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During our June “Innovating in Challenging Times” peacebuilding leadership gathering at Point of View (POV), the National Peace Academy and others in attendance agreed to gather at several of the annual peacebuilding and conflict resolution conferences – as an opportunity to reconvene and engage more folks across the country. In the months that have followed our June gathering, we have been able to offer follow-up opportunities at the conferences for the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and at the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) conference in Birmingham Alabama, October 25-28, 2017.

PJSA20Logo 0The theme for this year’s PJSA conference, “Moving from Civil Rights to Human Rights”, lent itself perfectly to our vision of deepening and expanding the circle of peacebuilders – and including those working for social, economic, and environmental justice who don’t necessarily identify themselves as peacebuilders. It continues to be heartening to offer spaces for leaders to discuss and reflect about the times we are currently working within, and the creative solutions for moving forward.POV at PJSA

Some of the POV-related gatherings at the conference included discussions around questions such as:

  • Who we are?
  • What inspires us about our work?
  • What are the possibilities for our work (including areas we need to focus on)?
  • What are challenges we should focus on?
  • What are challenges that impede our efforts?
  • How can we support each other better?

This growing initiative, now called the “Mosaic of Networks,” will reconvene at Point of View in June 2018.

Innovating in Challenging timesAs part of our historic partnership with S-CAR, Point of View and our shared mission to bring together and better support the many people doing peacebuilding work in the United States, in June 2017 we collaborated with others to host an intimate gathering of peacebuilders in Mason Neck, VA, to reflect on our efforts for peace and justice and to envision how we might better support one another in the work. This gathering intentionally brought together a variety of peacebuilders – educators, conflict resolution specialists, mediators, restorative justice practitioners, activists, etc. – to name the challenges we face and some potential areas where we may be able to collaborate and work together.

Peacebuilding DefinitionsSeveral specific possibilities emerged from the gathering.

  • A monthly “networking of networks” dedicated to learning from one another – for all those organizations that identify as a ‘network’
  • A merging of social justice and peacebuilding work – beginning with resource-sharing calls
  • A Point of View framework to be introduced at three upcoming peacebuilding conferences with the hopes of offering these deeper connections to an ever-expanding collaboration of organizations and individuals.

We intend to reflect together throughout the coming year and will offer another in-person gathering at Point of View in June 2018. To learn more and be involved, contact us!

Read partner David Smith’s reflections from the day.

Thursday, 09 March 2017 06:30

US Youth Rising

Tuesday, 04 October 2016 20:36

Chicago Peace Talk and Walk on 9/11

On September 11, 2016, NPA founder and peace journalist Robert Koehler spoke at the Peace Walk & Talk in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, held in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Bob’s report:

On September 11, 2012 the National Peace Academy joined the Metta Center for Nonviolence, September 11th Families for a Peaceful Tomorrows, and individuals from around the globe for an inspiring evening of connection, conversation and relationship building through a dialogical engagement with the paradigm shift “from aloneness to all-oneness” through the power of nonviolence. The evening was an opportunity to hear stories from participants of how the new paradigm thinking deepens the commitment to peace building, and how we might work together to build strategy to take all of the various good projects in the “movement toward peace” to the next level.

The interactive discussion invited everyone to contribute. The dialogue was structured to move from the largest frame — what is the “New Story” — to best practices for public participation, low-risk options for people to find solutions to some of the tough challenges facing us (“constructive program” work) and not-so-low-risk options (“Satyagraha”).

Listen to the Dialogue

If you were unable to join us on September 11 you can listen to a recording of the dialogue using the audio player below.  Please note that the “break-out” sessions are not recorded, however, you will be able to hear a report or “harvesting” of these dialogues.

Resources and References

We invite you to review the following documents from the co-hosting organizations that were shared as background material before the teleconference.

