NEWSLETTERVolume 4, No 1Spring 2013All People, All Voices, All Matter: Making a differenceby intentionally engaging in practices and principlesthat explore, advocate, and honor the dignity of self,others, and the earth.All People, All Voices, All Matter.The Peace and Justice Initiative enjoyed a fruitful springwith a new group of student ambassadors, inspiringspeakers, films and new course development. The workof peacebuilding is the work of relationship building.We could not do what we do without the strongcommitment of friends across the college andcommunity. Thanks to each of you for making adifference. Enjoy!The Peace and Justice Initiative seeks to:1) Create and teach a Peace Studies curriculum2) Sponsor Peace and Justice co-curricular activities3) Foster a connection to Valencia’s A.S./Technicalprograms in conflict transformation work4) Offer community outreach in Peace and Justice5) Engage in realizing Valencia’s CoreCompetencies, especially ValuePeace and Justice InitiativeValencia College701 N. Econlockhatchee TrailOrlando, FL 32825East Campus Building 1, Room 340Mail code 3-35 Phone: 407-582-2291Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.valenciacollege.edu/PJIFacebook: facebook.com/valenciapeaceandjusticeYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/VCPJITABLE OF CONTENTS:Past Events……………………………………..2Peace and Justice Studies…………………......17Conflict Transformation………………………20Peace and Justice Ambassadors…..………...…22Service ………………………………………...24Upcoming Events……………………………...26Announcements and Acknowledgments………26
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20132 | P a g ePAST EVENTSConversation on PeaceJanuary 27-30, 2013Valencia students reflect on Ivorgba’s talks…What is the most valuable thing you learned today?“Human equality is possible through the right(nonviolent) approach on education.”“There are people out in the world that see the light inhumanity and are striving to illuminate the dark.”“Even though people’s skin color may be different, thecolor of our heart is always the same.”“I can make a difference.”“I have learned another man’s story of success andabout his challenges in Nigeria. He has given me a newperspective on what it means to be happy.”“I learned to take a step back. When times get rough,know that I am not alone and tomorrow is another day.”“Money doesn’t equal happiness.”What aspect of this workshop might yourincorporate into your life?“A reminder that we are global citizens in a world that isinter-connected intellectually, spiritually andemotionally, and we must be mindful of ways to supportone another.”“The courage that Emmanuel had has inspired me tospread wisdom of peace.”“There is more to life than meets the eye. You can nevergive up. The best has yet to come.”“Underneath our skin, we look the same. Our heartsbeat as one and we are unified.”“There’s more to life than what meets the eye and thatwe, as Americans, have it extremely good compared toother countries; we should definitely have lighterhearts.”“I have more appreciation for my education and what Iam given in my life and from my country.”“More can be accomplished through love thanviolence.”“To focus on, not only educational and physical aspectsof my life, but the spiritual aspect as well.”The Valencia community, through the prayer flag project,raised $950.00 for Ivorgba’s Charitable Foundation.Valencia College was grateful to host EmmanuelAnde Ivorgba, Nigerian Educator and Peacebuilderto speak to students, faculty, and staff membersduring our Conversation on Peace. Ivorgba servesas the Executive Director of New Era Educationaland Charitable Support Foundation and is featuredin the film Project Happiness. A special thank youto the Patricia Havill Whalen Endowed Chair, theStudy Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE)Office, and Randy Taran and Brian Rusch formaking all of this possible.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20133 | P a g eReflections on My Time at ValenciaBy Emmanuel Ande IvorgbaNigerian Educator and PeacebuilderKrystal Pherai, Emmanuel Ande Invorgba, and Jessica BordaIn early 2013, I was invited by Rachel Allen, Professorof Humanities and Coordinator of Valencia’s Peace andJustice Initiative, to participate in the college’s 4-dayConversation on Peace. During the visit, I had the honorand privilege of engaging and speaking with faculty andstudents at three of Valencia College’s campuses inOrlando, Florida. At the East Campus, I joined theCollege professors and students in the OpeningFestivities for the Conversation on Peace and then hadthe privilege to address the Introduction to Peace Studiesand Humanities Classes in the afternoon, where I sharedexperiences of educational issues, challenges and peaceefforts in Nigeria. At the East Campus, I also interactedwith the History of Genocide class and shared somethoughts on “The Potential for Genocidal Acts inNigeria.”On Wednesday, January 30th, I visited classes and spokewith students at the Osceola Campus in the morning, andwas featured, along with Randy Taran, Founder andExecutive Director of Project Happiness and NinaStreich, Director of the Global Peace Film Festival, onFront Porch Radio at WPRK in the afternoon. Thursday,January 31st, I spent the whole day at the West Campus,where I interacted and shared experiences with PeaceStudies, Political Science and Journalism students andparticipated in a Question and Answer Session withRandy Taran, following the screening of the film,Project Happiness.I also had the privilege of visiting the Kennedy SpaceCenter at Merritt Island on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013.Valencia College is a place where everyone is a learner,and where learning is encouraged and appreciated – aplace where the cultivation of wisdom and reflection isencouraged. In today’s world, where competition forlimited resources is becoming increasingly unbearableand yet unstoppable, education is not all aboutacademics; there is something beyond. Young peopletoday grow up in a society that demands expertise ineverything. Learning from textbooks alone is no longeradequate for their overall development. Co-curricularprograms and activities are needed to develop talents,skills and social competencies for responsibleparticipation in the global society. Socialization isanother great advantage of such programs. Throughthese, students get to connect others who share theirinterests, make new friendships and learn new skills.Project Happiness, the documentaryIvorgba is featured in
