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Oregon/Cascade

The recent “Non-Violence is a Choice Conference” that was held in Oregon had some amazing presenters. Among them was Mr. Kilong Ung who has presented at three of our four non-violence conferences. Last year he could not attend because he was working on his nonprofit project building schools in his native Cambodia. He has now completed five schools in Cambodia.Kilong’s testimony is a heart-wrenching one. His life is an inspirational story about the experiences of a Cambodian genocide survivor, a boy who spent over four years as a slave laborer under the tyrannical Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot, who killed nearly two million Cambodian civilians between 1975 and 1979. Over fifty of his relatives, including his parents, grand-parents and sister, were killed. Some were brutally murdered and others were…
There are many ways to bring peace and understanding into this world. Doing this helps to create an alternative to violence and aggressive behavior in our society. One of the best ways of giving a creative outlet for our emotions is through dance. One of the highlights of the “Non-Violence is a Choice” Conference in Oregon was uniting together in the Dances of Universal Peace. Michelle Sparks-Smith and Michael Sheehan, certified leaders of the Dances of Universal Peace, have led the dances at each of the four annual nonviolence conferences and did so again this year.It is a beautiful way for all the participants to experience inner peace, as well as gain knowledge about other faiths and world traditions through the peace chants, sacred mantras, and dances that they perform…

Unlearning Racism

June 28th, 2017
We know that racism is a very serious issue in our present society. So, how can we combat it? Read on to discover some very practical tools to take action. What you are about to read was presented at the Non-Violence is a Choice Conference in Oregon.The “Unlearning Racism” session was presented by Janice Cockrell, of the Baha’i faith, who has international family members and is a pediatric doctor. An incident at the school her grandchild attended spurred her to do volunteer work at that school to help them deal with racism. Using tools from that experience, she presented a number of videos and indicated areas where we could each take action on the individual level.She made a distinction between personal and institutional (historical and present), racism which was quite…
Non-Violence Is A Choice Conference ReflectionThe Women’s Federation for Peace event held at MHCC in May was inviting, well planned, and well attended. This is a must-attend event for individuals or organizations that have an interest in promoting peace and civility in the community. If you have a desire to embrace the difficult facets of the peace process that span from individuals to families and community, to overall nation; this seminar is a great place to begin. It is a high calling to be a Peacemaker in today’s environment.There were many well prepared and seasoned speakers who have a firm grasp of the challenges, conflicts, and solutions engulfing their respective fields. There was a good number of breakout sessions in the afternoon that made for an informative and delightful day.…
This year’s annual conference on “Non-Violence, a Choice” took place on Friday, May 12 at the Mt. Hood Community College. One of the highlights of the conference every year is the student panel, where attendees get to hear from the young, bright students from surrounding universities. The student panel members from Mt. Hood Community College this year were Chidoze Urom, Blanca Alverez-Lopez, and Barbra Archbeque. They were joined by students from several other colleges, including Alina Button from Pacific University, Andrea Gonzalez from Portland State University, and Victoria Reis, an Admissions Counselor and International Specialist at Marylhurst University. The panel was moderated by Gary and Nancy Spanovich, Directors of the Wholistic Peace Institute (WPI). Students shared their many insights about non-violence, both on the historical level and on a very…
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