Through Peace Education, Youth Can Become Vanguards of Peace in the Great Lakes Region

Over the past five decades, youth have played a central role in the numerous violent conflicts that have afflicted the African Great Lakes Region. The existence of deeply entrenched stereotypes based on ethnicity or nationality has been a key impediment for the prospects of peace. These stereotypes, marinated over the decades, have long been internalised by local communities and have regrettably been handed down to successive generations. We have a strong conviction that peace education offers the promise of nurturing a new generation of youth into vanguards of peace in the Great Lakes Region. It is on this premise that the ICGLR and Interpeace will bring together key stakeholders from the region to a Peace Education Summit in Nairobi on 3 – 4 March 2016.

The half-sister of President Barack Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng co-founded Ceeds of Peace, a Honolulu-based nonprofit that holds workshops to educate young people on building a more peaceful and just society. (Photo: Bebeto Matthews - AP file)

President Obama’s sister coming to Sacramento State to teach peace

As President Barack Obama struggles to resolve conflicts around the world, his younger half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng focuses on teaching young people how to live peacefully in their own communities. She is coming to California State University, Sacramento, to share her thoughts on building peace from the ground up.

Youth and Sports Minister Goncalves Muandumb at CANFEU 2016 Opening Ceremony. (Photo: Osvaldo Serafim)

Sports minister urges youth to promote peace (Angola)

Angolan minister of Youth and Sports Gonçalves Muandumba recommended engagement and responsibility of students in promoting peace, harmony, solidarity, civic attitude and patriotism. This was at the opening ceremony of the 14th Edition of the National Holiday Camping of University Students (Canfeu), running until 26th this month in south-west Namibe province.

Thinking about peace education: Lessons from the National Encounter on Peace Education (Colombia)

From October 1-2, 2015 a National Encounter on Peace Education was held in Bogota, Colombia. The event was summoned by 40 government organizations in partnership with civil society and with international cooperation. More than 650 persons from 285 regions and institutions of the country participated. For the past several months, a working group of the organizing entities devoted themselves to realize the compilation of the valuable documents, testimonies and records made possible through the encounter. These outcomes are shared in the book “Thinking about peace education: Lessons from the National Encounter on Peace Education.”

Peace & Planet: Appreciation and Responses to Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock Announcement

Last month the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that as a consequence of the nuclear, climate change and other existenial threats to humanity, their Doomsday Clock must remain set a three minutes to midnight, the “closest to catastrophe since the early days of above-ground hydrogen bomb testing.” The Peace & Planet Network has adopted this statement of appreciation and response to the BAS announcement, which urges us to more deeply understand and respond to the systemic roots of these threats to human survival and to more deeply integrate our movements to challenge them.

ALEPPO, SYRIA - JANUARY 31: Turkmen children carry wait for food distribution at al-Ra'ee camp, southern Aleppo in Syria on January 31, 2016. Turkmen who fled their homes following attacks by Syrian and Russian forces, live under harsh conditions at al-Ra'ee camp. (Photo by Mustafa Sultan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Seeding Peace in Syria – Education Should Play a Critical Role

The Syria conflict will soon enter its sixth year. It is time to think more long term, because a generation of young Syrians is in danger of being lost to despair, to violent extremism — the foundations for peace in the future will erode if this reality is neglected. Education is the best, long-term way to break the cycle of violence, to prevent violent extremism, and to set a society on the path to peace. It is a basic human right and a core pillar of sustainable development and peace.

Intro to Roadmap: Online Course

The Metta Center for Nonviolence strives to help people from all walks of life to discover the power of nonviolence, and to understand how to use nonviolence safely and effectively. One of the educational resources they have developed to this effect is the Roadmap model, and the latest addition to the model is the Roadmap online course. This free online course is self-paced, so you can start anytime and go at your own pace.