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20134 | P a g eEmmanuel Ande Invorgba and Professor Eli SolisValencia College’s Peace and Justice Initiative,committed to nurturing “an inclusive, caring andrespectful environment on campus and within thecommunity- one where conflict leads to growth andtransformation” provides students the great opportunityfor 21st century education that will develop theircapacities and creative talents and facilitate their growthas human beings and responsive global citizens inaesthetic and/or applied pursuits. Through this initiative,which seeks to demonstrate care and provideopportunities for individual contribution, success,recognition and enjoyment, Valencia graduates will nodoubt, be literate, numerate and well-educated withcapacities and confidence to make positive contributionsto society.I was so completely overwhelmed by the level ofleadership, preparation, organization and teamworkexhibited during my visit. Everyone played a part – staffand students together. The staff led by example and thestudents, inspired by this example, exhibited so muchcommitment to learning by getting involved. Theinvolvement of young people in the experience was forme, particularly inspiring. This not only breaks downbarriers and helps develop new and positiverelationships between the young students and adult staff;it also facilitates the positive process of personaldevelopment, builds confidence and self-esteem, fostersleadership and problem solving skills, etc.It would be an understatement to say that I experiencedhospitality, love, support, and kindness in their purestforms. Right from arrival at Orlando InternationalAirport, Rachel and her family exposed me to the veryfirst doses of exceptional Valencia hospitality, humility,simplicity and pure spirit. Lucy Morse Roberts and herfamily, not only made me feel at home, they gave me ahome. Campus Presidents came out to welcome and hostme. Professors Paul Chapman and Subhas TiwariRampersaud were so majestic in humility; sometimesdriving from campus to campus and making me feel likea king I was not.Valencia students, faculty, staff, and community partnersgather for a night to hear Ivorgba speakI returned home to Nigeria to meet my family andstudents, fulfilled and sincerely grateful for the privilegeto be invited to visit Valencia College, an academicinstitution so culturally diverse – diversity which hasbecome a source of strength and success, clearlyreflected in the Peace and Justice Initiative’s Principlesfor How We Treat Each Other. I found an institutionthat honors and respects diversity, a community that isfearless and willing to expose students to learning bydoing together outside the conventional classroomexperience, a place where everyone is committed tostepping forward and making a positive difference. Ifound a school that is proud of its traditions, highexpectations, and which has created an invitingatmosphere, in terms of the quality of the accessibleresources, excellent staff, good organization, etc, whichmakes it a good place to learn and grow.Valencia welcomes Ivorgba
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20135 | P a g eImages from the Conversation on PeaceValencia students playing New Games on the campus lawnThe Peace Book by Louise DiamondThe Humanities Speaker Series hosted John Prendergast,human rights activist and best-selling author to speak duringour Conversation on Peace weekValencia dancers enjoying a game of “hug tag”Over 1500 students, faculty and staff participated inthese college-wide events, including workshops,national and international speakers, reading circles ofLouise Diamond’s The Peace Book: 108 Ways toCreate a More Peaceful World, and a free screeningof Project Happiness, in partnership with the GlobalPeace Film Festival. Workshops included ThinkGlobally, Act Locally, Can Hollywood Build Peace?,The Power of Forgiveness, Service as Peace Activism,and Self-Leadership and Peacebuilding.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20136 | P a g ePrayer Flags, decorated by the Valencia communityStudents enjoying the Conversation on Peace festivitiesEnjoying the dayLaura Firtel and her Americorp VolunteerValencia Dancers having fun during the festivitiesProfessor Nichole Jackson led a workshop, titledThe Question of Peace
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20137 | P a g eLessons From the LabyrinthBy D. Buffy PilloudAssociate Professor of Yoga and MeditationLabyrinth…such a complicated and mysterious wordfor such a simple and intuitive tool for healing, self-study, meditation, enhancing creativity, problem solvingand celebration. At heart, we all long for simplicity inour overly complicated, busy lives. The labyrinth is theperfect tool to help fill that need because of its verysimplicity.The labyrinth, an ancient symbol and meditation tool,can be found in most cultures and spiritual traditions.Symbolically, it is a metaphor for the journey of life andspirit. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has no dead ends, youcan’t get lost and you don’t have to think or use logic towalk a labyrinth. Within the shelter of the labyrinth, wecan simply trust that the path leads us to where we needto be.During Valencia College’s 2013 Conversation on Peace,students, staff and faculty had the opportunity tophysically walk a choice of two labyrinths or to use afinger labyrinth to see what lessons the labyrinth wouldreveal for them. Based on participant’s writtenfeedback, I believe the lessons of the labyrinth speak forthemselves.“So many things go through my head and heart as I walka labyrinth—from the meandering path that I seem to betaking in my own life, to reflections on my journeytoward my loved ones who have died.”“I noticed that I was feeling energy and sensations andemotions. I kept my focus on strength and healing tohelp me through some variables in my life right now. Iwill use the finger labyrinth daily.”“I was able to reflect very intensely…to think and reflecton whatever came to mind first and what has beenbothering me.”“While walking the labyrinth, I noticed that I wanted tolaugh. It relaxed me.”“My mind went completely to peace and allowedthoughts to flow more clearly.”“I was very tense walking into it, and as I was walkingback out, I felt free and this huge weight lifted off of me.It was an amazing experience.”“I noticed my playful side really came out.”“I noticed that I focused almost all of my thoughts andenergy on my friends who have died. It was a sort ofremembrance and I felt a connection with them for mostof the time.”“I noticed how powerful this made me feel. I am incontrol of my life and the way I want to live it in order tomake me happy.”“Through the journey, I thought about the paths of lifeand which direction I was following. What I learned washow spiritual this experience was.”“I noticed that I felt a deeper sense of meaning in mylife. I feel just a little less lost now and feel a sense ofpeace.”“I felt like I was having a conversation with God. I feltlike I was talking to him about what his purpose for mewas. I felt like I had a spiritual awakening.”
