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International Cities of Peace

Patchogue-Medford Maker Space

 Desktop Peace Poles - Awards

International Indoor Peace Pole Contest in Schools

Indoor Peace Pole Bases

Embrace Peace Dove Sculpture

Loaner Project


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International Cities of Peace  

One of our three goals is to help Long Island Cities be recognized as International Cities of Peace.  You can learn more about this group of Cities at  Here is what they propose:

Imagine a world of cities dedicated to expanding their local peace economy and encouraging a global culture of peace. Safety, prosperity, and quality of life are universal values that bring peace to our lives.

First and foremost in this global adventure is to reject violence and define ourselves as people of peace. International Cities of Peace is a formal Association of communities that by history, resolution, or proclamation are doing just this — self-defining their community as an official City of Peace. This redefinition requires building a consensus network of business, government and community leaders who value safety, prosperity and quality of life. Then the work begins with a vision, a mission, and the goals and objectives that deliver the promise.

Patchogue has recently been accepted as the 331st International City of Peace.  It is the first on Long Island to become recognized as such.  Here is an article from The Long Island Advance that announced this achievement:  Long Island Advance Sept. 2, 2021, Page 2.

Peaceful and proud!

Patchogue presented International City of Peace designation

Posted Thursday, September 2, 2021 12:00 am

Local residents Jen Brady Cotter and John Baum launched the Patchogue Peace Project in 2020 to "initiate and support educational advocacy and collaborative efforts that foster a culture of peace in the community."

Earlier this week, the community was officially awarded as the first International City of Peace on Long Island. Over the past six months, project liaison Brady Cotter and peacemaker Baum worked with community partners, developing a long-term vision for peacemaking in the community, receiving a proclamation from the village declaring support for their efforts, and creating a document describing the legacy of peacebuilding in Patchogue.

"We have always been a welcoming community; therefore, the idea of being a village of peace is great for a community that believes in peaceful relationships for all of the members of our visitors, residents and passersby," Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri said.

Patchogue’s legacy of peace evolved into an inspiring tribute to the community’s long history of collaboration among residents, institutions, schools, local governments, businesses, and organizations that revealed the dedication and commitment to creating an enduring culture of peace. Patchogue has worked to increase the safety, prosperity, and quality of life for all its residents, through several peace pole installations, proclamations, art installations and vigils.

Their project also reflects on the many ways Patchogue has united to reject hate. Some examples include how the community came together after the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero. It describes how in the aftermath of the tragedy, anniversary vigils took place across Patchogue, the Play for Peace soccer tournament was launched, and local residents worked together not only to heal, but to build bridges within the community.

The report also spotlights how so many local institutions serve as the cornerstones for peacebuilding, spotlighting the Patchogue- Medford Library, Patchogue-Medford Youth & Community Services, and SEPA Mujer.

"Of course, the story would not be complete without acknowledging the tremendous role the arts have played in bringing the community together," said chairperson for the Patchogue Peace Project, Brady Cotter. "The work of several groups is highlighted, such as the Patchogue Arts Council for its continuous commitment to building empathy and understanding through multicultural exhibits and programs."

Brady Cotter has been actively engaged in violence prevention, community building, and other peacemaking efforts for the past 25 years. She co-founded National Youth Violence Prevention Week, a campaign now adopted by Sandy Hook Promise; partnered with Herstory Writers Workshop to host a social justice memoir-writing workshop; and is an active member of Building Bridges in Brookhaven, among others.

She said she was thrilled when lifelong peacemaker John Baum reached out to her to work on Patchogue becoming an International City of Peace. Baum had already been working with Pax Christi and the Rotary on a mission to bring over 100 peace poles to Long Island. With partners jumping in from the library, chamber of commerce, PMYCS, St. Joseph’s College, and several organizations, the project took off.

"In a time with so much division, this is a wonderful example of what can happen when we come together," Brady Cotter said. "With this designation, the village has joined a network of 330 other cities across the globe dedicated to building a culture of peace. While we are honored to achieve it, it is also our goal to use this as an opportunity to initiate and support ongoing efforts to put peace into action. Upcoming events include community conversations to identify our shared values, as well as programs to teach conflict management, compassionate communication, and other peace building skills."

