By Jack Hervela
Grand Rapids Community College will commemorate International Day of Peace Thursday, Sept. 20 through mediums of art, engagement and campus unity on the Juan Olivarez Student Plaza.
Events commence at 11:30 a.m. with a speech by GRCC President Bill Pink, followed by a moment of silence as part of the celebration.
Along with enjoying an air of serenity, students will find unifying activities built around companionship and expression; namely music, African bead making and chalk art.
GRCC culinary students will supply an array of cookies while the choir will be performing periodically as well.
Shavval Fleming, GRCC English Professor and event organizer, noted if weather does not cooperate, the celebration will be moved inside to the the Raider Grille.
In the spirit of ‘best for last,’ Fable the Poet and the Diatribe (West Michigan poets Fable, Rachel Gleason, Autopilot) will be performing spoken word at 3 p.m. to close out the celebration.
Fable, real name Marcel Price, is also the 29-year-old Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids.
He expressed motivation to show people what can be done when certain struggles are actualized and re-worked into vehicles of expression or common ground in relation to others.
“We share our stories, rooted in radical vulnerability to show the importance of finding silver lining in (the) struggle,” Fable said about the Diatribe and their work.
He said the group has worked extensively towards understanding through dialogue within the greater Grand Rapids area, a testament to Fable’s view of peace being a realization we are all different yet it’s, as Fable states, “not about taking one’s out of one circle.”
Fable said Thursday’s performance “will be loud, it will be interactive.” Along with the promise that “this is not your grandparents or parents poetry.”
The event will offer students an opportunity to connect with areas of campus and the community they may not normally engage with; while celebrating the ideals of world peace with the GRCC community.