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20138 | P a g e“I thought about how many different ways I can becomea brighter light and then I thought about the sun and howmuch energy it gives out and how I can become that typeof light. The labyrinth was the light at the end of myhard tunnel…”“While I normally can’t concentrate on one single thing,I was able to acknowledge just the relationship I hadwith my little sister.”“I noticed the turns where some took me by surprisewhere I was unprepared and others I had my footstepsmapped out. This is to just like life. I also noticed thatsometimes you take the pace of another, like in arelationship.”My wish is that everyone could experience themindfulness, insight, and peace that come from walkingthe labyrinth. NamasteProfessor and PJI Coordinator, Rachel Allen enjoying theoutdoor labyrinth
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 20139 | P a g eValencia Earth Studies Association (VESA) BringsDr. Michael Mann to East CampusBy Austin WelschValencia A. A. StudentDr. Mann, physicist, climatologist, and director of the EarthSystem Science Center at Pennsylvania State UniversityOn the 17thof January, Dr. Michael E. Mann gave apresentation at the Performing Arts Center located onEast Campus. Mann is a climatologist at Penn StateUniversity and a contributor to the 2007 Nobel PeacePrize. Mann shared with the student body that despitescientific evidence of global warming, both his researchand that of his colleges, have been targeted anddiscredited by several sources in an attempt to convincethe general public that global warming is a hoax. Theinformation Mann presented paints a very differentpicture, global warming is occurring and until action istaken to reduce its causes our thermometers will onlycontinue to climb higher.To begin to understand how we play a role in globalwarming it is important to understand the nature of ourplanet. The Earth has a natural process of heating andcooling over thousands of years. The Earth also has anatural process of burying gases from coal and oil.Throughout history, these gases were often released intothe atmosphere during events such as volcanic eruptionsand earth quakes. These gasses are completely normalwhen released at the natural rate.The issue arises when you look at how heavilydependent we have become globally. The rate we surfaceand burn these resources far exceeds the natural ratecreating an imbalance of gasses in our atmosphere.Mann stated "we are burning more coal and oil in just100 years than what it took the Earth one million yearsto burry." At this rate it is impossible for theenvironment to adapt. The abundant amount of gasses inthe atmosphere create a "greenhouse effect" causing theEarth to keep more heat from the sun than it naturallywould. Mann explained that this creates a "hockey stick"climate change. What he means by this is that examiningthe worlds temperature over the past several centuriesyou have normal temperature variables, for the most parttemperatures average out, but in the last centurytemperatures are climbing at an incredibly high rate. Ona line graph this looks similar to the shape of a hockeystick. Mann also stated that it is scientifically proven thatat this rate there will be an estimated 3 - 5 degree Celsiusrise in global temperature by the end of this century.These temperatures will be doubled in the Arctic.Surprisingly, this is rather old news. A scientist namedHansen predicted these increases in temperature due tofossil fuel burning in 1988 and attempted to warn peopleabout the devastating effects this will have on the planet.Hansens research was quickly "silenced" and theconcept of global warming remained alien to the generalpopulation until recent works of Mann and likescientists. Despite the scientific evidence they areproviding the majority of society still believes globalwarming is a myth, and this wide-spread disbelief is nota coincidence.Fuel consumption is backed by some of the biggestcompanies in the world. The profits they make on ayearly basis is unimaginable. Mann states "these arebusinesses reaching past trillions annually." Personally, Ihave always believed that when you follow the "moneytrail" everything begins to make sense. Mann statedthese businesses have an endless source of wealth whichthey do not want to let go of, therefor many of themlobby our politicians. For example, Oklahoma SenatorJames Inhofe (R) publicly claimed climate change as ahoax, although he later admitted to knowing this was
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201310 | P a g efalse. Mann joked that ironically Oklahoma has becomethe hottest state in the U.S. More significant, politicianFrank Luntz (R) paid advertisers to create ads that wouldconvince the public global warming is a fraud andclaimed it is not an issue that needs to be addressed.Mann pointed out both of these politicians have beenknown to receive money from lobbyist in favor of alarge fuel industry. This process where businesses usepoliticians to knowingly misleading the public is thesame that the tobacco industry used just a few years agoclaiming scientific evidence that proves smoking isharmful is completely false.In 2006, congressman Joe Burton (R) tried to illegallygain access to all of Manns research and threatenedMann to halt his research. Interestingly, when followingthe money trail Burton was a recipient of over a milliondollars that year from fossil fuel companies. The samething was attempted by Virginia Attorney General KenCuccinelli (R) who also received large sums of moneyfrom fossil fuel companies. Both took Mann and otherscientists to court when they refused to turn over theirresearch, neither winning the cases.Despite the large percentage of politicians lobbied by thefossil fuel industry there are politicians who see globalwarming as a threat and accept the science behind it.Both Sherwood Boehlert (R) and John McCain (R)publicly ridiculed Burton and Cuccinelli for theirignorance, manipulations, and unlawful acts againstMann. Another politician who has been a large advocatein informing the public is John Kerry (D), Secretary ofthe State.By the end of Manns presentation it was clear globalwarming is occurring and if not prevented will bedamaging to our planet. Mann ended by stating methodsthat could be used to help reduce the amount of harmfulgasses in our atmosphere but also made it clear that"there are no quick magic bullets to fixing years ofdamage we have done." Although, if we begin burningclean fuel we would actively be reducing the effect ofglobal warming for our kids futures and slowly settingthe planets balance back in place. We have severaltechnologies available for cleaner fuel such as solar andwind powered generators, hybrid systems, electric publictransportation and hydro fuel for personal automobiles.Ultimately, Mann explains our biggest issue is that ofethics. What kind of world do we want to leave behindus for those to come? It is up to our generation toeducate ourselves and search for truth, and then to takeaction to make a difference.I personally realized that growing up I had written globalwarming off as a myth. At the time I was too young tobe able to do my own research effectively but moreimportantly I felt that even if it is happening there isnothing I can do to change the situation. Since Ivegrown older I have come to understand the dangers ofthis kind of thinking. As Mann quoted in the conclusionof his presentation, "all that is necessary for the triumphof evil is that good men do nothing," - Edmund Burke.To learn more about Valencia’s Earth ScienceAssociation (VESA), contact the club sponsor, ProfessorJim Adamski at Jadamski1@valenciacollege.eduValencia Earth Science Association (VESA) has the mission topromote an active, unified community through discovery andadventure with the education of nature. VESA encourages allpeople to become active contributors in the conservation andsalvation of the Earths natural resources.