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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Victory Over Violence, UA club seek to bring peace

A UA campus club intends to bring violence issues in Tucson to light through a series of exhibitions and events this weekend at the Student Union Memorial Center.

The UA Buddhists for Peace Club and Soka Gakkai International – USA will be hosting Victory Over Violence to “bring Tucson together as a community to … come to a better understanding of violence and most importantly how to overcome violence,” said Brian Diezel, a Pima Community College student majoring in computer science and member of Buddhists for Peace Club.

The Victory Over Violence exhibition, which is in its 13th year nationally, was prompted by the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, according to Tomoko Marcus, leader of Desert Thunder District in Tucson for Soka Gakkai International – USA, a Buddhist association.

Youth members from the club and the international association prepared for five months to bring the Victory Over Violence exhibition to campus. The groups worked together to bring the exhibition to Tucson after the January 8, 2011 shooting, Diezel said.

According to Kali Van Campen, a family studies and human development graduate student and president of the Buddhists for Peace club, the international group and UA club share the same values and she said she would like the events and exhibitions to display those same beliefs.

“The Buddhists for Peace Club is a club to promote dialogue based on the dignity of human life that is founded in the Buddhist teachings of Nichiren and Daishonin,” Campen said.

Several student council members from Tucson Unified School District middle schools will be attending the exhibition in hopes to establish peace in their communities as well.

“The whole purpose for the event is the youth. This is a complete youth driven project. The youth are taking initiative for peace in the local community,” Marcus said.

The event will have a keynote speaker and 10 guest speakers and will include art activities, video, projects, and dialogues for all ages. Several of the guest speakers are UA professors from the linguistics, mental health and Indian and Latin American studies departments. The exhibitions and events will be held in the Catalina Room and Tucson Room in the SUMC from Saturday to Tuesday.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Tucson shooting was January 11, 2011 instead of January 8, 2011. This article has now been corrected to reflect the change.

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