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.
The 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.
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.