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201311 | P a g eMoving In, Moving Out: Using the Movement Modelto Reflect on our Work for Peace and JusticeBy Carol J. MillensonManager, Continuing Education and ClinicalCompliance, Divisions of Allied Health and NursingScholars…monks…leaders…seekers…creators…poetsand artists! Tucked away on Lake Lily in Maitland, adiverse group of faculty, staff and community membersjoined together on February 15thand 16thto continue theconversation about Peace and Justice. This annualevent, coordinated by Rachel Allen was facilitated byElaine Sullivan, nationally acclaimed facilitator andspeaker from the Center for Renewal and Wholeness inHigher Education. Elaine has consistently supported andprovided guidance from the beginnings of Valencia’sPeace and Justice Initiative. Her spirit and skill amongus was genuine, profound, and moving.Intensive and intentional dialogue and reflection wasbased on Parker Palmer’s newest book titled, Healingthe Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create aPolitics Worthy of the Human Spirit. Clearly, eachparticipant entered this experience with differingexpectations and left with deeply personal insight andresolve. I can only share some of my “take aways.”This was my first Peace and Justice workshop/retreatand I own the fact that I am, “in my old age,” in areflective time and contemplating the next phase of mylife. As I have entered my senior years, I have given agreat deal of thought to how I will shape these yearsaround my life meaning and mission. This retreatprovided a forum in which I could find expression andfeedback while listening deeply to the thoughts and spiritof my colleagues.Among the many meaningful writings on which wereflected was the pivotal Five Habits of the Heart(Parker Palmer, 2010). With each of these habits, Ichoose to share a personal reflection for this time in mylife.1. An understanding that we are all in this together:for me, a continuing sense of purpose. While we arealone in some sense, this diminishes the lonelinessthat might otherwise result from retirement, changein function, and other transitions2. An appreciation of the value of “otherness”:deeply listening to those who are both peripheral andintimate in my life…what can I learn, how can Ireach in, how can I expand my understanding ofothers, how can I grow my world beyond my ownview?3. An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways: lifeis fraught with contradictions, frustrations,challenges, and hurt. Will I consistently choose tohold these in a heart-opening way that may take metoward something new? Will I find ways to “re-invent myself” and find meaning and innercongruence in the face of everything life may throwmy way?4. A sense of personal voice and agency: speaking mytruth while remaining very aware that it is my truthand it cannot be imposed on or discount the truth ofWorkshop Participants Pictured: Jim Belcher, Tom Birol, DebraGreen, Carol Millenson, Lynn Paredes-Manfredi, Elaine Sullivan,Debi Jakubcin, Mary O’Connor, Sue Brown, Linda Goddard.Jenny Charriez, Rachel Allen and Eli Solis. Not pictured: RichGair, Christine Luong, Cass O’Little, and Kara O’Neal.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201312 | P a g eothers. I profoundly believe that each of us has astory and it is worthy of sharing. My story can serveas an instrument of positive influence…and it willcontinue to be written as I move through my nextdevelopmental phase of life.5. A capacity to create community: our individualismand “doing it our way” has great merit, but only to apoint. In its extreme, we have created a society inwhich we are often very separated by our lack ofintentional community building. We aredisconnected and people are left alone to face thechallenges of life. I have always been a helper and aresource and I see the years ahead as an opportunityto strengthen that commitment.In summary, our retreat yielded new friends, newthoughts and deep insights, and new commitment to theprinciples that speak to how we treat each other. And Idiscovered an author whose poetic expression resonatedwith me on so many levels. From Judy Brown in TheArt and Spirit of Leadership, I borrow these words toframe my conclusion:“…The story that is oursto live completelyis a mystery to us—because we’re busy tellingourselves storiesthat no longer fit—until we wake one dayand see life with our newly opened eyesfull of surprise.”This article first appeared in the Valencia Grove.Workshop participants engaging in dialogue.Professor Rich Gair reflectingFaculty and staff came together for a two-day workshoptitled, Moving In, Moving Out: Using the MovementModel to Reflect on our Work for Peace and Justicebased Parker J. Palmer’s Healing the Heart ofDemocracy. The workshop was led by nationallyrecognized facilitator Elaine Sullivan who comes to usfrom the Center for Renewal and Wholeness in HigherEducation.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201315 | P a g eINTERFAITH DIALOGUEPeace and Justice Initiative Hosts Trip to LocalBuddhist SanctuaryBy Andrew JohnsonValencia A.A. Student andValencia Voice JournalistORLANDO — From the “water drop tea house” to the“lotus garden,” the Guang Ming Temple has it all in itsauthenticity.Whilst the gilded sunset overtook Friday’s cloudless sky,temple staff and volunteers eagerly finished theirpreparations for the night of cultural enlightenment thatwas about to begin.After warm greetings from the temple’s network of staffand devoted volunteers, students with the Peace andJustice Initiative filled the aisles of the main shrine fortheir first glimpses into the traditions of humanisticBuddhism.Led by the temple’s director, who “worked in auniversity for 16 years before becoming a monastic,”students learned that “the temple was finished byvolunteers in 2007” and has offered its services to thelocal community since 1992.As the lights dimmed and the rhythmic voice of thetemple’s director led attendees into their first meditation,Buddhism permeated the room. With the principles ofeducation and cultural enlightenment guiding theevening, it soon became apparent that the temple guestswere in for an experience.Shortly after the meditation, students headed to the“water drop tea house” to participate in a traditionalBuddhist tea ceremony, including samples oftraditionally prepared black and green tea.After completing this stop in the communal tea house,students headed to the “lotus garden” for their first lookat a traditional “zen” garden, which provides thetemple’s participants a place of peace in which tomeditate and connect with nature.Eventually students made their way to the memorialcomplex. Featuring a large Mahayana Buddha shrine,the memorial complex provides local Buddhists with aplace to lay the remains of their loved ones, with thehope that the guidance of the Mahayana Buddha willlead them to a peaceful rebirth in the next life.Despite its’ ominous atmosphere, the memorial complexallowed students to gain a greater understanding of thelife and death of a traditional Buddhist before headingupstairs for their first attempts at calligraphy.Calligraphy, and ancient Chinese art form, serves as themedium for Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s wisdom tobe spread throughout the 200 branches of the Fo GuangShan monastery in Taiwan.Valencia staff joined the evening at the Buddhist Temple
