Alastair Moock

Toussaint Liberator

2023 UN International Day of Peace Boston

Actions for Peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals

Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 2pm ET on  the Boston Common

near the Park Street MBTA Station and the Brewer Fountain

Bad Weather Location: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul (138 Tremont Street, Boston)

Dr. Ira Helfand

Dawn Duncan

Rev. Vernon K Walker

A program of Music, Song, Arts, & Peace Education led by emcee Dawn Duncan including brief presentations by peacemakers such as Nichol Brewer-Lowry, Rev. Cindy Davidson, Isabella Fuentes, Dr. Ira Helfand, Dr. Jonathan King, Dr. David Shane Lowry, and Rev. Vernon Walker about their work, musical performances by Miranda Henne, Toussaint Liberator, and Alastair Moock and art activities for children. It will conclude with the reading of a list of recent local victims of violence. We will then walk to the nearby Garden of Peace to pray for peace among stones engraved with the names of local victims of violence.

2023 UN International Day of Peace Program

Opening                                       Dawn Duncan

Land Acknowledgement              Dawn Duncan

Opening Prayer                            Dawn Duncan

Rev. Vernon Walker                     Clean Water Action

Isabella Fuentes                          Mass. Dept of Public Health

Rev Cindy Davidson                     Mass. Interfaith Power & Light

Miranda Henne                            Albioni’s Adagio in G Minor

Nichol Brewer-Lowry                   Native American LifeLines Boston

Dr. Jonathan King                        Mass. Institute of Technology

Toussaint Liberator           

Dr. David Shane Lowry                University of Southern Maine

Dr. Ira Helfand                             International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Alastair Moock                   

In Honor of Rev. Rodney E. Dailey      Ian Harrington

In Honor of Victims of Violence   Dawn Duncan, Don Gianniny, and Kim West

Walk to Garden of Peace

Brief biographies of participants are presented below

Miranda Henne

Dr. Jonathan King

Rev. Cindy Davidson

We have planned and organized the Boston area celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace each year since 2010. This year's theme is Actions for Peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals. This refers to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-Being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnerships). 

David Shane Lowry

Isabella Fuentes

Nichol Brewer-Lowry

In Honor of Rev Rodney E Dailey

We are now about to end our program with the reading of the names of local deaths due to violence in the past year. However, before we do that, I want to share with you about a loss we all suffered this year. The Reverend Rodney E Dailey, co-chair of our Planning Committee, passed away on February 6, 2023 at the age of 66.

I first met Rodney in 2011, and he added much to my life. For over a decade, he was the master of ceremonies of these Boston celebrations of the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Gradually, I learned how much Rodney had done for the Boston community. Rodney’s work with gangs, at-risk youth, and his specific methodology gained him local and national attention and accolades. He organized the first march for gang violence in Boston and helped organize the First National Gang Summit in Kansas City. He received over 90 awards from local & national organizations & governments.

The 43rd President of the United States awarded the 1,000th Point of Light Presidential Award to him and the Gang Peace Program, a youth advocacy agency. The program was later re-awarded by President Obama. Rodney later founded Street Peace, Inc., a non-profit counseling organization that works with youth who are at-risk or active in gangs.

Rev. Rodney was also the founder of Prayer Changes Things Outreach Ministry; weekly blessing city street blocks in communities overcome by violence and praying for peace and longevity.

Rodney was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving at the St. Paul AME Church in Cambridge and the New Bethel AME Church in Lowell.

In addition to all of this, Rodney brought life and energy to eleven International Days of Peace. He led us through the programs and sometimes led us in prayer and sang to us. As master of ceremonies, he introduced the segments of the program and urged us all to take action. Over the years he frequently told us to “Be the Peace” and that “Peace is Possible”, telling us to believe “I Can Bring the Peace”. In our last year here on the Boston Common he had us pledge with him that “I will be engaged”.

As we now prepare to start the part of our program which was probably the most meaningful to him, I ask you to join me in repeating Rodney’s pledge, “I will be engaged”.

Thank you, my Friends.

