University of Oregon

Prisons, Peace, and Compassion Conference

May 20 – 22, 2011
Cascadia Center – Mount Vernon, Washington

A Cascadia region Conference hosted by the UNESCO Chair for Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace

The Prisons, Peace, and Compassion conference asked how truly compassionate is our approach to incarceration in the Cascadia region.

Conference participants examined this question by focusing on four key areas: education and rehabilitation, families and community, spirituality, and prison system personnel. An information packet containing articles, statistics, and best practices regarding the four content areas was sent to participants prior to the conference. The meeting brought together a broad diversity of people associated with the prison system in the Cascadia region. Participants included prison system personnel, prison chaplains and spiritual leaders, representatives from non-profits, policy makers and government officials, scholars and researchers, former inmates, artists and authors, and representatives from foundations that support works related to prisons and peace.

Our vision is to create a vibrant network of groups and individuals working together to address and ameliorate the current crisis. We created a plan of action that will raise public consciousness about the current situation, provide added support for ongoing efforts, and address overlooked areas of need. By pursuing these goals, we will be catalysts for change, working to create a culture of compassionate, peaceful action.

The report from this conference was delivered to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, where it will inform international efforts.

Special Thanks to our Community Partners:
The Flow Project, Cascadia Center, Brigid Collins Family Support Center, Kuntz and Company, Sound Essence Project, Compassionate Action Network, National Coalition of Community-Based Correctional & Community Re-Entry Service Organizations

We are continuing to seek funds and support from Community Sponsors. If you are interested in learning more information about what is needed, please contact Kate Connolly at

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