Brady Cotter encourages anyone interested in being part of the effort to jump in. For more information and to connect with the Patchogue Peace Project email:

What is an International City of Peace?

According to the International Cities of Peace website: International Cities of Peace is an association of citizens, governments and organizations who have by proclamation, resolution, or by citizen advocacy established their communities as official Cities of Peace. Every community has a legacy of peace, whether it is by a historical event or by a local peace heroes or groups who have contributed to their citizen’s safety, prosperity and quality of life.

No city is 100 percent a city of peace; rather, all are on the path to "becoming" a more peaceful city. Establishing a community as a peace city recognizes past achievements, encourages current initiatives, and inspires future generations for practical peace building.


Here are some reasons why Patchogue was accepted as An International CIty of Peace

  • We have ordered 12 Peace Poles and have planted four in Patchogue.  
  • We have four youth groups involved in the Patchogue area.
  • We have four other Peace Activist groups helping.
  • We have a related web site:
  • We have at least nine Peace Poles in Patchogue already (5 at one school and two at another).
  • The Patchogue-Medford Library and the Carnegie Library have planted Peace Poles, and have a youth group involved. The Library has plans for having patrons make plaques, for use on Sign Poles and Peace Poles, using their laser engraving machine. They also have volunteers make pins and stencils for use at peace events, and have a Peace  page  on their web site to help promote this project
  • Our local art group is considering painting a Peace Telephone pole this year during the annual art fair on Terry Street, right across the street from the Art Center (an ideal location).
  • We donated an outdoor Peace Pole and a Peace Pole Sign to non-profit fund raising auction events at The Hope House Ministries Annual Dinner in 2020,  at the Bellport Boys & Girls Club Annual Beach Ball Event.
  • We are working to have the Patchogue-Medford School District use Indoor Peace Poles at all 19 public schools, and  have a contest to see which schools can make the best use of their Peace Poles during the 2022 school year. 
  • We are working to have the Diocese of Rockville Center Education Office encourage all Catholic Schools in the Diocese (51 Schools) to have an Indoor  Peace Pole, and similar contest.
  • We are working with youth groups to have garbage cans in the area painted with Peace Messages and Symbols.
  • We have formed a "Patchogue Peace Committee" to further promote peace-education, and action in the community.


Marcelo Lucero, and Nina Uchida Friedberg were honored on International Peace Day

The arc of Marcello Lucero’s tragic death from a hate crime in 2008 that rocked Patchogue evolved into a memorial and the unveiling of a Peace Poll on Monday at the Carnegie Library with his brother Joselo Lucero and several officials, friends, and others from peace organizations, honoring the meaning of his life and its aftermath.

Nina Uchida Friedberg, a stalwart supporter of Joselo during his grief and member of the South Country Peace Group, was also honored posthumously that day later at the Patchogue-Medford Library with a Peace Pole of her own.

And Patchogue got its own recognition as the first City of Peace on Long Island.

Forty people attended the event on the International Day of Peace sponsored by the Patchogue-Medford Library that included a Peace Walk down Main Street.

“It’s absolutely essential that young people do everything they can to insure society’s inclusion,” said Joselo Lucero at the ceremony. “My brother’s death created a new meaning in my life and while I was going to schools to talk to students, I felt I was doing good.”

Joselo Lucero spoke of Friedberg’s support and commitment against racism as did NYS Senator Monica Martinez (D-3rd Senate District), a Salvador-American, who was an immigrant herself.

The idea for the event began a year ago, said Patchogue-Medford Library director Danielle Paisley. “John Baum reached out to me and was looking for a partner to start planting Peace Poles,” she said. “He wants to plant 100 on Long Island, but wanted to start right here at home where he lived.”

Baum approached Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) about his idea for a Peace Pole honoring Marcello Lucero. When discussing the location, the Carnegie was chosen.

