Star-Bulletin Features

Saturday, June 23, 2001

From left, Chris Takushi, Kaneko Tahara and Bennie King,
volunteers for the Youth Peace Committee, were at Ala Moana
Center yesterday publicizing Victory Over Violence Week and
the Family Youth Culture Festival on July 7.

Victory Over
Violence Week
aims at getting
to the root

The week will end July 7
with a festival of dance and
youth performance groups

By Shirley Iida
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Sixteen-year-old Cherie Ching does her part for world peace through dancing.

The 16-year-old junior at Pearl City High School is among a group of youths who have made a pledge toward living a nonviolent life.

Ching will perform in a jazz hip-hop show July 7 for the Family Youth Cultural Festival to celebrate Victory Over Violence Week. VOV Week, which extends from July 1-7, is a national youth-sponsored initiative to help young people identify and counteract the root causes of violence in their lives.

The festival, she said, is for people from all races and religions to come together for a common cause.

"We're hoping that everyone can see that we're all the same. We have the same kind of nature inside us. We all can attain happiness through helping each other through nonviolence because religion is for the purpose for everyone to become happy," said Ching, a member of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai-International.

SGI's Youth Peace Committee created Victory Over Violence to support the United Nations' "Culture of Peace" initiative. The Youth Peace Committee was formed a decade ago by Buddhist peace activist and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

Joanne Tachibana, public relations coordinator for the festival, said violence can come in different forms from passive to active, sometimes leading up to extreme cases like the Xerox Building and Columbine High School shootings.

Linda Loredo, a volunteer with the Youth Peace Committee,
proudly displayed her purple Victory Over Violence ribbon
yesterday afternoon at Ala Moana Center.

Passive violence is a form of violence showing disrespect toward other people with small, inconspicuous acts like name-calling, teasing, judging and criticism, Tachibana said. It starts off small but fuels the fire for physical violence.

Young people start to ask themselves what they can do, she said. "We care about Hawaii and want to make it a less violent place."

VOV Week, which culminates with the festival on July 7, is meant to promote awareness, increase dialogue and educate youths about the resources and services available in Hawaii. To help support the cause, purple ribbons are also being distributed at all Taco Bell and Times Super Market locations.

On the day of the festival, two youth performances by such groups as Drill Team Hawaii, Disguyz and HyperSquad are scheduled at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center Arena. Before the performances, the public can visit pre-show exhibition booths. Doors open at noon and 5 p.m.

To pick up tickets for the free performances, a booth will be set up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today on the second floor of Ala Moana Center, near the Louis Vuitton store. Tickets are also available by calling 595-1000.

Among the sponsors of the event are the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition-Hawaii, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline, Center for Global Non-Violence, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, SGI Youth Peace Committee, Contemporary Museum, Honolulu Night Life Magazine and United Nations Association-USA, Hawaii Division.

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