Friends Center groups mark International Day of Peace with films, interactive panel discussions 

PHILADELPHIA (September 10, 2012) – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Envision Peace Museum will host a free screening and interactive panel starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, at the Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, in Center City Philadelphia. All are welcome.

Teachers, students and others—both in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh—will view and discuss two short videos and a longer documentary on the intersection of peace, justice and education, seen through the prism of school funding. The documentary “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman” challenges the allegations in the 2010 film "Waiting for Superman" blaming teachers unions for public schools’ ills and touting charter schools as the sole solution.

The short videos were produced by students in AFSC’s Pittsburgh program and by students in Philadelphia’s Art Factory program and highlight the consequences of continued inequities in funding for public schools. AFSC’s Pittsburgh program director Scilla Wahrhaftig; a student and teacher will join the event by videoconference from Pittsburgh, as will renowned educator Betty Morgan from Baltimore. The event is a part of Peace Day Philly, the observance of September 21, the International Day of Peace, a worldwide day of ceasefire and nonviolence. 

Education is a powerful tool in bringing peace to our world. What better way to recognize the International Day of Peace than to address the deficit in our public education in Pennsylvania?” says Scilla. “Building connections across the state to address the issue is one goal of this event.”

Part of our mission is to foster insight into the roots of peace,” says Michael Gagné of Envision Peace Museum, “and it’s clear that educational justice is one such root. We’re excited to work with change agents who understand why Victor Hugo wrote, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.’ ”

Listen to Michael Gagné discuss the screening and peace as a process in a recent radio interview