Peace celebration examines war stories, Syrian refugees’ plight

    Louisville author Mark Wilkerson will speak at UofL PeaceDay.
    Louisville author Mark Wilkerson will speak at UofL PeaceDay.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Stories about a paralyzed U.S. veteran’s antiwar protests, Syrian refugees’ quest for safety and college students’ pursuit of peace and social justice will mark the University of Louisville’s PeaceDay 2016 activities Sept. 21-22.

    The Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation Program organizes the free, public celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. Here are the 2016 activities:

    Sept. 21

    –1 p.m. discussion of “positive peace,” a concept described as the presence of peace and justice rather than the mere absence of violence, Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. Honors Student Council is co-sponsor.

    –4 p.m. “Taking Action” social justice forum for students and others, Room 205, Bingham Humanities Building.

    –6 p.m. talk by Louisville author Mark Wilkerson on “Tomas Young’s War,” Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, with reception afterward. Wilkerson’s 2016 book by that title examines the efforts of a U.S. military veteran to adjust to his Iraq War injuries and to advocate for peace. Young, who died in 2014, also inspired the documentary “Body of War” and the song “No More” by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vetter.

    Sept. 22

    –5 p.m. performance of “The Syrian Monologues,” Thrust Theater, 2314 S. Floyd St. The presentation features stories from Syrians seeking safety in a Jordan refugee camp. “The Syrian Monologues” will be presented around the world this year, culminating in a performance at the United Nations office in Geneva, to foster understanding about refugees. UofL sponsors include the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and the theatre arts department. The event is free but seating is limited; registration is recommended at

     For more information, contact Russell Vandenbroucke at 502-852-8448 or                 

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.