High School Students For Nonviolence


Students hang up their paper hearts on a sapling oak tree to symbolize their commitment to the cause.

Taylor McQueen, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Sept. 21, a “Louisville Engaging Nonviolence Symposium for High School Students,” was held in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church off of Hubbards Lane.

Around 40 students from Sacred Heart Academy, St. Francis High School, Trinity High School and Wagner High School came to this event.

This event was offered by the Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion for only one particular reason:

“To fulfill its mission of growing compassion in the hearts of the community,” said Anne Walter, the director of the Drepung Gomang Center.

This opening event is the center’s third annual “12 Days Toward Peace,” an initiative that raises awareness around the practice of nonviolence as the foundation of constructing compassion.

At the symposium, there were four guest speakers, which included Mayor Greg Fischer. Fischer gained the students’ attention through his discussion of how to erase violence from a community with compassion.

“One of our goals is to be the most compassionate city in the world, not because it’s a competition, but because we want other cities to aspire to live compassion as a value,” Fischer said.

Throughout the day, the students got to discuss with each other about what peace, violence, and nonviolence mean and how they play a role in our world today. The ultimate goal for them was to figure out ways to turn away from violence and work toward peace.

At the end of the day, the students were given a heart to write their name in and to hang it on a sapling oak tree to symbolize their growing commitment to live out their mission of promoting nonviolence within the community.

The Drepung Gomang Center will be hosting a “International Day of Nonviolence: Gathering of Hope” for their annual “12 Days Toward Peace” on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.