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September 24, 2010 > Tools for change: 'Carry the Vision' conference

Tools for change: 'Carry the Vision' conference

By Supervisor Dave Cortese

I am excited to announce a great event, the Carry the Vision Community Non-violence Conference. I would like to extend an invitation to everyone to attend this enlightening conference which gathers hundreds of people from diverse sectors of the community who share a common goal to realize the potential of our human family to build a world that supports the well being of all. A partnership of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, Santa Clara University and my office, this year's conference will be held on Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara.

We are supremely blessed to live in the Valley of Heart's Delight, amidst great innovation, a multi-cultural community and the willingness of residents to make their neighborhoods and the community better places to live, work and play. However, we are not immune from certain realities of the world that occur in our own backyard, such as school bullying, gang violence, domestic violence and racism. I have seen this first-hand during my tenure as a school board member and city councilmember, and now as a county supervisor. It is sickening and saddening to see some neighborhoods plagued by cycles of violence where we should be building generations of leaders instead.

Affected families and neighborhoods, often end up in the juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency and safety net systems. So the need for local government to play a role in stemming the tide of violence cannot be overstated.

Many great leaders, including Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez, have used the tools of non-violence to enact change. This conference seeks to equip local community members, who see a need for change, with these tools. Ghandi, King and Chavez had noble goals. However, these tools can be used within your community to reduce the impact of gangs, help victims of domestic violence and create harmony.

In previous years, we have had great keynote speakers such as Arun Ghandi, Dolores Huerta and Yolanda King, among others. This year we are joined by the world renowned speaker, Father John Dear, S.J. A peace activist and author, Father John Dear has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In his dedication to non-violence, Father Dear travels the world, illustrating the power of non-violence through both his words and actions.

Also speaking will be Reverend Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a long-time civil rights activist, organizer and authority on non-violent social change. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement.

There will also be workshops and panel discussions to discover the inspiration to take simple but profound steps toward hearing each other and healing our earth. There will be a day-long summit for youth to teach them how to take tools of non-violence back to their streets and their schools. The conference is designed to enable participants to inspire each other by discovering how the human values of care and compassion can fuel our commitment to real and profound change.

By taking part, you can learn the simple tools that all the great leaders, who brought about change, utilized. These tools of non-violence will empower you to take the necessary actions in your life to effect changes in your communities. It is the power of the individual within the community that can create the greatest change.

I am truly excited about his year's program and hope you can attend. With these fantastic speakers, this event will surely sell out, so buy your tickets early. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and $10 for students.

For more information about the conference or to purchase tickets, visit As always, you can reach me at (408) 299-5030 or with questions on this or any other subject.

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