• Annual Peace and Nonviolence Conference to Include Student Essay Contest

    The fifth annual peace and nonviolence conference at Mt. Hood Community College will take place April 12 in the Student Union. The event – titled the "Peace and Justice from the Heart Conference" – will include a Native American drum circle, talks by local peace activists, and a student contest for the best essay on a peace or social justice-related topic.

    Dances of Universal Peace is a regular event at the
    annual peace conference at MHCC.

    This annual conference celebrates the lives of Nobel Peace Prize recipients and leaders of non-violence resistance, including Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mohandas Gandhi, through the Peacemakers Exhibit and multiple workshops and sessions. Workshops will focus on such topics as: unlearning racism, mindfulness, nonviolent communication, and dances of universal peace. Additionally, the conference will include talks by local peace and social justice activists and a student panel and discussion.

    "We plan to celebrate peace and encourage unity through nonviolence," said RoseAnn Kennett, an academic adviser with the TRiO-SSS program at MHCC. "People who come to the conference often report feeling inspired and uplifted by the personal stories of peacebuilding."

    "And many say they come away empowered with the tools needed to build peace in their own communities," she added.

    Co-sponsors of the conference include the Women's Federation for World Peace, the West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club in Troutdale, the Sufi School of Peace and Service, the TRiO-SSS program and Diversity Resource Center at MHCC.

    The West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club will again award three MHCC students $50 stipends for the best essays or presentations on issues related to peace and justice. The Rotary club will also award $50 stipends to three local high schoolers for their best essays or presentations.

    Interested in participating in the contest or inviting your class to participate? Email RoseAnn Kennett at roseann.kennett@mhcc.edu for more information. For more information on the Peace and Justice from the Heart Conference on April 12 at MHCC, visit mhcc.edu/PeaceConference

    On the annual Student Panel, students talk about their experiences dealing with prejudices and spreading peace.