Panels & Workshops - Day 1
8:30am – 9:00am
Opening Ceremony with Mayor Cory A. Booker
9:00am – 10:40am
Peace Within Panel
Moderator: Robert A.F. Thurman
Panelists: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Deepak Chopra, MD, Mahishan Gnanaseharan, Roshi Joan Halifax, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Wilbert Rideau
Peace Workshop I: Friday, May 13, 2011, 10:45am – 12:15pm
• PW 101
The Neuroscience of Enlightenment with Deepak Chopra MD, New York Times Best-Selling Author / Founder of The Chopra Foundation / Co-Founder The Chopra Center for Wellbeing
A modern understanding of neuroplasticity and gene regulation has demonstrated that not only are our genes fluid, but also that we can, through shifts in consciousness, actually change the structure and function of our brains. “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” It is now possible to correlate thought, perception, emotion, intention, or any other mental process with a corresponding neural representation in synaptic networks. A new understanding of the mind/brain relationship is emerging and it is becoming clear that we can participate in the evolution of our consciousness through mental practices such as meditation and mindful awareness of sensations, images, feelings, thoughts, and perception. In addition to showing attendees in the Workshop the clear correlation between mental events and brain representation, I will introduce them to transcendence and getting in touch with pure consciousness. We will discuss a theory and practice for higher states of consciousness and rewiring the brain for enlightenment.
• PW 102
The Elements of a Thriving Life and a Thriving City with Jason Milton
After studying human behavior and psychology for over 70 years in over 160 countries around the world, Gallup has discovered what it means for someone to live a thriving life. Jason Milton will discuss Gallup’s world-renown research as well as some of our most interesting findings on wellbeing, job creation, and youth development and how the three come together to turn thriving lives into thriving cities. Every night, we ask 1000 Americans how they evaluate their life, physical and mental health, healthy behaviors, work environment, and their access to the basics within their communities. In addition to wellbeing, Jason will speak about the importance of a fulfilling job, how we harness the potential of our youth to create entrepreneurs, and the importance of an education that instills hope and creates engagement. In order to improve the quality of life in our country, we need to start with our cities. Please join us for a robust conversation around the future of our nation.
• PW 103
I Am Present for Peace: An Introduction to The PeaceKeepers Global Initiative with
Captain Dennis Muhammed and Russell Simmons
This Workshop will illustrate various methodologies used by the PeaceKeepers to engage individuals in peaceful conversations on reducing violence in their neighborhood. We will teach individuals why asking the powerful question through “The ART of HOSTING CONVERSATIONS” gets everyone involved in finding the solution. Attendees will learn the importance of individual responsibility in changing the vibration of a neighborhood. The “Hour of Power” will be introduced, illustrating the value of having men walk the neighborhood in a peaceful manner. The conversation will lend itself to understanding how this method could be adopted in all communities, not just communities with gun violence, but any violence that plagues a community. Most importantly, individuals will learn the value of positive messaging and be introduced to the I Took the Pledge Campaign. They will be charged to take the message back to their community: I AM PRESENT FOR PEACE.
• PW 104
Interfaith Conjunctions: Buddha, Jeremiah, Jesus and Muhammad on InnerPeace/Shalom/Salaam with Michael Christensen, Imam W. Deen Shareef, Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz, and Reverend Robert Corin Morris
In the early sixth century BCE, Jeremiah (586), the ‘weeping prophet’ in Jerusalem (city of peace), wrote a letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon to “seek the shalom of the city where you have been sent, and pray to the Lord in its behalf, for in it’s shalom, you will find your shalom.” (Jeremiah 29:7). A short time later in India, Shakyamuni Buddha (566 – 485 BCE) pointed toward the way to inner peace (nirvana). Around 33 CE, Jesus of Nazareth was executed as the Prince of Peace for showing the way to inner and outer shalom. In the 6th century CE, Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah (570 – 632) became the Prophet of Peace (Islam) and pointed to salaam as a state of soundness, felicity and “… perfection, accord, connectedness with those around us, inner contentment, soundness, peace, safety and freedom from faults and evils of any kind!” In this Workshop, religious leaders from the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace, focused on the praxis of peacemaking in the city, discuss how their particular faith traditions inspire them to work together to engage gang culture to reduce youth violence in Newark. Philosophically and practically, they will suggest possible intersections and pathways of Inner Peace/Shalom/Salaam toward a common vision of peace and wholeness for persons, communities and the cosmos.
• PW 105
Community As Healer with David Kerr
David has been treating addicts in Newark for over 40 years. Some of the most vulnerable individuals in our culture with the disease of addiction are sitting in jails with hundreds of other needy addicts waiting for a bed to open for help. There is not much that Integrity Houses treatment network can do about these long waiting lists of addicts needing recovery. But there is something we can do to bring people through long-term drug treatment and recovery. Integrity’s principles of recovery focus on the healing power of the treatment community. Counseling is an important aspect, but people change their lives when they are surrounded by a community of people, demonstrating love and human concern. The message of peace and hope must start in the minds of our student members before it can penetrate the larger community of the City of Newark, New Jersey.
