Celebrating International Day of Peace with Shining a Light on Hope

STAND 4 PEACE and iFred sign for HOPE on Manhattan Beach, Photo Credit Barry Brennan with Flying Lions

RENO, NV / ACCESSWIRE / September 21, 2021 / September 21 is the International Day of Peace, an event created by the United Nations and celebrated around the world. iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression, joined STAND 4 PEACE, a nonprofit organization based in Manhattan Beach, CA, to spell out HOPE in honor of this important day. The event supported the efforts of Heal the Bay at the ROUNDHOUSE Aquarium at the Manhattan Beach Pier location for a Coastal Clean-up Day.

The Mayor of Manhattan Beach, Hildy Stern, joined the event, along with school children from Compton’s Emerson Elementary School and Manhattan Beach’s Pennekamp Elementary school. Also in attendance were Co-Founders of STAND 4 PEACE, Karen Wooldridge and Donna Barney Nicholson, and iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke.

Hope Signs, Part of Hopeful Cities Campaign Available Globally

This year, more than ever before, the International Day of Peace reminds us why it is important to share the science of hope with people around the world as hopelessness, the antithesis of hope, has reached unprecedented levels globally. Hopelessness is predictive of weapon-carrying on school property, self-harm, accidents, and violence, so peace-keeping efforts must address hopelessness when advocating change. Without hope skills to combat the effects of hopelessness, we cannot create or find peace, either as individuals or as a society.

iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke, and individuals participating in HOPE message

Kathryn Goetzke, iFred Founder, is thrilled with the inclusion of the program: “We have proven the theory that hope is teachable, and have been teaching these skills around the world for many years through Hopeful Minds, and now with the addition of Hopeful Cities and Hopeful Mindsets. We do not believe peace is possible without hope, so are grateful to see this symbolic message in the sand. Only when we teach all the critical skills of managing the stress response, the first key to hope, as well as the other four keys, are we going to be able to see a peaceful society.”

Schools for Hope, the original program that started in 2011, became Hopeful Minds and has been used around the world. This past year, the program expanded to a three-lesson Overview curriculum and a 16-lesson Deep Dive curriculum. The Hopeful Minds curriculums and resources, including a Parent’s Guide, were featured as an innovation by the World Bank and are free for download and distribution globally.

Karen Wooldridge, Co-Founder of STAND 4 PEACE, explains, “We chose HOPE this year, as the theme for the UN is Recovering Better for a Sustainable and Equitable World. We know that peace is not attainable without hope, and believed it was a very symbolic word for our mission. We see peace as Hope in Action, and love the image of the sunflower as the universal symbol of hope so we incorporated it into our event.”

STAND 4 PEACE is an organization dedicated to educating and bringing awareness to issues related to peace. iFred is an organization dedicated to shine a positive light on depression, and teach the ‘how to of hope’. STAND 4 PEACE and iFred stood together, holding sunflowers to the sun, in honor of their joint mission to share hope and peace with all, globally.

Long-time resident Marisusan Trout, diagram for the beach HOPE, and sunflowers on Manhattan Beach

iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke with young women from the Girl Scouts of America

Kathryn Goetzke, iFred Founder; Marisusan Trout; Marija Kosanovich; Karen Wooldridge, Co-Founder of STAND 4 PEACE; Donna Barney Nicholson, Pennekamp 1st Grade Teacher and STAND 4 PEACE Co-Founder

Karen Wooldridge, Co-Founder of STAND 4 PEACE; Dr. Karina Gerger, Principal at Mira Costa High School and STAND 4 PEACE Partner; Mayor Hildy Stern; Donna Barney Nicholson, Pennekamp 1st Grade Teacher and STAND 4 PEACE Co-Founder

Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern and STAND 4 PEACE CoFounder Donna Nicholson

iFred Founder Hot Coffee And Wild Hope Sunflower Shoes

iFred Founder Hot Coffee And Wild Hope Sunflower Shoes

About STAND 4 PEACE: A resource to educate and bring public awareness to issues related to PEACE. Assist educators, community members, organizations, civic leaders, business partners, and beyond through these resources to bring HOPE. The organization was co-founded by long-time Manhattan Beach teacher, Mrs. Donna Barney Nicholson and long-time friend and Manhattan Beach resident Karen Wooldridge. Donna and Karen organized STAND 4 PEACE after taking a course in Peace-Building with 3x Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Dr. Scilla Elworthy.

About iFred: The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred), is a 501(c)3 organization, working to teach hope. iFred has worked to shine a positive light on mental health and eliminate stigma through prevention, research and education and created a shift in society’s negative perception of the disease through positive imagery, rebranding, celebrity engagement, cause marketing campaigns, and establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols for hope. iFred worked with The Mood Factory to do the first nationwide cause marketing campaign for mental health in the US, and created the first-ever program to teach hope, based on research it is a teachable skill.


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