Valencia Celebrates Peace Week With Focus on Compassion, Stress Reduction

Friday, September 22, 2017

Orlando, FL – At a time when the United States appears to be headed toward a showdown with North Korea, and Americans seem more divided than ever, Valencia College will hold its annual Peace Week celebration Sept. 25-29.

Each September, the Peace and Justice Institute celebrates International Day of Peace with Global Peace Week festivities and events including peace education, music, arts and crafts, guest speakers, and free film screenings in partnership with the Global Peace Film Festival.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Peace and Justice Institute is offering a lineup of workshops that focus on mindfulness, equanimity, compassionate communication and stress reduction.

Highlights of the week’s events include:

  • “The Neuroscience of Peace: Cultivating Equanimity in a Chaotic World.” This short workshop will detail how scientific research connects to modern neuroscience and the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation. Monday, Sept. 25, 8:30-9:45 a.m., East Campus, Building 8, room 101
  • “Know Your Rights,” a workshop led by Orlando police officers, in which participants will learn strategies for handling encounters with the police safely. Monday, Sept. 25, 10-11:15 a.m., West Campus, Health Sciences Building, room 105.
  • “Conscious Consumerism,” a workshop that educates consumers on how to identify brands and products that have low impact on the environment and workers. Monday, Sept. 25, 1-2:15 p.m., Winter Park Campus, room 225.
  • “Outdoor Qigong: Moving Meditation.” Qigong is a form of “moving meditation” that combines mindful meditation with rhythmic physical movements to focus and center the mind. Moving meditation can be an alternative to seated meditation because it allows you to work off excess energy, which makes it easier for most people to find mental focus. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 8:30-9:45 a.m., East Campus, Building 8, room 101.
  • “An Exploration of Human Trafficking in Central Florida,” led by the executive dean of Valencia’s School of Public Safety, with two experts from the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10-11:15 a.m., East Campus, Building 5, room 112.
  • “Environmental racism,” a presentation that explores hazardous environments in or near minority or low-income communities. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10-11:15 a.m., West Campus, Health Sciences Building, room 105.
  • “Communicating Compassionately: The Power of Nonviolent Exchange.” Workshop participants will discover and put into action the four components of nonviolent communication and consider the question: Can our needs be expressed and met more fully through empathy? Tuesday, Sept. 26, 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., East Campus, Building 5, room 112.
  • “Guns on Campus Debate” facilitated by the League of Women Voters of Orange County. Wed., Sept. 27, 10-11:15 a.m., Winter Park Campus, room 143.
  • “What Just Happened in the Room: An exploration of primal empathy.” This interactive workshop will explore the science behind primal empathy (or emotional contagion) what it feels like to catch the “contagion,” and tools we can use to peacefully defuse negative emotional contagion when it takes hold in your relationships and in groups. Wed., Sept. 27, 8:30 – 9:35 a.m., West Campus, Health Sciences Building, room 105.
  • A screening of the documentary “Love the Sinner,” a documentary by Florida native and queer filmmaker Jessica Devaney, in which she examines Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. Wed., Sept. 27, 2:30-3:45 p.m., East Campus, Building 8, room 101.
  • A screening of “A Place at the Table,” a documentary that follows three full-time workers who must rely on soup kitchens for sustenance. Thursday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m., West Campus, Health Sciences Building, room 105.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, please go to

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Valencia’s West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Dr., Orlando. Valencia’s Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee. Valencia’s Winter Park Campus is located at 850 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park.

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