Learn to keep conflicts non-violent

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Cedar Goslin
The Broadside

On Feb. 18, as part of the Season of Nonviolence, the Multicultural Center will be putting on an event called Peace Making Through Compassionate Communication.

The multicultural center will be partnering with Carol Delmonico and Bryn Hazell to put together workshops that are designed to teach students how to communicate in a nonviolent but effective manner.

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This will be the third year that The Peace Center has partnered with COCC to put together these workshops.

“It’s trying to get us connected to how we can fight for social rights from a nonviolent perspective,” said Karen Roth, from COCC’s multicultural activities department. “This work shop is how we can speak to each other when we are in conflict in a way that is nonviolent and ultimately more compassionate.”

In the workshop, participants will be taught about situations in which they would need to use their communication skills, how to communicate without turning the situation hostile, and they will be given the chance to practice with one another.
Figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are famous for their use of nonviolent communication to stand up for themselves and fight for social rights, but according to Roth the skills that will be taught in the workshops are just as useful on a smaller scale as well.

According to Roth, however, the skills that will be taught in the workshops are just as useful on a smaller scale as well.

Roth said that one situation in which the typical college student may need to practice these skills would be if that student was having a conflict with a room mate.

“If the room mate is up late making noise when you’re trying to sleep, how do you talk about that in a nonviolent but effective way?” said Roth.

She also said that peaceful communication skills are useful in situations with friends, romantic partners, or in a public establishment in which a person might feel they’re not getting the service they deserve.

Another benefit of this training is that it teaches participants how to better communicate with themselves according to Delmonico who has been in peace training for about 11 years.

“It’s a four step process, but it’s more than that, it’s sort of a consciousness,” said Delmonico. “It helps you get in a more compassionate place.”

The workshops that will be put on at COCC are the same ones that are put on by The Peace Centerof Central Oregon, which organizes a number of events and workshops dedicated to replacing violence with effective peaceful methods of living.

“Creating a culture of peace through learning and practicing Compassionate Communication and other complementary teachings,” is the slogan written on the PCOCO website.

PCOCO has based some of their workshops, including the one they will be participating in at COCC, on a book called “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion” by Doctor Marshal Rosenberg. Rosenberg is the therapist responsible for starting the peaceful communication movement which is now spreading all over the world.

All are welcome to attend the workshop and receive a free lunch in the Campus Center, but all who plan to attend must register with Karen Roth by phone or e-mail in advance. According to Delmonico, the workshops are going to be very playful and hands on– not only useful, but fun.

“If we can create more peace within ourselves and our intimate relationships we can extend thatto the world,” said Delmonico.

Cedar Goslin can be reached at cgoslin@cocc.edu

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