On March 13, 2012, Ronny Edry posted a photo of himself and his daughter on Facebook with the message, “Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you.” A graphic designer from Tel Aviv, Israel, Edry was concerned about impending war between Israel and Iran, and he wanted to send a message of peace. Very soon, Edry’s friends in Israel responded to his poster by sending him their own photos and asking him to create peace posters out of them. And within 48 hours, peace posters from Iran started appearing on Facebook, too. Soon the peace message spread to other countries, and posters from people in the U.S., France, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, and many countries, started to appear. Edry enlisted the help of friends to create more peace posters, the press got wind of it, and before long he was giving a TED Talk about the peace campaign that grew from one simple poster he uploaded to Facebook on March 13, 2012. Edry’s TED Talk now has over 1 million views.
Here’s a link to it: http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html
One year to the day after putting that first peace poster on Facebook, Edry came to Salt Lake Community College. As a kickoff for the Student Conference on Writing and Social Justice, Edry told his story and worked with students to create their own peace and social justice posters. Edry and design partner Sany Arazi showed peace posters that they and others had designed and described the incredible response they have received from people around the world and the journey of connection and understanding they’ve been on. “We have a duty to try and make a change,” said Edry. The peace posters are starting conversations between people of different beliefs and in different countries—conversations that might never have happened otherwise. And the work continues. A recent set of posters created by people in both Iran and Israel proclaims, “Not ready to die in your war.”
After their presentation, Edry and Arazi worked with SLCC students to create their own posters of peace and social justice. The posters will be displayed at the Student Conference on Writing and Social Justice, April 25-26, at the Student Center, Redwood campus. Students, faculty, staff, and the wider community are all invited to the two-day conference featuring student presentations, a crowd dance event, poetry slam, and keynote presentations by Ronny Edry (via video conference) and Ashley Anderson. The theme for this year’s conference is “Acts of Public Creativity and Participation for Social Justice.” Students will present poetry, essays, paintings, photography, and short videos in response to the theme. For more information about the Student Conference on Writing and Social Justice, go to http://wsjconf.wordpress.com/ or check out the conference Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WSJConference?ref=ts&fref=ts.