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Manhattan, KS 66506
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Sources: Susan Allen, 785-532-6444, slallen@k-state.edu;
and Dorinda Lambert, 785-532-6927, djlink@k-state.edu
Web sites: http://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence/ and
http://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence/links/peacepoles.htm
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

K-STATE'S 2009 RALLY FOR NONVIOLENCE TO CELEBRATE A DECADE OF NONVIOLENCE EDUCATION AND FEATURE DEDICATION OF THE K-STATE PEACE POLE

MANHATTAN -- The 2009 Campaign for Nonviolence Rally at Kansas State University will include two special events: a dedication ceremony for the K-State Peace Pole and the celebration of a decade of nonviolence education in the community.

The annual rally will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, in the courtyard at the K-State Student Union. The date is significant, according to Dorinda Lambert, clinical director of K-State counseling services and chair of K-State's Campaign for Nonviolence, because Sept. 21 also is the International Day of Peace.

"The Campaign for Nonviolence Rally provides a way each year for advocacy, health-related, environmental and other nonviolence-related groups to introduce themselves to new students and the community," Lambert said. "This year's rally will include informational tables and the annual Campaign for Nonviolence "Be the Change" awards will be announced. This year's rally also is a part of K-State's annual Community Cultural Harmony Week activities."

Highlighting this year's rally will be the dedication ceremony for the K-State Peace Pole at 12:45 p.m. Sept. 21 on the corner of the UFM Community Learning Center's lawn at Manhattan Avenue and Thurston Street. The 9-foot granite pole was carved by Jim Bell, owner of Manhattan Monument, and his family of sixth-generation stonemasons from Beloit.

The pole is funded by donations to the Campaign for Nonviolence and UFM Community Learning Center from the Manhattan Community Foundation Outdoor Arts Fund in memory of Marjorie "Marge" Bernard Allen, a 1944 K-State alumnae, and her husband, George W. Allen, who earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from K-State in 1945.

The pole resembles a miniature Washington Monument and bears the message "May peace prevail on Earth" in four languages. Peace poles around the world display various languages. Susan Allen, director of nonviolence education at K-State, said the four languages selected for the K-State pole are Japanese, where the peace pole project began; Dzongkha, the language of Bhutan where progress is measured in terms of "gross national happiness"; English; and the language of the Potawatomi.

In addition, as a way to acknowledge the interrelatedness of all beings on planet Earth, tracks of the opossum, heron, turtle and bison also are included on the pole, Allen said.

"The new K-State Peace Pole reflects not only the work we have begun, but also our determination to continuing building a just and safe community," Allen said. "I hope the pole will become a gathering place for individuals and groups. I see the peace pole as a calm place to be -- a breathing space where we can renew our expectation for peaceful human interactions and our resolve to learn the skills to make that happen.

"Peace poles are symbolic, but our thoughts and intentions matter. Peace is not an end state -- it is a daily practice," she said. "Like the Campaign for Nonviolence in general, the goal of the peace pole is to create an environment that encourages people to work for justice. This is what makes peaceful interactions possible."

Allen said the first peace pole was placed in Japan in 1955 as a response to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Masahisa Goi, a Japanese poet, writer and philosopher, began the peace pole movement as a way to spread peace around the world. Goi died in 1980, but his message has gained momentum. Tens of thousands of peace poles now exist in more than 200 countries, including two others in Manhattan: one in the Community Gardens near Howie's Recycling Center and one at Manhattan High School.

More information is available at:
http://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence
http://www.worldpeace.org
http://www.k-state.edu/ufm