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I N T E R D E P E N D E N C E  D A Y

A Project of We The World

City University of New York Graduate Center, (CUNY), NYC, September 12, 2004


"11 Days of Global Unity" in 100 locations around the world . . .

A Celebration to Build an Interdependent World



 The mission of We, the World is to awaken a spirit of caring and involvement in the public so that millions of people begin to see themselves as part of one global, interdependent community,

 To awaken the spirit of awareness and action while fostering personal growth and transformation without which societal change cannot take place,

 To guide people in actively taking part in creating a peaceful and sustainable world that works for everyone, ”

 In proclaiming Interdependence Day, we are acknowledging the evident-

that we are all connected, and that when one thread in the web of life is sundered, all are diminished. Where equity and mutual respect prevail, all benefit. Interdependence is a reality, a gift, and a responsibility.”

 Rick Ulfik

Founder, Chair


 Interdependence Day was first conceived and initiated by Will Durant, the historian, in 1944.
Since then, the concept has lifted itself up into a global reality simultaneously
with the growth of the awareness that everyone lives in an interdependent world. 

 The following is excerpted from the We, the World website.


Co-Existence or No Existence

“In proclaiming Interdependence Day, we are acknowledging that we are all connected, and that when one thread in the web of life is sundered, all are diminished. Where equity and mutual respect prevail, all benefit.
Interdependence Day is a day of celebration, information and action.

Interdependence Day is a call to citizens around the world to acknowledge  interdependence as a reality of daily existence.
And to support policies and institutions that affirm its democratic realization.

 Today, as global citizens, we face a choice of two forms of interdependence.
Either we create a legitimate, democratic and pragmatic interdependence, or by default, must live with a radically illegitimate and undemocratic interdependence, already manifested by HIV, global warming,
predatory financial speculation and international terrorism.”

“In September 2002 We, The World launched Interdependence Day at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.

In September 2003, Interdependence Day activities included Interfaith Dialogues and took place in Sri Lanka,
Hong Kong, India, Budapest, the United States, Canada, England, South Africa, Taiwan and elsewhere! We,
The World compiled and distributed an Interdependence Day 2003 Global Calendar of Events with dozens of lisitngs.

The most prominent event in 2003 took place on Sept. 12 in Philadelphia, chosen because it was the original home
of Independence Day. It was organized by WTW's Interdependence Day collaborators CivWorld and
The Democracy Collaborative, out of the University of Maryland.
The program featured a presentation of the Declaration of Interdependence, the premiere of a choral work,
greetings from the Mayor of Rome, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former Czech president Vaclav Havel,
plus remarks by former Senator Gary Hart, a tribute by distinguished poet Sonia Sanchez.and many other prominent indivduals.

We are on our way to seeing international acceptance of Interdependence Day as a time for celebration,
information and action in recognition of our global interdependence!”


 On this, the 3rd annual globally recognized Interdependence Day, Sept 12 2004, celebrations have occurred
around the globe.  Variations of the Declaration of Interdependence have been written and signed
all over the world, expressing in many languages, the exponentially rising consciousness that we’re all in this together. 



 Interdependence Day, NYC, noon to seven, auditorium and workshop presentations in the newly built, elegant premises of CUNY Graduate Center. The auditorium and workshops surrounded a grand 125’ long hall that served as a gathering place for people going in and out of the workshops and auditorium, an arcade of distributors of information, and a place to relax with gourmet, organic food prepared by raw food specialists.

 The themes focused on the many facets of living on a sustainable planet wherein each person and each social and political structure recognize the reality of interdependence. The spirit of the theme grew throughout the day until, at the end of it, a few hundred people joined hands in a circle that was already joined in a heightened power of communion.  

A prime feature in the day long program of entertainers and speakers, was  FOWPAL, Federation of World Peace and Love. The organization is home based in California and Taiwan with branches in 64 countries. The troupe that graced Interdependence Day numbered about 50 Taiwanese on the last day of their trip to the United States. They danced in extraordinary costumes, did martial and acrobatic arts, rang the large bronze peace bell which travels with them, and at the end of the day, in a ceremony generous with gifts, initiated organizers and participants of the event into honorary membership of FOWPAL. The most striking feature of the group, however, was the consistency, honesty and guilessness of their smiles. Each one of them seemed to exemplify the truth of a global community in friendship.      




 The Interdependence Day Town Hall Wall was set up by Symposia, a community center in Hoboken, N.J.. The Question atop the Wall was: “The World Will Be A Better Place If…” a reprise of the question asked on the Hague Appeal Town Hall Wall,
( Hague Peace Conference,1999).

 The answers ague TheThreflected the awareness of the need for a global consciousness of interdependence. The Wall spoke about the building blocks of global unity, most people recognizing that it starts within the individual, in the commitment to living a life of peace and love, caretaking the planet, reaching out to each other across the globe, and, as expressed in one message, across the species.

 There were harder edged messages, regarding space, diet, a few about politics, but the words “love”, “peace” “harmony” were repeated like a chorus, a prayer and a plea. Scissors and glue sticks were included among the materials for writing/drawing and with them, the FOWPAL people initiated an afternoon of collage making. But the collages created by the FOWPAL group were done with an intense and an intensely delicate concentration that seemed traditionally Chinese.   

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