(l-r): Sherida Hassanali, the Mount’s Equity Officer, Alexa McDonough, the Mount’s Interim President and Clare Levin, Executive Director of Peaceful Schools International

The chilly fall air didn’t stop members of the Mount and general community, including an astonishingly well-behaved group of pre-schoolers, from celebrating the University’s designation as a Peaceful School by Peaceful Schools International. The flag raising event, held on September 21 at the front of the Mount’s campus, was a poignant tribute to the University’s commitment to building a culture of peace through education. The Mount is only the second university to join the Peaceful Schools International network.

Alexa McDonough, the Mount’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor and longtime advocate of peace, Sherida Hassanali, the Mount’s newly appointed Equity Officer, and

peace3The crowd gathers in front of Seton.

Glen Hollett, the Mount’s Chief of Security, raised the Peaceful Schools International flag on behalf of the University.“The flag will serve as a public declaration of our commitment to building a culture of peace for all those who learn, teach and work here, and by extension, to the community-at-large,” Hassanali explained from the podium.

“As a place that trains teachers, both pre-service and in-service teachers, the Mount has a special part to play in peace education,” said Clare Levin, Executive Director of Peaceful Schools International. “Teachers play a pivotal role in building peace in our schools, and the Mount is well positioned to give teachers trained here the tools they need to do this effectively. The Mount has already held two Peace Education Institutes for teachers, and I’m sure will continue to show leadership in this area.”

peace1Alexa McDonough presents a book to the Mount’s Child Study Centre

The Mount has shown its commitment to peace through its involvement with the Partners for Human Rights, in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission, and through partnership with the Association to Promote Diversity. The University also hosted an international peace conference this past July that brought changemakers together to discuss how peace education, women’s activism, and the disarmament movement have contributed and can contribute to building a more peaceful world.


McDonough took the opportunity to highlight the importance of youth in cultivating a culture of peace, and spoke directly to the large group of children from the Mount’s Child Study Centre who were in attendance. She presented a children’s book to the Centre titled “If Peace is…”, written by Mount professor Jane Baskwill.

Child with book 2

Levin closed her remarks with, “Learning to prevent conflict and resolve it peacefully will not only help us build peace in the classroom, but will ultimately help us build more peaceful families and communities, and a more peaceful world.”