“On the flip side, Marian Russo’s mom passed away and she set up a memorial fund for her mother, her mom volunteered at the library,” Paisley explained. When Baum spoke to Paisley, Nina Friedberg’s name came up as a natural for a second Peace Pole; she was a committed Women in Black in Sayville and Bellport among other activities.

Paisley’s staff also had a lead up of events at the library including a discussion of New York Times 1619 Project.

She credited Baum for his commitment to the idea.

Baum, a Patchogue resident since 1965, is a member of Pax Christi Long Island (Pax Christi is a Catholic membership organization that rejects war, its preparation, every form of violence and domination and racism); the group is trying to get young people involved, he said.

“I decided the Peace Pole activity would draw them.” He traveled to The Peace Sanctuary in Wassaic, New York, affiliated with the United Nations. “They have a Peace Poll for everyone in the United Nations,” he said. They also build them.

At around the same time, Baum learned of a Rotary Club in Portland, Oregon with the goal of planting 100 Peace Poles. That interaction led to Baum’s learning about Rotary Clubs locally committing, via Rotary Club International and their peace initiative, to plant poles on Long Island. “The Rotary Club keeps track of the poles and created a map,” he said, of the Pax Christi & Long Island and Long Island Rotary Clubs Peace Pole Project.

So, “a youth group in Patchogue may get poles planted,” Baum said.  He’s formed a Patchogue Peace Committee and hopes that youth groups will get involved to have Long Island Cities recognized as Cities of Peace.  Patchogue is the first one to be cited. James Skidmore, who was at the ceremony, is the chairperson for Patchogue: City of Peace Committee.

Baum cited the Patchogue Rotary’s involvement; Patchogue Rotary president Brian McAuliff spoke at the ceremony; at Nina Friedberg’s memorial, Kevin Mann with Long Island Rotary Groups for Peace spoke.

Another organization involved with the movement representing Patchogue’s honor is the International Cities of Peace; its mission is to evolve peace building at the local level.

“We have a list of ten reasons why Patchogue should be recognized as a city of peace, and to be recognized is an honor,” Baum said.

Patchogue-Medford Library Makerspace

Make a one-hour appointment to use the PM Makerspace to help promote Peace and Nonviolence in our  community (call: 631-654-4700).  Visit the site at:

The makerspace has laser equipment for engraving Peace Poles, three-dimensional printers for making special objects; pin making machines, which can be used to make Peace Pins; equipment for making stencils, which we use to make Peace Symbols for painting of refuse cans, etc.  Volunteers use this equipment to make objects used in our Peace Campaigns.  Please join us and enjoy!


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-Desktop Peace Poles - Awards

Steve Baum made 38 desktop Peace Poles from trees in Lenox, MA and Patchogue, NY.  The poles have marble bases.  These Peace Poles have the Message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" imprinted in four languages on the sides.  This printing was done by volunteers at the PM Library Makerspace (Patchogue-Medford Library Makerspace) using their laser printing machine.  The bases say "Thanks to" and the name of a special Peace Maker who is given the Peace Pole at an awards ceremony.  



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International Indoor Peace Pole Contest in Schools


 As a continuing effort to promote peace and nonviolence in our community and the world, our Patchogue-Medford Peace Committee is working with the PM Library Maker Room where volunteers like you: print “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages on desktop Peace Poles; and make plaques, pins and stencils for promoting peace. We are now planning an Indoor Peace Pole Contest. Your help in promoting this project, and the above, is appreciated. Contact John at for more information and we will keep you informed of our plans and progress as they develop.

Here is the status of the project: (April, 2022)

1. Other School Districts: Since PM has only one HS, we have made contacts with interested activists in S. Country, Sayville and Longwood School districts to see if their Districts might join in the contests. If they do, they could either have a sponsor pay for the poles (about $200 each with base) or ask each participating school to pay for their own poles. If a sponsor is found, we would probably make a "Donated By: ...” plaque for placement on the base of the Peace Pole. This makes it a great way for a business, person or group to get recognition for their contribution for many years, since the poles would be used and seen at the schools for years to come.

