The world’s largest peace symbol will be created using people.
Colleges like Kennesaw State are a place where big ideas are born and incubated. Just ask KSU art history major, Jessie Blowers. “Last year I was the co-chair of the Peace in the Arts Conference. As I struggled to come up with a visual way to depict peace, it was natural to turn to the Peace Symbol. As I researched its use, I discovered that the world record for the largest live art peace sign was created by a 16-year-old boy from Ithaca, New York.”
After discovering that the young man never completed all of the steps to be recognized as the world record holder, Jessie was inspired to contact the Guinness Book of World Records. The headquarters indicated that guidelines didn’t exist for a world record Peace Symbol made out of people, but that they would create some just for Jessie’s event.
That’s where the BIG IDEA came in. Jessie created the KSU Peace Project to bring together people from all parts of Atlanta in one huge show of unity to remind the world that peace matters. “My goal is to increase activism and cause awareness,” said Jessie. “As a college student I’ve always wondered what happened to the 1960s vibe that caused students to be such activists to change the world.”
College students of fifty years ago were different. A graphic designer named Gerald Holtom wanted to express his despair over the threat of a nuclear holocaust, so he created a symbol that used the semaphore signals for “N” and “D” which stood for nuclear disarmament and surrounded the image with a circle, signifying eternity. He distributed buttons during a Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War in Britain on February 21, 1958. A student from the University of Chicago, Philip Altbach, a member of the Student Peace Union, visited England and purchased a bag of the new “Peace” buttons. By 1960, the Peace Symbol was adopted by students all across America.
Jessie’s vision is huge and she’s planning for six thousand participants to show up on the campus of Kennesaw State University on Saturday, March 31, 2012, to contribute to the KSU Peace Project’s attempt to break a world record by hosting the largest peace sign ever made with human participants. She’s inviting everyone, and I mean everyone, kids, teens, moms, dads, and grandparents to come out to enjoy live music, food and to become a piece of history.
“Jessie Blowers is one of our outstanding students in the brand new Art History B.A. Program at Kennesaw State. She has a long history of civic engagement,” said Dr. Joe Thomas, Chair of the Visual Arts Department. “Jessie has shown that she is not afraid of big ideas and the hard work it takes to accomplish them. She’s truly amazing.”
Several nonprofit organizations will be on hand to give participants the opportunity to volunteer at organizations like Habitat for Humanity who will have a booth on the grounds. Other nonprofit organizations who’d like to meet potential volunteers can reserve a booth at no charge, while vendors who are selling a product can reserve a booth for only $250.
In order to insure the success of this event, Jessie is asking everyone to register at www.ksupeace.com to let her know you’ll be coming. And, according to weather.com, it’s going to be perfect that day! There is plenty of free parking available on the campus in either the East or Central parking decks or the East Parking Lot – near the Waffle House on Frey Road. It’s just an easy walk from these parking venues to the Campus Green which will be the stage for the BIGGEST Peace Symbol ever created in the world. You won’t want to miss being a part of this history-making event.