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Yosemite Peace Symposium: A Gathering of Peacemakers

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BASS LAKE — The community is encouraged to attend the second Yosemite Peace Symposium on March 20 – 21, 2020 at The Pines Resort and conference center at Bass Lake.

“The Yosemite Peace Symposium is my response to the division that’s so prevalent in our country,” explains Susan Madden, founder of the event now in its second year.

“The purpose is to grow a community of peacemakers, to provide education in the area of peace, and to help them build a plan of peace to bring back and implement in their own communities.”

The Symposium is non-political, Madden notes, and is designed for a wide range of participants, from peacemaker to environmentalist, educator, corporate sustainability staff, community organizer, activist, and student.

10 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Yosemite Peace Symposium

  • Your purpose is to cultivate peace
  • You know that peace begins with each of us
  • You’ve forgotten everything you learned at the last conference you attended
  • You’re ready for a new kind of learning experience
  • You want a plan to implement peace in your community (neighborhood, school, office, etc.)
  • You want to learn from those that are already working in the area of peace
  • You want to share ideas with other people just like you
  • You’re ready to start walking your talk
  • Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places on earth!
  • You want to be a part of a community of Peacemakers

For those who were in attendance at the inaugural event, held at Tenaya Lodge, some differences may be noted.

“We took everyone’s comments from last year and made some changes. We have added  track called Peace and the Arts and we are working closely with Living Room Conversations this year to be sure the conversations continue after the Symposium,” Madden added.

“This is a lot of information to process and you asked for some ‘down time.’ Lunch time will be time to refresh in whatever way that means to you – meditation, walking, yoga, sitting by the lake and reading, it’s up to you.”

Knowing that it’s not uncommon for people to attend conferences, learn some new and exciting information, then go home and get back to our regular routines, forgetting the buzz and excitement from the original process in the process — the Yosemite Peace Symposium people are planning around that so it’s not inevitable.

“We want the Yosemite Peace Symposium to be different,” Madden says. “We are offering four tracks to choose from – Peace and the Environment, Peace and Our Youth, Peace and Human Dignity, and Peace and the Arts – with very focused breakout sessions in each track.

“Speakers will share ideas for your take away. The final track will be a facilitated goal-setting session, so that you will leave with specific tools to implement a plan for building peace in your community. We believe that what is implemented will create a movement that will eventually be a ‘tipping point’ where we will see the spread of peaceful practices on a larger scale.”

And it won’t end there, say organizers.

“We are building a community of peacemakers who will share ideas and support each other through regular, online communication.”

Yosemite Peace Symposium on Facebook

FAQs and answers from Yosemite Peace Symposium courtesy of Susan Madden:

Who Will Benefit from the Symposium Proceeds?
The Yosemite Peace Symposium is a fundraising effort of Be the Power of One, promoting education in developing communities in the U.S. and abroad. To find out more about Be the Power of One, visit their website.

I’ve been to peace conferences before. What makes this one any different?
The Yosemite Peace Symposium is very focused. Our expert speakers in each of the breakout sessions will give you ideas and tools to take back to your community so that you can implement your own plan of peace. The “Peace, Mission: Possible!” session will help you set that plan into motion.

“Peace, Mission: Possible!” What’s that?
In this facilitated breakout session, the final breakout of the Symposium, your track will break in to groups for “Living Room Conversations” to help jumpstart your own plan of peace. You wouldn’t climb El Capitan without the proper planning, would you? That’s what these sessions are all about.

Why are the breakout sessions divided into tracks?
Peace is more than just an absence of conflict. It’s all those other areas that create sustainable peace: respect for the environment, raising a new generation of peacemakers, acceptance of those that are different than you, the beauty and peace of art, and so on. If we each stay focused on the area of most interest to you, we will accomplish more.

What if I want to attend a session in another track?
One of the goals of the Yosemite Peace Symposium is to create a community of Peacemakers, so that we can share information and support each other in our work. Attending a track with the same group of people, helps strengthen that community. It also helps you to keep your focus. If you have a very strong reason for wanting to attend a session in a different track, let’s talk. Just reply to this email and let me know how I can reach you by phone.

What all is included in the registration fee?
All breakout sessions and general sessions are included, along with breakfast and lunch both days. The “Peace Room” hospitality suite with appetizers, wine and other beverages is included as well. If you need accommodations, visit this link.

I want to be there, but not sure I’ll be able to attend those days. Can we register onsite?
There are a limited number of seats for this event, so I can’t say at this time. If you want to check back with me right before the event, I’ll be able to tell you then.

What about the food? I have very specific dietary restrictions.
Meals will be served buffet style so there will be a good selection to accommodate most diets. I have ensured that there will be vegan/vegetarian options at each meal.

Since one of the tracks is “Peace and the Environment,” what are you doing to help make sure this meeting is kind to the environment?
The environmental impact of this meeting was a very important consideration when we began planning the Symposium. We are working closely with The Pines Resort to ensure there is as little waste as possible.

Okay, I’m in! Where do I go to register?
Smart thinking! Click on this link to go directly to the registration page. And be sure to register early to save.