Dr. Laura Jansma, professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, teaches “Communication and Peace” and next week her students will be putting on the sixth annual Peace Fair. Students will give attendees and passersby the opportunity to engage in peace-related activities during the fair. The Peace Fair will take place on Wednesday, May 25 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the lawn in front of Building 434, across from Storke Tower.
The Peace Fair will be the ultimate exhibition of what students in the “Communication and Peace” course have been learning and working on throughout spring quarter. Students in the class have been working on various projects that range from constructing their own personal definitions of peace to creating theories explaining how we can communicate peace in a variety of ways. The Peace Fair will display an assortment of student projects that demonstrate how we can create or reinstate peaceful communication with others. Additionally, multiple campus and community organizations will be present to inspire and teach attendees how to incorporate the concept of peace into their everyday lives.
One such community organization that will be at the fair is Let it Go Yoga, a therapeutic-based company located in downtown Santa Barbara. Let it Go Yoga will show attendees how they can use yoga as a meditative practice to create a personal experience that is both calming and liberating for the body and mind. This local yoga organization will promote peace by helping participants learn to change negative thought patterns, break undesirable habits, and adopt positive patterns of behavior.
Kaia Klissner, a third-year Communication major, is one of the students who will be presenting her peace project at the fair. Klissner’s project will demonstrate her individual ideas on how to communicate peace in personal relationships.Klissner says that she will be “hosting a letter-writing table at the fair which will allow participants to compose letters to friends and family members whom they have had past differences with.”
By doing so, participating letter-writers can take the first step in restoring peaceful communication in their personal relationships. One of Klissner’s intentions is to demonstrate that while we may have significantly different beliefs than those of family members and friends, we can still create harmony in these relationships by acknowledging and accepting such differences.
“I believe that through writing these letters, people will feel more at peace with themselves and learn how to reinstate peaceful communication in their relationships,” said Klissner.
UCSB third-year Chantel Pozon is another “Communication and Peace” student who will be showcasing her project at the Peace Fair. Pozon’s unique approach to promoting peaceful communication involves creating a paper chain where each link of the chain has something written on it that encourages an act of love, care or understanding.
“When someone rips off a link of the chain, it will read something like ‘give a hug to five people’ or ‘compliment the person standing next to you’, ” Pozon said.
The basic purpose of Pozon’s peace chain is for people to communicate peace and understanding by performing the acts written on each link, all while spurring a chain reaction by inspiring others to do the same.
Dr. Jansma recalls how thrilled she has been with both her students and the people who have participated in the previous Peace Fairs.
“Every year I am always so impressed by the creativity of the student projects and how they engage the attendants in their activities,” said Jansma. “The Peace Fair experience is one of relaxation, pleasure, sharing, cooperation, and exploration for everyone involved. I really enjoy when passersby make a point to stop at the fair and devote five, fifteen, or thirty minutes of their time to take part in this experience,” Jansma says.
The “Communication and Peace” course will be offered to all undergraduates this summer session, whereas the class is exclusive to Communication majors during the school year. Be sure to mark your calendar for next Wednesday, May 25, and keep your eyes peeled for the Peace Fair which will take place on the lawn across the bike path from Storke Tower.