Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hostelling International Chicago 2012 Peace Conference: Disruptive Thinking

Save the Date!  

Hostelling International Chicago will be hosting its annual Peace Conference:

Saturday, October 27th from 8am-7pm and Sunday, October 28th, 9am-6pm. 

In the past, Hostelling International-USA has hosted Peace Conferences bringing together diverse groups in their city’s communities.  This year, both Hostelling International-San Diego and Hostelling International-Washington, DC have successfully brought together community members to promote the idea of peace and to empower young adults to make a positive impact on their local and global communities alike.  Each highlighted a certain theme, yet the goal remained the same—to work toward a more peaceful world.  HI-San Diego’s conference took place in April and focused on creating peace by addressing systems of oppression, and in September, HI-DC’s conference encouraged its attendees to fight for human rights.  Each conference featured international cuisine, keynote speeches and panel discussions, as well as other exciting activities!

Similarly, HI-Chicago's two day conference was created with the intent to promote peace by thinking innovatively, pushing traditional boundaries, and participating actively in our communities.  At the conference you will have the opportunity to do all three and more by attending round-table discussions and workshops with diverse local experts and community leaders.

That’s not all! Here are some more great activities at a glance:

  •  cultivate inner peace with a certified yoga instructor
  • visit a local art gallery
  • attend the Peace on Earth Film Festival film and discussion segment
  • enjoy an interactive, multicultural music and dance showcase presented by Old Town School of Folk Music
  • and, of course, networking!

   Workshop topics will include peace through travel, sustainable agriculture, gun violence in Chicago, women's empowerment and peace; art and social justice; Israeli-Palestinian peace; and innovative international connections.

The keynote presentation is by disruptive thinker 
Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein: What Gandhi Said.

Dr. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.  For many years, he taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict, and is a sharp critic of American-Israeli relations.  You may know him as the professor who was denied tenure at DePaul for his controversial research, and whose students conducted a sit-in and hunger strike following the university's decision.  

Also, Sunday, October 28, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m will begin the the mini film festival presented by Peace on Earth Film Festival!


Living for 32 (USA/2010 -- 40 min) - Short Doc.  Director: Kevin Breslin.  Theme: Gun Control and the struggle for survival and understanding.  The inspirational story of Colin Goddard, a survivor of the tragic Virginia Tech campus shooting massacre, April 16, 2007. In Living for 32, Colin shares an intimate account of the terror he and his classmates endured and the courageous journey of renewal and hope he chose to pursue.

PAPIROFLEXIA (USA/ 2007 -- 3 min) – Animation.  2008 POEFF Winner - Best Animation.  Director: Joaquin Baldwin.  Theme: Transforming the world, is a metamorphosis of the self.  Winner of numerous film festival awards, Papiroflexia (Spanish for “Origami”) is the animated tale of Fred, a skillful paper folder who could shape the world with his hands.

Angela's Garden  (USA/2011 -- 16 min) - Short Doc (Student).  Director(s): Chris Bentley, Kristofor Husted & Matthew O’Connor.  Theme: transformation of a neighborhood through gardening (Chicago).  Angela Taylor turns to her community garden on Chicago’s west side to help deal with the loss of her father, fight drug dealing and crime in her neighborhood, and foster a sense of pride on her block.

FRIDAY  (UK/ 2011 -- 17 min) -- Short Narrative.  Director: Sebastian Rice-Edwards.  Theme: Revenge cannot mend a broken heart.  The story of a teenager struggling to come to terms with the death of his mother on the one-year anniversary of the tragic event that took her life.

Faith in Common (US / 2010 -- 29 min) - Short Narrative/Comedy.  2012 POEFF Student Voices for Peace Award (grades 6 - 8) Most Inspiring Story.  Director: Andrew Newell.  Theme: Let the children lead you to compassion, understanding and tolerance.  Agnes Goins she is worried for her son's spiritual well-being because his father, David, isn't much of a believer. This worry comes to the surface when an Iranian Muslim family, the Alizadehs, move in next door. The Goins want nothing to do with their new Muslim neighbors. Mr. Alizadeh responds in kind to his Christian neighbors. Only Matthew and his counterpart in the Alizadeh family, Anisa, seem to find a connection.

Things to know:

  • Once you register, you are registered for all activities for both days.
  • There will be workshops on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, followed by interactive activities.
  • General Admission is $15.00
  • Students, $10.00
  • STUDENTS! You must present valid, current student ID upon arrival

Here is a detailed schedule of events:

Ticket Sales end October 27th—Space is limited!

Secure your ticket today by registering here. See you there!

(For more information or any questions about the conference, contact HI-Chicago Community Liaison 
Sharday El-Assar at activities.chicago@hiusa.org or 312-583-2227.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last Daley Plaza Farmers Market of the Season! Thursday, Oct 18

The LAST Daley Plaza Farmers Market of the season will be taking place tomorrow, October 18th! Conveniently located at the Daley Plaza, it is just a few short steps from the hostel (50 W. Washington. - Corner of Washington and Dearborn). In addition to the large variety of fresh veggies, fruits and flowers, for the first time you will also be able to buy fresh meats! So if you're hungry stop by the market and grab some delicious fresh food, listen to guest speakers and meet some chefs! It's a great way to meet some Chicagoans and support the local economy!
Listed By Day of the Week
Market hours: 7am - 3pm.

Its the first red meats market!
Last market day of the season!
Catch it before it's gone!!!

Downtown Markets

For more details visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fun Fact! A single wind turbine can power 500 homes!

As a Green Power Partner of the EPA we are utilizing REC’s, or Renewable Energy Certificates, to offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with purchased electricity.

With over 500 beds and over 80,000 overnights provided to travelers from all around the world the amount of energy consumed is undeniably large. At this scale, the implementation of 100% wind energy credits over the past two years is very significant and exemplifies an active role in how we affect our surroundings.

Fun Fact! Wind energy was used in ancient times (5000 BC), some 7000 years ago, to propel boats in the Nile river. Reed boats were used in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Amazon.


If people could see the benefits of wind energy millennia ago, we must not ignore them now! With wind energy now more efficient than ever, why not use it?

Fun Fact! As of 2010 wind energy was over 2.5% of total worldwide electricity usage, and is now growing at more than 25% per annum. Lets help it grow even further!

We are proud to say that we are part of the EPA Green Power Partnership!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Buy a Bottle and Fill it Up!

Why is it that when thirsty and wanting water, people do not simply drink free tap water, but instead choose to pay unnecessarily much for a plastic bottle which will get thrown out within hours, and to pay for water which can easily be obtained at no cost?

With the HZH20 water fountain currently in the process of installation at our hostel, filling up a bottle with water will soon be more convenient than ever! It is crucial that our guests and staff learn about the many benefits of tap water.

Take a look at this!


Tap water is unhealthy for you. MYTH! In contrast, most sources state that in the U.S. tap water is actually in many aspects healthier than bottled water because tap water is more closely controlled and tested than tap water. 

Bottled water always comes from natural sources such as natural springs in the mountains. MYTH! Many companies that sell bottled water are in fact selling you tap water! Which you can easily get for free! The concept of bottled water is not too far from the idea of capturing air off of the streets in bottles and selling it to people. Would you pay for air when you can easily breathe it at no cost at all?

In addition, the production of bottles is a huge waste of resources and creates literally TONS of WASTE!

So purchase a reusable bottle once, and fill it up as many times as you like!
Save your self some money, and save the environment in the process!
To make it even easier for our guests and staff, we expect to soon have bottles available.

And if you manage to find a reason to refuse to drink tap water, than please remember to at least RECYCLE!