• PW 106
Peace Education under the Mango Tree with Theo Koffler
How can we help young people overcome violence, poverty, depression and stress to make positive choices and goals? Since 2008, Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB) has led a unique peace-building initiative with over 1,300 educators and 800 students in conflict and post-conflict regions in the world from Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Israel and most recently, to Canada and the United States. Join founder Theo Koffler and a team of MWB facilitators in an interactive council that explores the inner resources that bring inner peace and compassionate action into daily life. Discover how seeding conversations on social and emotional competencies that are vital for coping with the stresses of our increasingly complex world enhances character, self-discovery, and discernment and helps youth expand their possibilities.
• PW 107
Inner and Outer Peacemaking with Bernie Glassman and Roshi Joan Halifax
Roshi’s Bernie Glassman and Joan Halifax, renowned pioneers in engaged Buddhism, have served in many areas of suffering. They will explore with us their engaged Buddhist work as a practice and path of compassion with the homeless, the dying, prisoners, and multi-faith, multi-national groups, gathering to bear witness at the Auschwitz concentration camps. They will share how inner and outer peace are not separate.
• PW 108
What Spiritual Wisdom Can Add to Liberal and Progressive Politics to Heal and Transform our World: A Strategy in face of Environmental and Social Crises with Rabbi Michael Lerner
Spiritual transformation requires both an inner process of personal growth and healing and a way of addressing the larger crises of the political, economic, and environmental issues that we face in the 21st century. Unfortunately, these two have too often been split apart, so that some people address the inner and some the outer, whereas what is needed is a transformative movement and spiritual practice that is equally sensitive and attuned to both levels. In addition, liberal and progressive politics fails to win the national support it needs when it ignores the spiritual dimension of human needs and focuses only on critique of existing realities and short-term policy changes without presenting a coherent worldview and vision of the world that we seek. Such a vision must integrate a spiritual dimension into our very conception of economics and politics. Rabbi Lerner will present the ideas of the Network of Spiritual Progressives on these issues and its proposals for what a spiritual domestic and foreign policy that is spiritually grounded could look like (for preparation, please read www.spiritualprogressives.org/ESRA)--and how to get involved locally in this project to transform the liberal and progressive world and transform American society.
• PW 109
Youths as Agents of Change for Ending Gender Violence with Jimmie Briggs and Aimee Oberndorfer Le
Jimmie Briggs will outline his vision for enlisting non-traditional partners for stopping violence against women and girls, namely youth and men, through starting the Man Up Campaign, a global initiative to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. Following his explanation of the origins and development of the Man Up Campaign, Briggs will introduce several like-minded initiatives and partners, including A Call to Men, V-Girls and Girl Up, detailing the precedent and necessity of innovative partnerships and approaches in the pursuit of gender empowerment and equality.
• PW 110
Person-to-Person Giving: The New Philanthropy with Charles Best, Founer, DonorsChoose.org
Charlest Best will explain the Web 2.0 emergence of Citizen Philanthropy. After recounting the story of DonorsChoose.org., Charles will provide a tour of kindred ventures including Kiva, Kickstarter, and Global Giving-and explain how these "online social marketplace" can build cross-cultural understanding and connectedness.
12:15pm – 1:30pm
1:30pm – 3:30pm
Peace In The Home Panel
Moderator: Robert A.F. Thurman
Panelists: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Nancy Black, David Kerr, Somaly Mam, Marian Schreck, Sam Tsemberis, James ‘Loose’ White, Lavar Young, Youth Representative: Newark All Stars.
Peace Workshop II: Friday, May 13, 2011, 3:35pm – 5:05pm
• PW 201
Transformative Change in Newark with Michael Anne Kyle
Newark Now is a local nonprofit founded in 2003 by now-mayor Cory Booker to provide Newark residents with the skills, tools, and support to transform their neighborhoods. In less than 10 years, Newark Now has created national models of financial empowerment, responsible fatherhood, and family success. This Workshop will explore issues of structural violence in our society, and then look at the solutions Newark Now has come up with to support individual and community success, as well as the work still ahead of us. To complement this organizational perspective, a dynamic panel of Newarkers will share their individual experiences with personal and social transformation. In true Newark Now style, audience engagement is encouraged.
• PW 202
Ordinary Peace, Extraordinary Life: Contemplative Tools for Peacemaking with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
This "hands-on" and "mind-on" Workshop explores various contemplative tools, emerging from the wisdom traditions, which will help us to develop a deeper understanding of peace and nonviolence. We will look deeply into certain qualities shared by peacemakers such as compassion, fearlessness, and stillness, and consider how to cultivate those qualities. The Workshops aims to help individuals create a “sustainable” ethical framework in order to live a meaningful and happy life
• PW 203
Pathways’ Housing First: Ending Homelessness in Humane, Compassionate and Cost-Saving Ways with
Sam Tsemberis Ph.D., Founder and CEO
Pathways to Housing was founded in 1992 to provide housing and treatment services to people who were living in the streets and who had mental illness and addiction problems. Through conversations with the people it intended to serve Pathways developed a highly effective Housing First program that created a paradigm shift in providing housing and services to this group of people. The agency is founded on the premise that housing is a basic human right and it does not require people who are poor and face multiple challenges prove they are ‘ready’ or ‘worthy’ for housing. It is also unique in that the people served by the program are the ones who determine what services they obtain and the sequence of those services. The Pathways’ Housing First program is widely disseminated in more than one hundred cities across the United States and Canada and in a steadily growing number of places in Europe. This presentation will describe how it came to be and the principles and values that guide its operation.
