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Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2004

By: Submitted by Laura Kath (Expired article)

Santa Maria, CA -

Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchú is a Keynote Speaker
The public is invited to attend the sixth annual "Building Bridges to Peaceful Families" Conference on Friday, October 22, 2004, from 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., at the Royal Scandinavian Inn, 400 Alisal Road, Solvang.

The Conference is presented by a collaboration of Santa Barbara County agencies including the Adult & Aging Network, Child Abuse Prevention Council, District Attorney's Office/Victim Witness Program, DVCC in South Santa Barbara, Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County, Family Life Counseling Service., Inc., Family Violence Prevention & Intervention Partnership, KIDS Network, Lompoc Valley Health Care Organization, People Helping People, Santa Barbara County ADMHS/Alcohol & Drug Program, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Vandenberg AFB Family Advocacy. Every year, more than 200 community leaders attend the daylong event hearing top-notch speakers in the field of domestic violence prevention, intervention and treatment.

This year, the Conference is proud to welcome as a keynote speaker Rigoberta Menchú, a Nobel Peace Prize winning author and human rights advocate. Menchu, a Mayan Indian of Guatemala, was award the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethnocultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples." Born in abject poverty, government soldiers brutally murdered Menchu's mother and brother because her father opposed the ruling landowners, and then set fire to the Spanish embassy where her father and other campesinos were making a peaceful protest and burned them all to death. Menchu became an active member of the Committee for Campesino Unity and then helped found the Revolutionary Christians. Her keynote speech at the Conference will focus on the power of peaceful change to transform individuals, communities and society.

Other featured speakers will include Aimee M. Thompson, Executive Director of the internationally recognized, groundbreaking Close to Home Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative in Boston; and Aaron Kipnis, Ph.D. president of The Fatherhood Coalition, and author of Knights Without Armor, co-author of What Women and Men Really Want.

This Conference meets the requirements for Continuing Education Credits for MFT, LCSW, RN, MD and CADAAC as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Advance registration is highly recommended although some walk-in registration may be available (subject to space availability). The fee is $85.00 per person and includes all workshops, program materials, continental breakfast buffet and luncheon. Payment may be made by check, VISA or MasterCard.

To register or For Further Information Contact:
Dr. Vida Makowski, Conference Chair
C/O Family Life Counseling Services,
call 805-346-8118
or E-mail:
or visit the website:

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