Ian Harrington

Our Thanks

This event was made possible by great contributions from the speakers and musicians on the program and the contributions of many others, including the following:

Beacon Hill Friends House

Boston Parks and Recreation Department

The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul

Church on the Hill

Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries

David Murray

Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Governor Maura T. Healey

Massachusetts Center for Native American Association

Steve Pomeroy

Nichol Brewer-Lowry

Nichol Brewer-Lowry is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She directs Native American LifeLines Boston, an Urban Indian Organization. While earning her B.S. in Biochemistry at NC State University, she was a Coke Scholar and Park Scholar. At Chicago Medical School, she earned a M.S. in Biomedical Science and a M.S. in Health Administration. Health issues prevented the completion of her M.D. degree, but she has recovered after spending over two years bedbound. Nichol has been college faculty. She also served as a 7th and 8th-grade science teacher in her tribal  community during the recent pandemic.  Nichol enjoys being an aunt and loves spending time with her family. 

Rev. Cindy Davidson

Rev. Cindy Davidson is the Executive Director of Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, and an Affiliated Community Minister with the Winchester Unitarian Society. She previously served two UU congregations in Westchester County and is a past Board Chair of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth and a GreenFaith Fellow. She believes in the restorative power of nature and in the creative potential of people of faith working together, within and beyond their congregations, for environmental and climate justice.

Dawn Duncan

Dawn Duncan, MSW, MSc is the President of the Grant Connection, a company that specializes in helping nonprofits navigate the often-complex grant funding maze and access private and government grant funds for their programs. Dawn has raised more than $40 million in grant funding over the past 30 years.  Dawn holds a Master of Science Degree in Maternal and Child Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston University.  She is part Cherokee and Powhatan (indigenous) and is passionate about public health, racial justice, indigenous culture, hemp/cannabis equity and singing.


Isabella Fuentes

Isabella Fuentes (she/her) is a Community Engagement Specialist with the Community Health Equity Initiative (CHEI) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. CHEI collects data on the social drivers of health among Massachusetts residents, focusing on communities with lived experiences of inequity, including structural racism. Through this data collection, CHEI strives to help community and local health partners prioritize funding, policy and programs to advance health equity. 

Ian Harrington

Ian Harrington has served on the Planning Committee of International Day of Peace Boston since its inception in 2010. A resident of Wayland, MA, he is a life-long Quaker, a dedicated member of Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Quakers), a retired transportation planner, and an enthusiastic volunteer for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He feels blessed to form a family with his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Dr. Ira Helfand

Ira Helfand, MD is a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon, ICAN, the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, and Immediate Past President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the founding partner of ICAN and itself the recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also co-Founder and Past President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, IPPNW’s US affiliate, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Back from the Brink campaign. In 2023 he received the Gandhi King Ikeda Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse college.

He has published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the World Medical Journal on the medial consequences of nuclear war and has lectured about nuclear war in Russia, China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, and across Europe and North America.  He spoke at the 2013 and 2014 International Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and chaired the session on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons at the UN Open Ended Working Group in 2016 that lead to the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons the following year.  Dr. Helfand was educated at Harvard College and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and recently retired as staff physician at Family Care Medical Center.  He lives with his wife, Deborah Smith, a medical oncologist, in Leeds, MA, USA, and has two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Miranda Henne

Cellist Miranda Henne performs classical repertoire as a soloist and chamber musician, composes and improvises for theater productions and studio recordings, and performs folk music and bluegrass.


Highlights of Miranda’s stylistically varied career include a solo concerto performance with the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra and two appearances at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Henne performed with internationally acclaimed artists Andres Diaz, David Halen, Robert McDuffie, Amy Schwartz-Moretti, Christopher Rex, Elizabeth Pridgen, Paul Murphy, Kurt Muroki and Renée Skerik. She has also shared the improv, rock and folk stage with the likes of Mike Mills from R.E.M, Abigail Washburn, Mike Block, Rushad Eggleston, fiddler Bruce Molsky and the piri and Saengwhang player Gamin. In 2012, Miranda collaborated with Shen Wei, choreographer of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Ceremony, to create and premiere The New You, featuring her musical improvisation. She has also worked with and premiered pieces by composers such as Joseph Gregorio and Libby Larson.


