BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield College Peace Initiative to host a virtual gathering at 4 p.m. Sept. 21st as part of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The event will feature speeches by Kern County community leaders and musical performances.
It is the first in a series of events in the coming months. The program will be livestreamed on BC's YouTube Channel.
“It is our sacred responsibility as academics in higher education to develop the minds and hearts of our students. It has been a thing of wonder to watch our faculty, staff and community members respond to this work and come up with specific projects and ideas to contribute,” said Kern Community College District Chancellor Sonya Christian, who started the Peace Initiative as president of BC. “Community colleges have a unique role and responsibility, teaching the most diverse student bodies the fundamental knowledge and skills to be successful members of our communities.”
Event speakers include: Dr. Sonya Christian, Kern Community College District Chancellor; Dr. Kathleen Murphy, Pediatric ICU physician, Valley Children's Hospital; Dr. Portia Choi, physician and poet; Karen Goh, Bakersfield mayor; Traco Matthews, community leader; and Neeraj Rama, Gandhi Committee for Truth and Nonviolence.
The Bakersfield College Peace Initiative started with the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation and grew out of the foundation’s celebration in 2019 of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
Upcoming events include the "Before I Die" art project opening on Sept. 21st and running through Oct. 4th; the unveiling of the first BC peace garden on Oct. 4; and a Veterans Week panel on peace and military service at 11 a.m. Nov. 10th.