The National Peace Academy, in collaboration with partners across the country, catalyzes, convenes, and facilitates local and national gatherings and processes for face-to-face dialogue, exploration, healing, celebration, and other such opportunities for communities to discover and practice living in right relationship. We do this as both a conceptual and a physical place.
We know that, as our country moves into the future, the needs of our citizens and of our planet will change. At a conceptual and philosophical level, therefore, as the demands of the times evolve, NPA holds the space for creativity, flexibility, and continued learning around peace, peacebuilding, and building and maintaining right relationships.
At a physical level, NPA recognizes that creating a safe space is essential for building peace in the midst of violence or conflict. Peacebuilders create this space by facilitating and designing processes that allow for all voices to be heard and respected, that is, a safe place for dialogue, communion, and community building. At the same time, there is a need for physical spaces where peace is promoted, maintained, taught, demonstrated, and celebrated. Such spaces also serve as a repository or library of resources that support peace, peacebuilding, and the culture of peace, and can be the “home” of the Five Spheres of Peace.
Therefore, NPA supports the establishment and operation of Peace Places in venues across the country, ultimately at least one in every state, in partnership with local organizations who offer to house them. Examples of the functions performed at Peace Places include:
- Convening in-person and online dialogues and deliberative gatherings focusing on major issues of the day and how those issues can be addressed from the perspective of a culture of peace and the Five Spheres of Peace.
- Consulting on and offering training experiences for peacebuilding processes and practices.
- Promoting the creation of nurturing physical spaces for the peacebuilder and for those seeking to bring peace to challenging situations. This includes a library, space for meditation and circle processes, and for dancing and celebration.