• PW 204
Using the 12 Steps as a Gateway to Recovery and Spiritual Peace with Marian Schreck
Beginning with the preface that addiction is a disease of the spirit as well as the body and the mind, Marian Schreck will explore the practice of peace as suggested by the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Particular attention will be given to Step 3, turned our will and our life over to the care of God as we understand Him; and to Step 11, sought through prayer and meditation to improve our concious contact with God as we understand Him. The Workshop will focus on how people in recovery from addiction of all types as well as family members of recovering people can have a peace-centered spirit by working these steps.
• PW 205
From War to Peace: An Encounter with Ishmael Beah and Dashaun ‘Jiwe’ Morris/ Rutgers University Peacebuilding Institute with Ishmael Beah, Dashaun ‘Jiwe’ Morris and Aldo Civico
Ishmael Beah, Writer and Former Child Soldier, and Dashaun Jiwe Morris, Writer and a Member of the Bloods, will share their experience of violence and redemption. In a conversation, they will share the lessons they learned in lives which were enveloped in violence and then transitioned to non-violence and a commitment to peace. They journeyed to hell and came back to share the tale. Their lives are the history of a regained humanity. A history of hope. The conversation will be moderated by Aldo Civico, Founder and Director of the Peacebuilding Institute at Rutgers University. He previously worked in Sicily and in Colombia on issues related to urban security.
• PW 206
Global Call to Action through PeaceART and PeaceJam Curriculum with Maria Snyder and Dawn Engle
Learn how two extraordinary pioneers and their organizations are working on creating projects to help empower children around the world through art and action, utilizing murals, film, and prose, and where tens of thousands of young people around the world, are working together on projects that are created and run by youth in schools, community centers, clubs, churches and beyond. Their goal -- to create peace and to change the world!
• PW 207
Fierce Compassion with Sharon Salzberg
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stated, "My true religion is kindness." Although frequently denigrated in our culture as simplistic and weak, the quality of kindness has an inherent power to transform our worldview from one of fear and isolation to one rooted in clarity, courage and compassion. This workshop will explore the powerful, sometimes fierce side of kindness, known at times as wrathful compassion. Through talks, guidedmeditations and question and answer sessions, Sharon Salzberg will explore the terrain of right intention, right speech and right action in the everyday challenge of bringing together compassion, honesty, strength and balance.
• PW 208
Addressing Anti-LGBT Bullying: Helping It Get Better for LGBT Youth and Those Perceived to Be LGBT with Daryl Presgraves
Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth experience harassment in school each year because of who they are. We will examine GLSEN’s groundbreaking research on the experiences of LGBT students in school, explore proven interventions that make schools safer for LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT, and look at ways we can all support creating a world in which all children learn to accept and respect all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
• PW 209
Somaly Mam Foundation Presents: Modern-day Slavery: Healing, Change and Prevention with Somaly Mam,
William Livermore, and Ling Ya Chea
The Somaly Mam Foundation will host a workshop highlighting both domestic and international trafficking and showcase various means of engaging in the fight to combat this global, multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Three speakers will explore the implications of modern-day slavery and the road to a slave-free world. Topics will include victim rescue, recovery, reintegration and empowerment, as well as targeted preventative efforts on a global scale.
• PW 210
“THE CASTLE” with The Fortune Society
The Fortune Society works on all phases of prisoner re-entry, including housing, programming, counseling, legislative issues, job training, etc. Four performers who have been incarcerated for a collective total of 70 years tell their stories of deprivation, decent into criminality, incarceration and finally their struggle to rebirth and full and productive lives. Each performance is followed by a talkback with audience. Ordinary people will better understand the reasons for commission of crimes, the details of actual incarceration and the struggle of each released former inmate to build a new life in the face of major obstacles. For those at risk of falling into criminal activity, THE CASTLE will be an informative narrative of what to avoid and what to expect. For those who are released, THE CASTLE will serve as a blueprint that others have followed to regain full and productive lives.
• PW 211
Return of Sacred Elements to Their Places of Origin by Mona Polacca, International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Wade Davis and Spiritual Authorities – Mamas of the Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wewi People of Gonawindua – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of Northern Columbia in South America.
This workshop will present a message of awakening to social, cultural, and environmental peace; in our understandings, achieving this embodies the spiritual balance of the world. Mona will reflect on the cultural strengths and factors that have supported survival of Indigenous people. The Mamas will deliver their message of the spiritual laws and original or ancient wisdom which has been their practice from time immemorial. Participants will experience a historical event, for this is the first time the Mamas will present in person to a large scale audience outside of their traditional territory.
The Peace Workshops will be held at NJPAC and the nearby venues: Robert Treat Hotel and Newark Museum.