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201316 | P a g eLaughter spread throughout the room as studentsattempted to recreate the ancient art form, ultimatelyresulting in less skilled, but entertaining, recreations.Shortly thereafter everyone headed upstairs for a briefsummary of the creation of Buddhism before joining thetemple’s young adult division for a vegetarian dinner.When asked about their experiences, Valencia studentJordan Pugsley said “Coming here was veryenlightening,” directly reflecting the evening’s main goalof cultural enlightenment.With the cultural atmosphere of Valencia continuallygrowing in its diversity, the Peace and Justice Initiativeis committed to “making a difference by intentionallyengaging in practices and principles that explore,advocate, and honor the dignity of self, others, and theearth.”Rachel Allen enjoying the Temple tourEvents such as the Night at Guang Ming Temple directlyreinforce their goals of partnering with the community topromote nonviolent conflict resolution and creatingrelationships between diverse groups of people in thelocal community.After learning of the temples free tai chi, calligraphy andintroductory Buddhism classes, local Valencia studentDrew Dietrich said “I would absolutely come back.”If you too would like to participate in the free servicesoffered by the Guang Ming Temple, or simply getinvolved with the Peace and Justice Initiative, visitwww.orlandobuddhism.org for more information orhttp://valenciacollege.edu/PJI/ to find out more about thePeace and Justice Initiative.This article first appeared in the Valencia Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org, April 2, 2013Valencia students were very excited to visit the TempleHumanities students attend the Temple event
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201317 | P a g ePeace Breakfast: A Multifaith GatheringThe bi-annualPeace Breakfastwas unique thisspring, withriveting storiesand poems sharedby ProfessorEmeritus, PennyVillegas, ProfessorLinda Goddard,and Professor EliSolis. The PeaceBreakfast is areflective time forsharing diversereligious andspiritual beliefs, with the aim of seeking commonground and unity among us.Penny Villegas sharing Native American storiesStudents engaged in the stories and poemsPEACE STUDIES CURRICULUMNew Course Offering for Fall 2013The Psychology of Peace is a new course offering in ourgrowing Peace Studies curriculum. Join Drs. JudiAddelston and Diana CieskoPAX 1000: Introduction to Peace StudiesIntroduction to Peace Studies: PAX 1000 is offered onthree campusesthis fall.Introduction toPeace Studies isa study of peacein itsphilosophical,religious,literary,historical andother culturalcontexts. Thecourse includesinvestigationinto the causesof violence onthe global andpersonal levels, and an emphasis on the interdisciplinarystudy of peace and the peace movement in historical andcontemporary views. Application of conflict resolution,nonviolence, and other practices necessary to becomemore powerful and peaceful members of our world arealso taught in the course.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201318 | P a g eGET HAPPY: Positive PsychologyShows Us the WayBy Dr. Linda FreemanProfessor of PsychologyDr. Tal Ben-Shahar teaches Harvard University’s mostpopular course: a course on Positive Psychology; that is,he taught his students how to be happy. The coursecalled PSY 1504 – Positive Psychology, was describedas follows:“The course focuses on the psychological aspects of afulfilling and flourishing life. Topics include happiness,self-esteem, empathy, friendship, love, achievement,creativity, music, spirituality, and humor.”Would you have signed up for this course? I know Iwould have. Others thought so too. At HarvardUniversity, 855 students enrolled in Positive Psychologyin ONE semester. This phenomenon is part of a surgingtrend in education suggesting a well-balancedcurriculum not only teaches students critical thinking,but also unconditional caring and positive humanfunctioning. The new discipline of Positive Psychologyemerged as a movement in psychology whose solepurpose is to research and teach techniques that foster apositive, adaptive, creative, and emotionally fulfillinglife. Valencia College is part of this growing trend inoffering a course in “Positive Psychology” with thepromise to teach our students about the “science ofhappiness.”What is Positive Psychology? Positive Psychology is arelatively new discipline that has undertaken thechallenge of expanding the scientific community’s ideaof happiness. For decades, traditional psychology hasstudied distress, anxiety, depression, and other mentalconditions. Consider the number of articles writtenbetween 1887 and 2003 on topics addressing negativeversus positive states: 93,381 about DEPRESSION 4,247 about HAPPINESS 23,790 about FEAR 933 about COURAGE 242,134 about SICKNESS 38,349 about PREVENTIONWith such an emphasis on human weakness and damage,Positive Psychology reminds science of its forgottenmission: “To amplify strengths, in addition to repairingweaknesses.” Positive Psychology provides a “how toguide” for increasing the happiness quotient by telling uswhat research suggests cultivates long-lasting positiveemotions and the obstacles that block it. For example,through rigorous scientific efforts, Martin Seligmanidentified a 5-point path to happiness that is notdependent on fickle fortunes or chance events.According to Seligman, people seem happiest when theyhave: Positive emotions – Feeling good Engagement – Being completely absorbed inactivities Relationships – Being authentically connectedto others Meaning – Purposeful existence Achievement – A sense of accomplishment ofsuccessWhy is Happiness So Hard to Achieve? If we knowwhat cultivates happiness, then why do many of us findhappiness to be so elusive? Simply put, this may bebecause we were never “taught how” to be happy. Barein mind, one of our basic human rights, as written intothe Declaration of Independence states we should be freeto pursue happiness. Nevertheless, it doesn’t tell us“how” to do that. Long-lasting happiness becomes evenharder to attain when we consider many of the myths wehave about what makes us happy. Many believeachieving something such as; a career, family, money, orfame will provide us with enduring happiness. PositivePsychology tells us that these things rarely work. Takeinto account what has been learned in recent years abouthappiness - none of which was mentioned in any of thecourses I took decades ago. Rich people are not appreciably happier than middleclass folks Money makes an ever-diminishing contribution towell-being, but money can buy happiness if it isspent on other people
