Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum will visit Oregon State University April 15-17, where she will call on Pacific Northwest high school students, teachers and OSU students to create a better world through community service and global action.
Her free public lecture on Friday, April 15, addresses her "Dream of a Beautiful Future." The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom.
Tum won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for her work to end the oppression and slaughter of the native people of Guatemala. Tum is part of PeaceJam, an international education program that works with Nobel Peace Prize laureates to engage youth in volunteerism and encourages them to work to transform themselves, their local communities and, ultimately, the world. Her visit is sponsored by the OSU Division of Student Affairs and the pre-college programs initiative.
Three hundred youth, teachers and college mentors will attend the two-day PeaceJam conference April 16-17 at OSU. Forty-five OSU students will serve as mentors during the conference. The emcee for the conference is Rudy Balles, a gang violence prevention specialist. Balles participated in Rocky Mountain PeaceJam as a teenager, which he says changed the direction of his life.
"Rudy is inspiring," said Ann Robinson, a student media adviser and a campus coordinator of PeaceJam.
"Each year we have a chance to give young people global education and then we do everything in our power to feed their passion to create positive change in the world.
"This is our seventh PeaceJam - and our fifth Nobel laureate," she added. "The high school and college students personally interact with the Nobel Prize recipient and while they are here, the students will contribute 600 hours in service to a dozen local non-profit organizations in our community."
Youths from Solano County in California to Whidbey Island in Washington will spend the weekend. The Solano County youth come from 10 different high schools in and around Fairfield.
In addition to offering support to victims of the Japanese earthquake, students will learn how to organize emergency preparedness in their communities, volunteer at more than a dozen area non-profits and participate in workshops focused on such topics as food for a healthy planet, creating a hate-free community, and building coalitions in order to do meaningful work.
Students will present to Menchú Tum the service work they have been doing in their respective communities. It is part of the Global Call to Action, a movement inspired by the Nobel Peace laureates, who sit on the PeaceJam Foundation's International board of directors.
The Nobel laureates are asking youth to take leadership in eradicating world hunger, preserving the environment and leading us to a time of peace.