One of Miranda’s central goals since childhood has been to promote peace. In high school, as co-president of the Amnesty International club, she helped with protests and benefit concerts. In college, she organized concerts such as a Daniel Pearl World Music Days Concert and Music for Haiti, which raised funds for earthquake relief. She also designed an independent study called “Music and Social Change,” studying ways to use music for peace.


Miranda maintains a private cello studio in Boston, MA and coaches chamber music for the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras. Miranda holds a B.A. in Music with a minor in English from the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University and a M.M. from Southern Methodist University. 

Dr. Jonathan King

Jonathan King is Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he led biomedical research teams on Protein Folding and Human Disease. He is the long time Chair of the annual MIT “Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War” Conferences. Prof. King heads Massachusetts Peace Action’s (MAPA) “Fund Healthcare Not Warfare” Campaign and is co-Chair of the APA Board. He is also an officer of the Cambridge Residents Alliance and works closely with the Mass-Poor Peoples Campaign. 

Toussaint Liberator

Toussaint the Liberator has inspired the Boston music scene with his unique and soulful voice ever since he arrived in 2001. Originally from Kokomo, Indiana - Toussaint was brought up as the son of a Pastor and Choir Director; blessed with a style and cadence that spans many genres which are deeply rooted in gospel. In a perfect symbiosis with his vocals, he is also masterfully skilled in playing the djembe, which is woven into every performance and gives the audience a glimpse into his meditation with rhythm from his ancestors. 

He quickly made a name for himself, initially fronting the band Red Pill, then The China band. In 2007, he wrote and recorded the album "No Place Like Soul" with the band Soulive and was featured on their international tour, opening for legendary artists such as Isaac Hayes, The Rolling Stones, and The Dave Matthews Band. In 2010, he made waves in the reggae scene when he wrote and released a solo album called Black Gold, from IGrade Records in St. Croix. 

His presence and undeniable charisma is hard-hitting and full of grit, with a velvety sound that lingers in your mind long after the music ends.

Dr. David Shane Lowry

Dr. David Shane Lowry, an anthropologist and enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies at the University of Southern Maine. He was a Distinguished Fellow in Native American Studies at MIT (2021-22). His work focuses on various topics at the intersection of race, science/health, and Native America. David’s first book, Lumbee Pipelines: American Indian movement in the residue of settler colonialism (University of Nebraska Press), explores American Indian utilization of colonial conditions. He is beginning a second book titled Indigenous MIT: why we must save science and technology from American genocide (MIT Press). David has an S.B. (MIT, 2007), M.A. and Ph.D. (UNC-Chapel Hill, 2010 and 2012).

Alastair Moock

Alastair Moock is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, performing at renowned events like the Newport Folk Festival and sharing the stage with acts like Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and Greg Brown. He’s also a Grammy nominated children’s musician, social justice educator for all ages, and co-founder of The Opening Doors Project, an anti-racist music organization. The Boston Globe calls him “one of the town’s best and most adventurous songwriters” and The Washington Post says “every song is a gem.”

Rev. Vernon K Walker

Reverend Vernon K. Walker has over a decade of social justice organizing experience in the Boston area with a focus on the intersections of racial and climate justice. Originally born and raised in Philadelphia, Rev. Walker attended Penn State University for college where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology. After graduating from Penn State University, Rev. Walker attended Boston University and earned a Masters Degree in Theological Studies with a focus on community engagement.

Rev. Walker is a Senior Fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program and Senior Fellow at Tufts University Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life through the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Rev. Walker is a Senior Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Boston campus Center for Collaborative Leadership.

Rev. Walker currently is a graduate student at Tufts University pursuing a Masters in Public Policy degree with a focus on environmental justice. He is a 2022 Neighborhood Fellow.

Outside of work, Vernon likes attending sports games, riding a bicycle, traveling, and going on nature walks.