Soccer Tournament Exemplifies International Day of Peace

The United Nations describes International Day of Peace as a day devoted to strengthening the ideas of peace through observing 24 hours of nonviolence and cease-fire. For over 40 years on Sept. 21, the U.N. has established themes for nations to follow in order to cultivate a culture of peace. The 2022 theme for the International Day of Peace was “End racism. Build peace.” 

To celebrate the day, the Read Center of International and Intercultural Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Services hosted several events. The first, in collaboration with the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, was a Zoom panel with Shampa Biswas, Ph.D., of Whitman College, and Vincent Intondi, Ph.D., of Montgomery College, discussing race and colonialism. The second event hosted was a soccer tournament among Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

“Soccer reaches every corner of the world,” said Amanda Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Center of International and Intercultural Education. “When people from different backgrounds can join together to play a game it is a great thing.”

International Day Of Peace soccer players pose

Students who participated in the game were from The Gambia, Oman, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Nigeria, the U.S., Brazil and South Korea.

International Day Of Peace soccer players in action

The event was organized by Johnson’s graduate assistant Abdoulaye Fall. Fall planned the event by booking the location, gathering players, bringing the materials and creating a playlist for the game. However, the idea of a soccer tournament to celebrate the day was inspired by the center’s previous director, Linda Robertson, Ph.D. 

“Even though it’s a competition, no one loses,” Johnson said. “We are all connecting and having fun, and that’s what’s great about soccer on the day of peace.”

International Day Of Peace soccer players pose

The event was held Sept. 21, 2022, at the Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

For more information about the Center for International and Intercultural Education, visit

POSTED: Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 10:11am
UPDATED: Friday, October 7, 2022 - 8:13am
Taylor Haydu