• 8th Annual Peace Conference

  • “Bridges to Peace, Crossing the Divide”

    Thursday, May 12, 2022, by Zoom, One full day Conference

    Time Subject Focus

    8:50 - 9 a.m.

    Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Slideshow

    9 - 9:30 a.m.

    Opening & Introduction - Laila Al-Amin, MC
    WFWP -Laila, Roseann Kennett, Christine Edwards, and Stephanie Herremans;

    MHCC - Traci Simmons, Doctor Abio Ayeliya, Lisa George, and Ernesto Vasquez; The Rotary Club of West Columbia Gorge - Karen Shaaf; and Int’l Sufi School of Peace and Service: Laila.

    Laila introduces Dr. Linda Nishikawa, WFWP Region Five Coordinator Welcome Prayer: Executive Director Red Lodge Transition Services

    9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

    Keynote Speaker – Lora Helmer
    2021 Ambassador of the Year for ShelterBox North America.

    10:10 – 10:20 a.m.

    Q&A session with Lora Helmer

    10:20 a.m. - 11 a.m.

    Second Speaker – Traci Simmons
    Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mt. Hood Community College.

    11 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

    Q&A session with Traci Simmons

    11: .10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

    Nonviolent Language as a Tool for Racial Justice and Harmony - Doyle Banks

    Nonviolent Communication

    11:50 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Q&A session with Doyle Banks

    12 p.m. –12:30 p.m.

    Lunch Break / Free Discussion

    12:30 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

    Peace Pole Presentation - Emeline Nguyen


    12:50 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    Q&A session for Peace Pole with Emeline Nguyen

    1:00 p.m. -1:40 p.m.

    Lisa George

    Multicultural Student Success Coordinator at Mt Hood Community College

    1:40 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

    Q&A session with Lisa George

    1:50 p.m. -2:50 p.m.

    Marianne Williamson NYTimes best-selling author, activist and spiritual thought leader

    2:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Q&A session with Marianne Williamson

    3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Panel Discussion

    Traci Simmons, Doyle Banks, Lisa George Presenters Ernesto Vasquez, MHCC staff, Kacie Kennett, an Oregon Elementary teacher



    Lora Helmer
    Lora Helmer, an Ambassador for ShelterBox, joins us to speak about the work of ShelterBox. Much of ShelterBox work is being conducted in extreme conflict areas. Lora will be sharing how the support provided to these families brings hope and peace to those impacted by conflict. ShelterBox was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize both in 2018 and 2019 for their work in war torn countries. These nominations were due to ShelterBox’s efforts to keep families and communities together, increasing feelings of stability and togetherness during a time of unprecedented global conflict and displacement. During Lora’s presentation you will hear about these efforts and how they separate ShelterBox from other disaster relief organizations.

    Lora was elected 2021 Ambassador of the Year for her leadership and service to ShelterBox North America.

    Traci Simmons (she/her/hers)
    Traci Simmons is a longtime resident of Portland, Oregon. She currently serves as the

    Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mt. Hood Community College. Former roles include Dean of Student Development and Associate Dean of Student Development at Portland Community College, Cascade Campus.

    She holds an Associate Degree (PCC), Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences and Community

    Health Education, with a minor in Sociology (PSU), and a Masters of Education, Educational Leadership (Concordia University-Portland). Traci shows up in the world and the work with a deep commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

    Doyle Banks: Nonviolent Communication

    “Nonviolent Language as a Tool for Racial Justice and Harmony”

    As we know, language is a powerful tool. Throughout history, language has been weaponized to oppress those who the powerful decided were “enemies”, or “less than”, or “not one of us.” Nonviolent Communication (NVC) was created to counteract this weaponization of language. Its creator, Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., wanted us to use this language to “make life more wonderful” for one another. Mostly, this is how people use the method. However, even well- intended tools are sometimes used to do harm.

    In a presentation titled, “Nonviolent Language as a Tool for Racial Justice and Harmony”,
    Doyle will examine our usage of nonviolent language to call out ways in which we might be doing harm, unintended or intended. He will then offer suggestions for how we can exercise greater care with our language with an eye toward contributing to justice and harmony for BIPOC.

    Since 2009, Doyle has studied and taught NVC and mindfulness through the workshops, classes and public presentations he offers. He also works with individuals, couples, families and groups, coaching them through personal transformation with an emphasis on applying mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication skills to create compassionate and harmonious relationships.

    Emeline Nguyen

    Club President for the West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club

    "Emeline Nguyen joined the City of Wood Village in August 2020 as their new Assistant to the City Manager. Inspired by her father's philanthropic work and teachings of Buddhist philosophy, she always knew that whatever path she chose, her career would lead her to belong to something larger than herself.

    After obtaining her BA in Sociology from UC Irvine, she pursued her MA in Social Work with an emphasis in Community, Organization and Business Innovation from USC. While attending this program, she founds a strong interest in policy and local governance. Before coming to Oregon, Emeline spent four years working for the City of Los Angeles, Council District 8. Her passion for working in underserved communities with limited resources allowed her to bring impactful solutions to the area she served. In Wood Village, she oversees Community Outreach & Engagement, Human Resources, Records, Management, and Communication.

    Emeline has a deep passion for public service that draws upon the lessons learned from her social work and public administration background. She is a proud Rotarian and currently serves as Club President for the West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club. Emeline is excited to continue her work in serving the community with the utmost sincerity and respect."

    Lisa AbuAssaly George – “Building community in online settings”

    Lisa AbuAssaly George is the Multicultural Student Success Coordinator at Mount Hood Community College. Lisa's extensive expertise with faculty, staff, and student and development has led her to present at national conferences on best practices in inclusive pedagogy, anti-racist teaching, building culturally responsive and inclusive community partnerships in higher ed, and creating community in online and on-ground environments.

    Marianne Williamson
    Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, political activist, and spiritual thought leader. For over three decades Marianne has been a leader in spiritual and religiously progressive circles. She is the author of 14 books, four of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. A quote from the mega-bestseller A Return to Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

    Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit that has delivered more than 14 million meals to ill and dying homebound patients since 1989. The group was created to help people suffering from the ravages of HIV/AIDS. She has also worked throughout her career on poverty, anti-hunger and racial reconciliation issues. In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance and supports the creation of a U.S. Department of Peace. She ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, and in 2021 she launched MarianneWilliamson.Substack.com.

    This conference is a collaboration of WFWP, MHCC, West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club, & Int’l Sufi School, the school of Peace and Service.

    Thank you to The Rotary Club of West Columbia Gorge for their generous financial support for this conference.

    For more information, please contact Laila Al-Amin: claudia.wfwp@gmail.com
    To register, go to MHCC website - https://www.mhcc.edu/PeaceConference