The second annual Peace Fest, put on by the Science of Spirituality in Columbia Heights, encouraged spreading peace and peace literacy to attendees.

On Saturday, June 29, Peace Fest was inaugurated with the help of local peace activists as well as Columbia Heights Police Chief Lenny Austin and Mayor Donna Schmitt. The festival had local vendors, peace advocacy groups, meditation lessons, yoga, live music and vegetarian dishes.

The event was held in concurrence with the Columbia Heights Jamboree and also celebrated the 150th birthday of Mahatma Ghandi, who promoted peace and non-violence during his lifetime, the outreach coordinator for Science of Spirituality, Arvind Naik, said. 

Kicking off the festival, attendees could head inside to listen to advocates talk about the importance of spreading peace in Columbia Heights and all over. 

“(The peace initiative) is very well supported by community members,” Naik said. “More and more, we want to build peace in the community.” 

Kate Towle, of the Peace Literacy National Committee, promoted spreading peace literacy. She described the current age as “pre-peace literate,” meaning that humans look to war and violence, rather than peace, to solve issues.

Decades from now, she said, “We’ll look back and wonder, ‘What were they thinking?’”

Outside, there was live music that encompassed peace to entertain attendees while they ate vegetarian food and browsed the various booths and tables.

One booth focused on spirituality and meditation, as well as the benefits of both. The festival had group meditation sessions for attendees to participate in and learn from. 

About 300 people attended the event, Naik said, which is about the same as last year. 

“It went very well overall,” Naik said. “Whoever came enjoyed  it and participated in efforts for peace.”

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