get involved!

Learn about Peace Day activities like sharing Art4Peace, hosting a human library, building an official Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Peace Dove Puppet and more here!

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Community Engagement Specialist at the Jane Goodall Institute, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. She has a varied background including conservation, art, communications, digital media, design, photography, and documentary filmmaking. Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the need for storytelling. Through growing understanding and empathy, she believes it is possible to ignite positive change, every day.