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 Risley's Peace Team stands behind their booth at the 2022 Peace SummitFor the first time in two years, District 60 students, staff, families and community partners gathered together to celebrate the unity and inclusiveness that defines Pueblo and to take a stance against bullying and divisive behavior.
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the D60 Community Peace Summit attracted hundreds to the Southwest Motors Events Center, where the celebration of cohesiveness filled the air with the joyful sounds of youngsters and adults reveling in the positive aura.
Themed "Make Pueblo A Greater Place Together," the Summit was organized by the District's Office of Student Support Services and Intervention to foster peace within the student body and network of schools and engage the community and its families in the prevention of bullying.
With representation from schools at the elementary, middle and high school level, the Summit offered visitors artistic activities like rock painting, the taking of "selfies" inside a compassion-themed picture frame, and gifts like mini potted plants, hand-made buttons and other mementos of the day.
There were giveaways throughout the Summit, with the grand prize of a grill welcomed by a lucky recipient.
On the stage, guests were entertained by elementary and middle school instrumental and vocal performers and the Central Jazz Band.
As a show of support for the Summit, City Councilwoman Sarah Martinez read a proclamation declaring a Day of Peace in the city. Belmont students perform on ukuleles at the 2022 Peace Summit
The day concluded outside the Events Center, where participants held hands and stood together as a sign of unity.
In welcoming the guests, Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso celebrated the importance of the Summit.
"In a time of where negative narrative and incivility dominate the news and social media, it is imperative that we take the higher road, and this event today is a fine example of doing so, with our students taking the lead," she said.
"As Warriors of the Human Spirit, we are called to do what we can, with what we have, where we are to create a better and more welcoming world. We must engage in actions and words that are filled with compassion and light.
"Although peace throughout the world may seem like an unattainable goal, remember: peace starts with me and it starts with you. It is a free gift we all should be willing to impart, and your presence here today tells me that you are dedicated to this noble mission."