From the Metta Center:

From the National Peace Academy:

From September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows:

  • September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: Missions and Goals
  • 911 Stories: Our Voices, Our Choices, designed to revisit paths that could have been taken in the days after 9/11 by telling stories of people who were committed to nonviolence and opposed to war and acted on their commitments.
  • The “Peaceful Tomorrows” issue of The Change Agent,a national magazine published by World Education, includes articles, poems, and first-person narratives that teach the history of 9/11, wrestle with important legal and ethical questions related to security and liberty, examine the ‘rule of law’ in the context of terrorism, and provide a forum for the voices of people seeking justice and reconciliation. It offers many extremely moving stories about 9/11 and its repercussions.
  • We invite you to enter into conversation with teachers in diverse classrooms.  Please join the topic at this website established for “Teaching September 11

Evening Format

The dialogue followed a “world café” or “occupy café” format.  Hosting partners provided brief introductions followed by an inclusive dialogue process that explored meaningful questions.  Three questions were planned to be explored in breakout sessions, however time only permitted the participants to explore the first two.  Following a discussion of each question, a “harvesting” took place with the entire group, culivating some of the important ideas explored.

Question 1:

         
  • Fishbowl : First, Michael Nagler presented on “the story of belonging (aka “new story); then the following question was posed to 9/11 families and NPA: How does your work express your vision for the future?
  • Breakout Session – visioning session with participants: Create a collective vision for a future of belonging.

Question 2:

  • Fisbowl: Michael Nagler presented on Constructive Program; then, question posed: In what constructive ways have you or could you set about building part of that future?
  • Breakout session: Same question, but groups might chooseto focus on one area of their vision, eg media, AND what constructive programs do you think are needed to fill out the picture? (what have we collectively overlooked?)

Question 3:

  • Fishbowl: Michael Nagler explains Satyagraha; then question posed: What strategies do you have in mind or are you already practicing to overcome the inevitable resistance to your work?
  • Breakout: Same question, and here again: it might be a balance between what is needed and what is happening already.

logo peaceful tomorrows top

Tuesday, 04 October 2016 10:47

Teacher's Guide

Introduction

This study guide is divided into three units, one each for children, youth and adults.  The curriculum provides exercises and resources appropriate for the primary (elementary) and secondary (youth – adolescents) classroom.   The adult curriculum is intended as an introductory self-study guide.

The 90-day curriculum is divided into 12 weekly lessons, requiring between 45-90 minutes per lesson.   Two weeks are given to each of the 5 spheres of the National Peace Academy framework.   The first lesson provides an introduction to all 5 spheres and the final lesson holistically weaves the 5 spheres together through practical applications.

Given the broad and holistic scope of this curriculum, most exercises and activities provide only an initial introduction to the many theories, ideas, and practices of peace and peacebuilding.  Teachers should treat this curriculum as an introduction and should complement relevant exercises with follow-up activities.  In some instances, additional preparation may be required before engaging in exercises.  However, in most instances lessons are designed to stand-alone.  When and where possible, suggestions for additional resources are also provided.

The Teacher’s Guide includes:

  • Notes on the Structure of the Curriculum
  • Suggested Preparations and Follow-up
  • Curricular Learning Goals
  • Notes on Peacelearning Pedagogy

 Download

Monday, 03 October 2016 18:19

Children’s Curriculum

Lesson-based guide to the concepts of peace research for you and for others specifically designed for children.

Robert Koehier

On September 29, 2016,

Robert Koehler, nationally syndicated columnist and self-proclaimed peace journalist, shared his reflections on what it means to be a peace journalist, what drew him to that calling, and the role of peace journalism in healing divisiveness of our nation.  Bob says, "We can't report the truth until we find it in ourselves. We need to put violence into its larger context; it never happens solely in isolation. Conflict is easy to report; understanding is far more complex. We need to report the complex story. The media have a crucial role to play in the creation of peace - and its opposite."

 

Listen to more Past Dialogues

Monday, 26 September 2011 21:13

Youth Curriculum

Lesson-based guide to the concepts of peace research for you and for others specifically designed for youth.

Monday, 26 September 2011 12:06

Adult Self Study Guide

Lesson-based guide to the concepts of peace research for you and for others.

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