Solar Powered Illuminating Peace Pole-Western Sculpture Park, St. Paul, Minnesota – USA

June 2023

The Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol and monument to Peace, launched in 1955 by Masahisa Goi of Japan. In a moment of great inspiration, Masahisa Goi awakened to the need to spread the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in the hearts of the global community, and eventually led to the creation of the international Peace Pole movement.

The solar powered peace pole was first conceived in 2014 by community leader/peace activist Melvin Giles and partner Mary Salter who wanted to enhance the Peace Pole experience by creating an illuminating solar powered Peace Pole so that people could enjoy its symbolism and spirit during the night hours, as well as, as to increase night-time safety. However, Mary passed away before it was built. In 2016, Melvin made the first solar powered peace pole also called Mary’s Peace Pole, in her honor, and unveiled it at the National Afternoon Out event at the Aurora-St. Anthony Peace Sanctuary Garden. Melvin has continued his work with the students from the Imhotep Science Academy (ISA) to build and distribute Peace Poles to cultivate peace in the hearts, minds, homes, and neighborhoods in order to build a more loving community. He also gave ISA students permission to use his concept to create various solar powered illuminating peace poles to help him spread peace.

A 15’ Solar-Powered Illuminating Peace Pole, the first of its kind, was created as a new sculpture for Western Sculpture Park to coincide with the first Wakpa Triennial and the 27th Community Peace Celebration. It fulfills a dream of Public Art Saint Paul to add a Peace Pole at the Park, where the annual Community Peace Celebration is held and where other programs take place each year with diverse communities gathering together. The Peace Pole Sculpture was designed and built by many hands, minds, and spirits. Artist Gita Ghei designed and fabricated with ISA students the pyramid that crowns the pole, giving it a unique artistic flair that will spread light through its dichromatic- colored windows. Anura Si-Asar, ISA Coordinator, facilitated this opportunity with the students at Imhotep Science Academy, who focus on engineering, design, solar power, sustainable energy, and building skills; designed and assembled the Peace Pole.

The Peace Pole features “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in eight languages—English, Spanish, Karen, Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Arabic, and Dakota. These languages were recommended in community engagement events at the Park by local residents. Solar panels charge batteries during the day that then power a light that illuminates the phrases of peace at night.

We hope that seeing these messages of peace will impact people’s daily lives and minds to intentionally cultivate and foster peace in ourselves and in our society.


The Solar Powered Illuminating Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol and monument to Peace. This 15’ peace pole has eight languages – English, Spanish, Karen, Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Arabic, and Dakota. During the day batteries are charged with energy from the four solar panels. At night, the batteries charge a light that illuminates the various phrases of peace.

•  Four-sided square base rectangular wood structure with four 100-Watt solar panels

•  Square pyramid top mounted on top of the pole. Made with aluminum and polycarbonate with 3M Dichroic film for light diffusion

•   Eight phrases of peace – two languages on each side

•   Dimensions: 15’ x 29” x 29”

Designed and Constructed by the Imhotep Science Academy Students 2022-2023

Student Design and Construction Team: Wacheke Njoroge, Mukuhi Njoroge, Oluwatamilore Adedayo, Oluwateniola Adedayo, Za’im Dennis, J’vion Giles, Hemetii Apet

College Student Mentor: Maasia Apet, Howard University

ISA Coordinator/Project Co-Director: Anura Si-Asar Guiding Elder/Concept Designer of the Illuminating Peace Pole: Melvin Giles

Volunteers, Consultants and Community Team: Gita Ghei, Metal Artist and Pyramid Top Builder Christian Soltermann, Engineer

Darin Thomas, Electronics Engineer

Dana Ampey and Metric Giles II, Carpenters

Mayumi Park, Public Art Saint Paul, Community Engagement, Translations, and Graphic Design Colleen Sheehy, Public Art Saint Paul, Project Co-Director

Youa Vang, Public Art Saint Paul, Earth Lab Programs

Ruby Joy Kinney, Public Art Saint Paul, Support and Media Communications Alice Messer, City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation Kidzibits, Inc. (David Mink, Hannah Campbell), CNC Cutting Services Siwek Lumber and Millwork, Lumber Supplier

Columbia Window Film and Graphics, Frank Peyaud

Aaron Dysart, Public Art Saint Paul, Logistics and Install Team Sign Minds (Ben, Darcy, Dana and Pat), Installer

Ishpar Per-Hotep, Mesheer Tat-Siaka and Rekhet Si-Asar, ISA Volunteers

Funders and Sponsors: Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, Donors to Public Art St. Paul, and Imhotep Science Academy