Mount Madonna to Commemorate September 21 International Day of Peace

Mount Madonna School (MMS) will host a commemoration of the International Day of Peace on September 21 from 9:30-10:15am. Held each year on September 21, the United Nations has declared this as a day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.”

“The International Day of Peace is a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect on how they can express peace within themselves, their classroom, their school community, their local community and the global community,” commented Mount Madonna Head of School Ann Goewert. “Actions of peace are powerful and a single act can make a significant and lasting difference.”

This year’s theme “Actions for peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals” represents a call to action that recognizes the individual and collective responsibility to foster peace.

“Peace is needed today more than ever,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization.”

Chogkyi is based in Santa Cruz and became interested in meditation in the early 1970s. She began practicing Tibetan Buddhism in 1991 during a year-long study in India and Nepal. She worked in administrative positions in several Buddhist centers in the 1990s, and completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period. In 2004, Chogkyi took monastic ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has practiced as a monastic for nearly 20 years.

In addition, Chogkyi is a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training, a secular compassion training program developed at Stanford University. She teaches the Cultivating Emotional Balance program, a secular program using contemplative techniques drawn from Buddhism for managing emotions, developed at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s request. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and is on the Board of Advisors for this organization. She is a training and curriculum specialist for the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County and is on the Sustainable Caring teaching team. In 2023, Chogkyi started teaching regularly at Insight Santa Cruz, and is a visiting teacher at Lion’s Roar Dharma Center, Diamond Light Tibetan Buddhist Group and the San Francisco Dharma Collective.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 380 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.