2. Funding: The Greater Patchogue Foundation has sponsors so the PM District is covered. Other districts or school systems, if involved, would be expected to cover their own costs.

3. Awards: At the end of the contest (probably two years), all participating schools would send a one page summary to their contact person summarizing how their school used the Peace Poles to educate, motivate, and promote peace, nonviolence, environmental conservation, etc. The districts would select the best HS, Middle School and Elementary School uses, have an awards event if desired, and forward the best submissions, from each school level, for consideration by the PM Peace Committee (or some non‑competing group), to judge the broader contest winners. A broader winner's award event could be planned to give all the participating Schools additional good press.

We plan to expand the contest idea to involve schools throughout the world with Pax Christi USA,  Rotary Clubs or other organizations with Intyernational chapters as lead organizations.

This is a work in process, and one we think is very important and timely..  We hope to  involve younger persons, and use Peace Poles as a tool to educate, inspire and motivate youth, since the world is theirs to preserve and enjoy.  If you have an interest  in helping us in this  project, please send an email to us at, and watch this page for updates.  We need to inform teachers and school principals about the project.  Suggestions on how to best let them know about the project is appreciated.

Here are the tentative plans:

Draft of Flyer to be sent to Teachers and Schools:

Have your school join the International Peace Pole Contest.  To be included you must send the school  name, class grades taught in the school, and contact person's email address.  We will send you more  information on the contest as plans are developed.  It is important that we know how many schools are likely to be involved, so we can plan the awards and review process effectively.  

Indoor Peace Pole Contest Schedule


Lead Organization

Publicize Project; Fall 2022

Submit Registration Information, 2022 & 2023

Close event after 1,000 schools have registered

Send in pictures & English summaries, June 2024

Judge summaries & inform winners, Summer 2024

Zoom summerize in English & awards, fall 2024

Arrange for zoom celebration & Awards, fall 2024

Point System for Judging Submissions

Purchase Indoor Pole & Base

10 each

Make Indoor Peace Pole

10 each

Make indoor base

10 each

Plant or install other peace poles

5 each

Total points for above:

up to 40

School use of indoor peace pole(s)

up to 60


Indoor Peace Pole Bases

Bases for  indoor Peace Poles may be purchased from Peace Sanctuaries  or others, or schools may make their own and earn points toward the awards.  Since Peace Sanctuaries may require more time for filling orders, or may not have both Peace Poles and bases available, we have decided to award schools points for making their own Peace Poles and/or bases.  Suggestions on how to make your own will be available on our web site -

We have received donated slabs of granite for making bases, and know that bases can easily be made from plywood and 4"x4" posts, so with the help of  volunteers, we plan to make our own bases in the Patchogue-Medford contest (about 10 schools).  To help  make supply and demand more doable, we are encouraging schools to make their own Peace Poles and bases (see above on contest).


Embrace Peace Dove Sculpture

A Embrace Peace@ was created by John DiNaro, a Bellport NY artist who has donated it to Pax Christi Long Island for use by similar organizations to promote peace and social justice. John also donates much of his time and talents to teaching woodworking techniques to children at the Boys and Girls Club in North Bellport and at Long Island Schools. He urges all to A make a difference@ . See some of his works at The Sculpture is about two feet high and is being shown at Long Island Libraries, so that many persons may view and enjoy this beautiful creation. To make arrangements for display of the sculpture at your library contact: with the name of a contact person and an estimate of the number of viewers that would likely see the sculpture if shown for 3 months.  The Patchogue Medford Library, will have the sculpture beginning March 14, 2022 and until other libraries are scheduled.


Loaner Project


We have 6' donated peace poles with a peace pole sign having information and history about peace poles all mounted on a beautiful granite base.  These peace poles are available for loan (no cost) to libraies, organizations, schools or businesses  for use at special occcasdions, e.g. a day or two, or for longer periods of time e.g.  months. Contact John at: for scheduling.


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Last update:  07/11/2022