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Hamilton Centre for Teaching Peace (HCTP) is pleased to announce its plans for the evening programme of the Conscious Communities Conference in November 2010 in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

On the evenings of November 11, 12, and 13th HCTP will be hosting free, public short-form presentations from champions of peace, education, social justice, and community development. Each speaker will be given 15 minutes to share inspiring ideas and stories with the audience.

Talks will be held at the downtown Sky Dragon Community Co-Operative, in addition to other venues yet to be announced.

Call for nominations

We are seeking nominations from the public for speakers. Who do you know that deserves 15 minutes of the undivided attention of a public audience? Do you know somoene who's quietly (or not-so quietly) enabled positive social change in a community?

Nominees should be from the Hamilton/Halton/Niagara region, aware of the nomination and willing to present on one of the evenings. All ages are encouraged -- we especially love hearing from youth and elders alike!

To nominate, please email conference (at) peace-education.ca with the subject line "Speaker nominee" and the presenters name, email or phone number, and around 250 to 350 words about why they should be featured.

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On behalf of the Hamilton Centre for Teaching Peace, I would like to invite you and your students to participate in this year’s 9th Annual Youth Peace Education Conference taking place at the McMaster University campus on November 11th, 2010.

As an organization, our goal is to reduce different forms of violence in Hamilton through education and the building of alliances between organizations and individuals. This conference in particular is a way to include youth in the discussion, where they can articulate their interests and needs, while developing new friendships, visions and skills which will assist them in their journey towards peace.

In past years, we have introduced participants to issues related to peace from the global to the local level.  We’ve invited community heroes to discuss the UN Manifesto for a culture of peace, the Global Campaign for Peace Education, environmental stewardship and various facets of social justice, experienced within and beyond school environments.  Through numerous inspiring workshops, we have also attempted to address unique manifestations of violent cultures in the schools themselves, while empowering students and teachers with the practical skills and knowledge they need in order to transform themselves and whatever oppressive dynamics exist within their schools.

This year, we will offer more speakers, workshops and opportunities for dialogue and artistic expression, which relate to this year’s theme,  “Conscious Communities”.  In order to achieve our goal, that is to serve learners in their efforts towards building peace in and beyond their schools, we are asking for students and teachers to help direct the organizing process.  Attached is a survey, which should take no more than five minutes, for teachers to complete in their classrooms.  Essentially, we are seeking for students to be involved in whatever capacity they are comfortable with.  For example, through the survey, students can offer their visions for the conference day, or if they’re interested in greater involvement, like making decorations, or even developing their own workshops for the conference, we would be happy to help facilitate these planning sessions over the summer, or during the next school year.

Please fill out the survey with your class, and forward the names and emails of those students that are interested either in summer or September planning.  We also welcome you, the brave educator, to join us as we develop our vision and programme.  Please feel free to reach us at our office phone (905) 523-0111, or by email at julia [at] peace-education.ca. Thank you for your hard work, and for your time and consideration.

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The core aspect of cultivating a culture of peace is sustainable, conscious communities that live, breathe, grow, learn, and thrive. With that in mind and heart our focus this year will be celebrating and advancing “Conscious Communities” at the Ninth Annual Conference on Peace Education in Canada.

The conference will aim to advance the cultivation of peaceable communities at two scopes: local communities and communities of common interest.

The local communities scope will include the core educational needs that must be satisfied to allow all members of a physically local community to flourish. Topics explored may include but are not limited to: “transition towns” movement, local and organic foods, ecological literacy, renewable energy, arts, living wages, conflict transformation, Peace Cafés, School Peace Program, social entrepreneurship, education in local histories, storytelling, and democratic participation.

The communities of interest scope will explore the unique challenges and needs of individuals that are not necessarily physically close to one another, but share common experiences. Topic areas explored may include but are not limited to: social networking, online collaboration methods, solidarity work, the exchange of best practices between communities, social entrepreneurship, new media, marginalized communities, fair trade, literacy, access to education, and more.

Call for Proposals

Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace is seeking proposals for workshops and presentations during the “Conscious Communities” conference.
Workshops will be 50 or 100 minutes in length, and are encouraged to include participatory aspects to their design.

New this year: public mini-keynote presentations

Evenings of the conference will include a series of free, open-to-the-public 15-minute “mini-keynote” presentations at various locations in the city of Hamilton. Applicants are welcomed and encouraged to also propose a mini-keynote presentation either as a “sampler” of a proposed workshop, or of another topic of interest – keeping in mind that the audience demographics will be a more general public. Different forms of presentation will be considered for approval, including but not limited to a prepared talk, film short, multimedia, performance art, and storytelling.

Link: Online Proposal Form for Conscious Communities 2010

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