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201319 | P a g e Another myth, “If I could have a family, then Iwould be happy.” In sampling people’s moodsthroughout the day, most people are not happierwhen they are taking care of their children thanwhen they are doing other things Lottery winners are no happier than lottery losers,one year after winning the lottery People who spend their time and money on doingthings together, whether it be taking a vacation orgoing on an all-day outing to the local zoo, reporthigher levels of happiness than those who buy abigger house, a more expensive car, or more stuffIs True Happiness Possible? Positive Psychology tellsus that we can become happier. As with any meaningfulgoal, it just takes commitment and effort. Not only canwe become happier, it gets easier over time. Researchersin the field of Positive Psychology have already laid thegroundwork for increasing and sustaining happiness. Iftheir research is right, then we have discovered themeans by which we can achieve happiness. Now, all wehave to do is - learn.Positive Psychology (PSY 2930) will be offered on EASTcampus in the FALL of 2013 with Professor LindaFreeman, PhD.Valencia College’s Peace and Justice InitiativePromotes Skill Building and InterdisciplinaryApproachesBy David J. Smith, MS, JDEducational Consultant andPeacebuilding TrainerValencia College in Orlando,Florida launched its Peace andJustice Initiative (PJI) in 2008.PJI focuses on developing apeace studies curriculum,sponsoring co-curricularactivities, offers community outreach, and engages inadvancing core Valencia competencies.One objective is “fostering a connection to Valencia’stechnical programs.” For the most part, peace studies hasbeen positioned as a social science and humanitiesapproach to learning. However, in community collegeswhere large numbers of students are engaged invocational and career education, peace studies and therelated concept of conflict transformation can be appliedto improved career and professional outcomes forstudents. An example is VC’s recently launched coursePeace, Conflict and the Police. The course is beingoffered in the spring 2013. The course descriptionindicates that in the course “students will learn themeaning of peace and investigate… the theories thatunderlie peace studies. In addition, students willinvestigate causes of war and violence….Students willinvestigate the police role in nonviolence movementsand learn about occupational and organizational factorsthat influence police behavior.” An important “applied”component is the requirement that students devise “analternative framework for the police that emphasizepeacekeeping strategies rather than coercive means.”Through this course, Valencia is taking a leadership rolein demonstrating that conflict transformation andpeacebuilding approaches in order to have broad basedsocietal impact must be integrated in career fields. Inaddition to criminal justice, a range of other fields areexamining peacebuilding including nursing, paralegal(where course work can exist in conflict resolution andmediation), and homeland security (where course workin international law can be present)Valencia has focused heavily on building skills forpeacebuilding in its student population. Its initial courseIntroduction to Peace Studies includes strong peace-skilldevelopment. Overall, PJI has worked collaborativelyamong a large group of interdisciplinary faculty. Theprogram has also hosted guest presenters and trainersincluding Michael Nagler, George Lopez, and AlmaAbdul Hadi-Jadallah.This article first appeared in David J. Smith’s blog.To watch a video featuring the Positive PsychologySpring campus event click here.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201320 | P a g eDavid J. Smith is the editor of Peacebuilding inCommunity Colleges: A Teaching Resource which willbe published by USIP Press in June 2013. Valencia’sPeace and Justice Initiative is featured in the appendix.Smith will be speaking at Valencia College August 23rdand 24th.CONFLICT TRANSFORMATIONBringing the Principles Home:A Student PerspectiveBy Jon-Michael BirtValencia A. A. StudentSometimes it can be hard sharing a house or apartmentwith other people. With so many different views andopinions, finding common ground and creating acohesive environment can be very difficult. I am goingto share with you the story of my success in hopes ofhelping others find the benefits of communal living or atleast take some pressure off of a stressful situation.I moved to Orlando in August of last year to start myfirst semester at Valencia. I moved into a house with fiveother roommates only knowing one of them for a brieftime. While we shared some interests and values, therewere a few issues that started to come up, quicklycreating a negative environment.The dishes were out of control on a daily basis. We werestarting an organic garden and even though everyonewas excited about having healthy, cheap food, gettingpeople to help in the construction and maintenance wasdifficult. We had an issue with unsolicited advice,creating hostility, and conflicting personalities andvalues creating abrasive and negative behaviors. Egosflared and insecurities arose among us.Now that you know all the issues we were facing, I cantell you how we were able transform our livingenvironment by using the Peace and Justice Initiative’sPrinciples for How We Treat Each Other.One day in my peace studies class the instructor told usabout a new way of looking at competition. The ideawas looking at competition as a way to strive togetherinstead of against each other. This resonated with me onmany different levels and pinpointed where the negativeissues were coming from in the house. Then theinstructor handed usa pamphlet that readthe Principles forHow We Treat EachOther. As we beganto go through theprinciples in class, itoccurred to me howmuch better ourliving environmentwould be if westarted using them inour house.The timing wasperfect. We hadtalked about a housemeeting to addressissues affecting thehouse. We began themeeting by each ofus reading oneprinciple and thentelling how wethought it wouldhelp the house if wewere to put it intoaction. Almost immediately I noticed a stronger sense ofcommunity among us. There was a noticeableimprovement in communication and comfort inexpressing views. We began to talk about the disheswithout pointing fingers or blaming. We initiated a plan
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201321 | P a g eof having days assigned to people for dish duty. A planwas made for garden construction and people startedasking what they could do to help instead of trying toavoid participation. Other issues in the house slowlystarted to be resolved.Over time and more meetings we learned to be moreaccepting of differences and became more open to eachother about the things that bothered us. We confrontedthe negative effect competition was having on our houseand discussed this new ways of using competition tohelp each other succeed. Not only did we squash thenegative, ego driven competition, we actually created aunique opportunity to learn and share our differentabilities in order to help each other be successful.We still face challenges every day, but with all that welearned by incorporating the Principles for How WeTreat Each Other into our home, and using ourcollective ideas and skills, we have a much morepositive living environment. I like to think of how mucheasier it would be to deal with all of the social issues weface in our world if people realized that the world is thishouse. We can overcome obstacles like hunger andunnecessary suffering and anything else that comes ourway if we could release the negative use of competitionand start striving together.For classroom sets of the Principles for How We TreatEach Other, please contact the PJI office or find themonline. Please let us know other creative ways that youare embedding the Principles into your personal andprofessional life.Posters of the Principles for How We Treat Each Otherare available for free to faculty