EUGENE, Ore. - The PeaceJam Foundation of Denver, Colorado, coordinated workshops at Central Presbyterian Church in Eugene on Friday for just over 200 Willamette Valley middle and high school students.
Workshops trained kids to deal with cross-cultural barriers, teaching that non-violence is a strength, not a weakness.
They also had a workshop on the Japanese martial art of Aikido, a defense marital art skills used to defuse potential violent situations.
"We have 250 young people here in Eugene who are learning about the life of the Dalai Lama and figuring out projects that they're going to do in their own community," explains PeaceJam co-founder Dawn Engle.
Students were very eager to hear the message from the Dalai Lama and reinforce what they have learned in the classroom about peace and non-violence. "Just walk out of the room with a different point of view of the world, because we're really grateful to have him come here," said
student Nathan Wollin of Network Charter School of Eugene.
Founded in 1996, PeaceJam was a nominee for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. Dawn Engle is nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the foundation.