Scot Matayoshi, 25, a law student at the University of Hawaii, was selected as this year's recipient of the Peace Day Hawaii Award for his dedication to guiding Hawaii's youth toward promoting nonviolence. Matayoshi will be presented with the award at the Peace Day Hawaii 2009 Celebration Ceremony, which will be held on Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda. The public is invited to attend this free event, which will feature special guest speaker Betty Williams, a Nobel Peace Laureate.
Peace Day is the day of global ceasefire and nonviolence held each year on Sept. 21. It is celebrated worldwide, but Hawaii became the first state in the nation in 2007 to officially recognize the occasion.
While a Teach for America corps member from 2006 to 2009, Matayoshi began a Peacemakers Club at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School after picking the minds of colleagues at Waipahu and Aiea High Schools. He sought to curb fighting and make students aware that their actions affect the way the rest of the island views and treats their community. Members of the club wear yellow wristbands to identify themselves. It shows others that they have done some soul-searching to decide between what's right and wrong.
Matayoshi hails from a family committed to serving the public. He is the grandson of former Big Island Mayor Herbert Matayoshi, and his parents are Ron Matayoshi, director of international programs at the UH School of Social Work, and Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawaii Red Cross chapter.
In 2007, Hawaii became the only state in the nation to officially recognize and annually celebrate the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations as the Day of worldwide ceasefire and non-violence. State Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu introduced a bill on behalf of the members of the Hawaii Federation of Junior Young Buddhist Association. Governor Linda Lingle signed the bill into law on April 17, 2007.
For information on the Peace Day Hawaii 2009 Celebration Ceremony, please call 808-586-8490.