HI USA’s annual Sleep For Peace celebrations highlight the peace-building benefits of travel and, more specifically, of staying at our hostels. Started in 2013, these events coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, which takes place each year on September 21 as a way to strengthen the ideals of harmony and non-violence amongst all people. HI USA hostels around the country host a variety of Sleep For Peace events to reinforce our mission of tolerance while emphasizing the fact that it really does matter where you stay when you’re travelling.
What is Sleep For Peace?
Every day, HI USA hostels inspire a better understanding of people, places and cultures. It’s why our hostels offer common spaces where people from around the world can connect, and host activities that bring guests together and give insight into the local culture no matter where they are. Our hostels’ annual Sleep For Peace events shine an even brighter light on that goal with diverse activities from themed walking tours and engaging panel discussions, to intercultural dinners and conversation-starting decorations, which encourage our guests and hostel staff to have meaningful interactions with one another. These special events take place on, or in the days surrounding, the International Day of Peace.
On a global scale, our counterparts at Hostelling International (HI) hostels around the world have joined the Sleep For Peace movement by hosting events for their own guests and communities, connecting our networks with the common goal to share the message that hostelling contributes to building peace through travel and intercultural experiences.
Sleep For Peace 2016
For this year’s Sleep For Peace efforts, HI USA and HI hostels will be “shining a blue light for peace”: with the need for tolerance and understanding becoming more urgent, the hostels will be using the symbolic color of blue to raise awareness of our mission, and blue lights and decorations will serve as visual beacons.
The range of Sleep For Peace events are as diverse as the HI USA hostels that are hosting them, with activities like peace poetry slams, bike rides and yoga for peace, potlucks, and various collaborative and interactive art projects taking place from coast to coast. Several hostel regions are hosting peacebuilding panels where members of the community, former Peace Corps volunteers and other guest speakers will engage audiences with conversations about their travel experiences and the importance of intercultural understanding and non-violence amongst all people.
How You Can Get Involved
If you’ve booked your stay during the Sleep For Peace week, be sure to ask at the front desk what activities they have planned and join your fellow guests! For those who may be a little further away, there are a few ways that you can honor the International Day of Peace with family and friends. Wherever you are, you can also contribute to the mission of day-to-day peacebuilding by getting involved in community events, striving to be tolerant and understanding of people with different backgrounds, challenging negative stereotypes and people who perpetuate them with conversation and, of course, traveling and staying at HI USA hostels whenever you can.—- What will you be doing for the International Day of Peace? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #sleepforpeace to share your peacebuilding activity!