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Peace You Have My Word
By Rama, Grade 12 student

On September 21, the whole world celebrates the international day for Peace. This past year the United Nation’s designed theme was “Action for Peace: our ambition for the global goals.” There is something transformative about taking a moment to think about what Peace is, what it feels like, and how it impacts the world. Through “Peace You Have My Word,” a writing competition organized by Africa Learning International (ALI), students from international schools in Africa and Europe have put pen to paper to celebrate Peace, Africa, and Antiracism. Each piece of student work shows evidence that education for Peace is a powerful tool to develop self-awareness, poetic appreciation, and critical thinking. It is inspiring to see African and European students countering afro-pessimism as one. Enjoy the enchanting words and the provocative ideas!

-Estelle Baroung Hughes, Founder of Peace You Have My Word competition


Discrimination and bias everywhere. If it’s not race, it’s gender, or nationality, or religion, or wealth, or physical and mental ability. In my freshman sociology class we analyzed data for a company's bias over (stereotypically) white vs. black names and their chances of getting hired— with the same credentials. There was a definitive bias against black candidates in receiving a job offer. That paper was obviously troubling– the fact that a factor entirely out of your control can decide your chances of success.

I always just remind myself that we’ve come a long way in just 20 years. There’s plenty of work to be done; sure, but I firmly don’t believe we’re capable of total equality, equity, or peace.

We like the categories and boxes that we put ourselves into. (i.e. you’re female, I’m male, we’re different. I’m African, you’re African American, we’re different. etc.) and I don’t think we’re going away with that anytime soon.

It’s easier to kill the cow because it doesn’t look like us and we can’t understand it.

Same reason why propaganda posters run rampant during wars. Alienate the enemy and it’s easier to put a bullet into their skull.

We hurt, discriminate, make fun of each other because we forget that we’re one of the same sometimes. Just a bunch of humans all trying to figure things out.

Peace and equality are nice concepts that we try to work towards; however it's simply just that: a concept. So long as we continue to refuse to see our fellow humans as equals; we will continue to hurt each other. So long as we declare territory as “private property” or land owned by a country, there will continue to be wars. With just how deeply rooted these ideas are in our society, peace is a possible, but improbable goal.


Rama is a Grade 12 student at Banjul American International School in the Gambia.


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