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:
This growing initiative, now called the “Mosaic of Networks,” will reconvene at Point of View in June 2018.
As 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.
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.
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”).
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.
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:
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.
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:
Lesson-based guide to the concepts of peace research for you and for others specifically designed for children.
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."
Lesson-based guide to the concepts of peace research for you and for others specifically designed for youth.