and staff forclassrooms, faculty, campus and division offices, andcommon spaces on campuses. Please contact the Peaceand Justice Office to acquire posters.The Principles for How We Treat Each OtherOur Practice of Respect and Nonviolence1. Create a hospitable and accountable community. We all arrive inisolation and need the generosity of friendly welcomes. Bring all of yourselfto the work in this community. Welcome others to this place and this work,and presume that you are welcomed as well. Hospitality is the essence ofrestoring community2. Listen deeply. Listen intently to what is said; listen to the feelings beneaththe words. Strive to achieve a balance between listening and reflecting,speaking and acting.3. Create an advice free zone. Replace advice with curiosity as we worktogether for peace and justice. Each of us is here to discover our own truths.We are not here to set someone else straight, to “fix” what we perceive asbroken in another member of the group.4. Practice asking honest and open questions. A great question isambiguous, personal and provokes anxiety.5. Give space for unpopular answers. Answer questions honestly even if theanswer seems unpopular. Be present to listen not debate, correct or interpret.6. Respect silence. Silence is a rare gift in our busy world. After someone hasspoken, take time to reflect without immediately filling the space with words.This applies to the speaker, as well – be comfortable leaving your words toresound in the silence, without refining or elaborating on what you have said.7. Suspend judgment. Set aside your judgments. By creating a spacebetween judgments and reactions, we can listen to the other, and to ourselves,more fully.8. Identify assumptions. Our assumptions are usually invisible to us, yet theyundergird our worldview. By identifying our assumptions, we can then setthem aside and open our viewpoints to greater possibilities.9. Speak your truth. You are invited to say what is in your heart, trusting thatyour voice will be heard and your contribution respected. Own your truth byremembering to speak only for yourself. Using the first person “I” rather than“you” or “everyone” clearly communicates the personal nature of yourexpression.10. When things get difficult, turn to wonder. If you find yourselfdisagreeing with another, becoming judgmental, or shutting down in defense,try turning to wonder: “I wonder what brought her to this place?” “I wonderwhat my reaction teaches me?” “I wonder what he’s feeling right now?11. Practice slowing down. Simply the speed of modern life can cause violentdamage to the soul. By intentionally practicing slowing down we strengthenour ability to extend non-violence to others—and to ourselves.12. All voices have value. Hold these moments when a person speaks asprecious because these are the moments when a person is willing to stand forsomething, trust the group and offer something he or she sees as valuable.13. Maintain confidentiality. Create a safe space by respecting theconfidential nature and content of discussions held in the group. Allow what issaid in the group to remain there.Prepared by the Peace and Justice Initiative with considerable help from theworks of Peter Block, Parker Palmer, the Dialogue Group and the Center forRenewal and Wholeness in Higher Education
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201322 | P a g eTHE PEACE AND JUSTICEAMBASSADORSPeace Ambassador Program Kicks Off with RetreatBy Krystal Pherai, PJI staff assistant andLinnette Bonilla, PJI internIt was Margaret Mead who asserted, “Never doubt that asmall group of dedicated people can change the world.Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” and the Peaceand Justice Initiative’s (PJI) new core group of studentvolunteers, known as the Peace and JusticeAmbassadors, is doing just that.On Saturday, February 9, 2013, thirteen students andfour faculty/staff members gathered at Valencia’sCriminal Justice Institute (CJI) for the Peace and JusticeAmbassadors’ first retreat. The day was centered onthree major themes: bonding, exploration, andformation.Activities began with each participant choosing apartner. The pair would then ask questions about oneanother that would later be shared with the whole group.During this time, the room was filled with laughter andsmiles. After introductions, groups of three were formedto create posters that represented each of the PJIPrinciples for How We Treat Each Other, a practice ofrespect and nonviolence. A shared perspective of whatthe principles meant was drawn, shared, and thendisplayed on the walls.Following the principles project was the “Me Bag”activity. Attendees were asked to bring three items fromhome: one symbolizing their culture, one revealing theirconnection to Valencia, and one representing what peaceand justice means to them.After lunch, the ambassadors read a Hopi Indian story onteamwork before gathering outside for a team buildingactivity, with the goal of working together to bring ametal pole to the ground using only their fingertips (seephoto above). Although this activity may seem simple,each individual was required to work cohesively to reachthe goal.The group then met back inside to create visualdepictions of peace and justice. While several differentperspectives were shared during this activity, each pieceof art carried common themes: unity, community,respect, and equality.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201323 | P a g eAt the end of the day, participants were asked toindividually reflect upon the day and write a letter tothemselves, which will be mailed back to them at theend of the year as a reminder of the effect the retreat hadon their life. For the finale, the participants had dinner atOlympia, a Greek restaurant, where they relaxed,enjoyed each other’s company, and discussed ideas forthe future of the Peace and Justice Ambassadors.Since its formation in 2007, the Peace and JusticeInitiative has been heavily supported by faculty and staffat Valencia. The PJI is now happy to say that it is alsosupported by determined, dedicated, peaceful students.Check out the Peace and Justice Initiative on Facebookto view more images from the Peace and JusticeAmbassador retreat.The Peace Ambassadors is a partnership between thePeace and Justice Initiative and the office of diversityand inclusion. A special thanks to Linda Freeman,professor of psychology, Eli Solis, professor of foreignlanguage and peace studies, and Rachel Luce-Hitt,coordinator for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, foroffering their support and guidance in the developmentof the Peace Ambassadors program. For moreinformation, email@example.com.This article first appeared in the Valencia Grove.Conflict Minerals Petition on Earth DayConflict Minerals, including gold and tin are found inelectronics we use every day. Armed groups makemillions each year trading these minerals for weapons.The Congo is one of the worst conflict zones affected byconflict minerals.During the East Campus Earth Day celebration on April11th, the Peace and Justice Ambassadors educatedValencia students, faculty, and staff on conflict minerals,urging them to sign a petition challenging one leadingcorporation to use conflict free minerals in theirproducts. The petition, which received over 70signatures, will be sent to Apple, Inc.Taylor Sheffield and Stephanie Arredondo, Peace and JusticeAmbassadors educating students on conflict mineralsTo learn more, view Conflict Minerals 101, featuringJohn Prendergast of the ENOUGHproject.
