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

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“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 Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.