2022 Peace Paddle Memories!

Townend Harris High School Key Club students. Photo by Ashley.

HarborLAB kicked off Peace Week by sharing a wonderful paddling event in Gantry Plaza State Park with the LIC and broader NYC communities, assisted by fantastic students from the Townsend Harris High School (NYC BOE, located on the Queens College campus) Key Club.

Leading the event — superbly — was Sally Attia with Jamilah Grizzle, Jamie Ong, Laura Picallo, Kamala Redd, Patricia Menje, Scott Wolpow and Nikoletta Bali-Keyes. Thank you, New York State Office for Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Gantry Plaza State Park management and staff for making facilities and access for this event possible. And thank you fiscal supporters and all volunteers!

The theme of this year’s UN International Day of Peace, September 21, is “End Racism. Build Peace.” At HarborLAB we chose to focus on environmental racism and to celebrate those who work toward environmental justice. That can be local asthma impacts from trucking or the suffering caused by climate chaos and plastic pollution in the Global South.

From the HarborLAB DEI Committee, with special thanks to Student Outreach Manager Jamilah Grizzle, Program Director Kamala Redd and Board Member Jamie Ong: “The global clean water crisis, climate change, and other troubling consequences of pollution have historically placed a disproportionate burden on refugees, communities of color, and other underprivileged populations. Combating environmental racism is imperative; as it not only aids social equity, but it also provides longevity and quality of life for those affected by it. The inextricable link between racism and the environment necessitates its eradication in order to facilitate pathways of peace. Families are encouraged to envision the change they want for their community and planet.”

HarborLAB’s full festival featuring peace lanterns will return next year with a new focus on the arts and environmental science.

Photos by HarborLAB Board Member Jamie Ong, Volunteer Manager Laura Picallo and student Erica Jin.

Leave a Reply