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201324 | P a g eSERVICEThe Value of the Spring FlingBy Krystal PheraiPeace and Justice Staff AssistantWho would’ve thought that at twenty two years old Iwould find myself in, not just one, but two hula hoopcontests with children less than half my age? Moreover,who would’ve thought that those hula hoop contestswould take the place as thehighlight of my weekend?On Saturday, March 30,2013 the Peace and JusticeInitiative, along with theGay-Straight Alliance,Muslim StudentAssociation, ValenciaVolunteers, the PsychologyClub, Valencia’s PositivePsychology class,Valencia’s Peace Studiesclass, and members of theSeneff Honors College—allof which are ValenciaCollege clubs ororganizations—plus manymore volunteers hosted a Spring Fling for the childrenand families at the Coalition for the Homeless. TheSpring Fling consisted of fun activities including facepainting, musical chairs, watching a play, creating super-hero capes, and my favorite—as I mentioned—hulahoop contests. The kid inside of me couldn’t help butcome bursting out to play once I saw each activitystation!Although it was such a great site to watch the childrenfrom the Coalition run around laughing in fun, one ofmy favorite parts of the Spring Fling was to observe howthe parents of the children reacted to the day. Instead ofwalking their kids to an activity station and waiting forthem to finish pasting stickers all over constructionpaper, or to finish eating their cherry-flavored snowcones, so many of the parents got involved too. In fact,at one point during the Spring Fling two parents ran overto me in excitement wondering where they could snag apair of flower headbands, preferably in purple. Similarly,as her daughters were waiting in line to get their facespainted, a woman who wore the biggest smile I had everseen asked me, “Can I get my face painted too?!” Untilseeing these parents become incredibly enthusiastic to,not only watch their children have fun jumping in abounce house, but also to create their own bunny paperbag puppets, plant “dream seeds,” or to even participatein hula-hoop contests (yes, I was in a contest with amother from the Coalition—and yes, she gave me a runfor my money) I didn’t realize exactly whose lives thisSpring Fling was impacting. Before that moment, I hadalways assumed that the parents were appreciative, butwe were really just impacting their childrens’ lives byproviding them with a fun time; boy, was I wrong, andhappy to be wrong.Of course, helping the children positively impacted mylife as well, but once I saw the lives of the parents beingaffected, that impact grew greater and greater. It was justso nice to see everyone have a fun, worriless day. I neverwould have thought that I would leave the Spring Flinghaving the image of the Coalition parents’ smiles,laughs, and painted faces in my mind, along with theirchildren, but actually, that is an image that pops rightinto my head—with the hula hoop contests of course!Furthermore, those images—Coalition children andparents participating in activities together, having funand not worrying about anything, illustrate to me thatthis service project is a success and something that thePeace and Justice Initiative should continue in the future.The Positive Psychology Class planting “dream seeds”
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201325 | P a g eValencia Advisor Liz JusinoValencia students in superhero capes, creating the word“LOVE”Professor Eli Solis enjoying the Spring FlingProfessor Solis’ Peace Studies class put together a playWest Campus H.E.R.O.S. members shared snow conesThe Psychology Club face painting
Newsletter of Valencia’s Peace and Justice Initiative Volume 4, No 1 Spring 201326 | P a g eUPCOMING EVENTS ANNOUNCEMENTS ANDACKNOWLEDGEMENTSPJI Advisory CouncilApril 2013Thank you to our Advisory Council for offeringsupport and expertise.JUNEColleagues Travel to Notre Dame UniversityCongratulations to our Valencia colleaguesAnna Saintil, Eli Solis, Cass O’Little, KarenMarie Borglum, Debra Jacobs and A.J.Quackenbush chosen to attend TeachingPeace in the 21st Century: 5th AnnualSummer Institute for Faculty at Notre Damethis June. Read More…JULY9thand 10th, 1:00 PM, East 5-112Our Peace Heroes: Stories of Hope andTransformation, with Penny VillegasAUGUSTDavid J. Smith, Educational Consultant andPeacebuilding Trainer, and former peaceeducator at the United States Institute ofPeace, will be visiting Valencia August 23rdand 24thto speak about his new book,Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: ATeaching Resource, in which the Peace andJustice Initiative is featured in the appendix.Smith will also host a workshop with Valenciafaculty members.Want to follow the Peace and Justice Initiativemore closely?“Like” us on Facebook to get updates onnews and announcements, events, pictures,and interesting information about our13 Principles for How We Treat Each Other!www.facebook.com/valenciapeaceandjusticeThank you to everyone who contributes to the success of the Peace and Justice Initiative.The Initiative would like to send a special thanks to Student Development, the Patricia HavillWhalen Endowed Chair, and private donors who contribute through the Valencia Foundation.If you are interested in making a donation to the Peace and Justice Initiative,please contact the Valencia Foundation at http://www.valencia.org/.