"A Piece of Luther: The Nobel Peace Prize Forum "
A note from Aaron Schmaltz Inside Giving intern
April showers bring May flowers, but March brings the 23rd Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum . Luther College, as well as four other colleges of Norwegian heritage, will meet with speakers from around the world to discuss the topic on this year's agenda: Striving for Peace-Courage to Act.
According to President and Nobel Laureate, Barack Obama, in order to truly honor ideals like peace, justice, and human rights, we must uphold these ideals "not when it is easy, but when it is hard." This is the inspiration for the 2011 forum, and these are the words which will resound in our minds for years to come.
I'd just like to take a moment to say how incredibly staggering student involvement is at Luther. Not only will speakers like 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi be present, but students, too will have the opportunity to offer workshops and promote peace. I can't help but compare the forum to a United Nations meeting, with past and future generations of leaders working together to inspire change.
Kiflu Tesfaye, Luther student and founder of I-ImpactNow, is quite enthusiastic about his involvement in this year's forum. "People say 'actions speak louder than words,' and that is true... It is only through actions that a giant step could be taken closer to peace." Kiflu and his colleagues will be speaking in a workshop entitled, Students Collaborating on Irrigation to Fight Hunger in Ethiopia.
Similarly, Assistant to the President, Karen Martin-Schramm emphasizes the importance of courage in today's society: "Nobel laureates don't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'm going to pursue the Nobel Peace Prize." Their life path puts them in situations where they are confronted with injustice, war, conflict, environmental degradation, etc. and they decide to act: to pursue peace and justice no matter the cost."
From Elie Wiesel to Rigoberta Menchu to Barack Obama, we learn that the world is in an increasing state of disrepair. Opportunities like the Peace Prize Forum encourage students like me to be well-informed, to be armed with the knowledge and the ability to make change. It is our duty as citizens, as community members, as graduates and undergraduates. My time at Luther College has taught me many things, but the most important is this: we are all pieces of this world, the protection of which begins with us.