ICTJ President David Tolbert delivers opening remarks at the launch event for the ICTJ-UNICEF report on transitional justice and education in January 2016. (Meredith Barges/ICTJ)

ICTJ-UNICEF Panel: Education as Crucial Tool for Peace

On January 21, ICTJ and UNICEF held a special event to launch an important new report on the links between education and transitional justice. The launch was accompanied by a panel discussion moderated by ICTJ President David Tolbert. “While communicating an accurate picture of the past occurs in many ways, a fundamental element has to be through education,” said Tolbert. “How a past littered with human rights abuses is addressed in the curriculum is of clearly vital importance. Addressing the past is truly an intergenerational process, and education essential to that process.”

The importance of Peace Education in ending violence and conflict (Armenia)

Armenia has been struggling with peace since the 1990’s, starting with the Karabakh conflict. The investment of “Women for Development” (WFD), an Armenia based NGO, in areas of peacebuilding is very practical and measurable. They are working in several directions and their first priority is the integration of peace and conflict resolution education into school curriculum. With this goal in mind, WFD NGO is implementing the “Peace and Conflict Resolution Education in Armenian Schools” project.

The costs of inequality: Education’s the one key that rules them all

The revolutionary concept of free, nonsectarian public schools spread across America in the 19th century. By 1970, America had the world’s leading educational system, and until 1990 the gap between minority and white students, while clear, was narrowing. But educational gains in this country have plateaued since then, and the gap between white and minority students has proven stubbornly difficult to close, says Ronald Ferguson, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and faculty director of Harvard’s Achievement Gap Initiative. That gap extends along class lines as well. By eighth grade, Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. noted last year, only 44 percent of American students are proficient in reading and math. The proficiency of African-American students, many of them in underperforming schools, is even lower. “The position of U.S. black students is truly alarming,” wrote Fryer, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics, who used the OECD rankings as a metaphor for minority standing educationally. “If they were to be considered a country, they would rank just below Mexico in last place.” Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Dean James E. Ryan, a former public interest lawyer, says geography has immense power in determining educational opportunity in America. As a scholar, he has studied how policies and the law affect learning, and how conditions are often vastly unequal. His book “Five Miles Away, A World Apart” (2010) is a case study of the disparity of opportunity in two Richmond, Va., schools, one grimly urban and the other richly suburban. Geography, he says, mirrors achievement levels.

Where to Study Peace Education: A Global Directory

Where to Study Peace Education: A Global Directory

All around the world there is a growing demand for peace education, yet few know of the learning opportunities that exist for gaining knowledge, developing capacities, and building the fundamental pedagogical skills for teaching peace. In support of this need, the Global Campaign for Peace Education, in partnership with the International Institute on Peace Education and the Peace Education Initiative at The University of Toledo is pleased to announce the official launch of “Where to Study Peace Education: A Global Directory.” This online catalog provides an easily searchable inventory of formal and non-formal programs, courses, and workshops in peace education from around the world.

Education and Culture Minister positive on teacher visits across the divide (Cyprus)

Education and Culture Minister Costas Kadis said that initiatives such as the visits of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers to schools in both communities of Cyprus are very positive. Kadis also said he met recently with the members of the Technical Committee for Education and they exchanged views on how to promote a culture of peace, respect for diversity and different opinions as well as mutual respect between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

A soldier and a street trader in Bogota, Colombia

UN and Colombia launch post-conflict fund: peace education a priority

The fund will focus in particular on supporting conflict-affected areas in the lead up to and aftermath of possible peace agreements between the government and the country’s largest rebel group following almost 52 years of armed conflict. The fund will support initiatives to improve access to justice, local government capacity, the management of social conflicts and the promotion of education for peace, focusing on the most conflict-affected areas.

Educar para la paz: mucho más que una cátedra (Colombia)

De cara al posconflicto, la pregunta sobre el papel de la educaciónha estado presente en diversos ámbitos, tanto académicos como mediáticos. La primera reacción de nuestros legisladores siempre ha sido proponer cátedras: de convivencia, prevención de acoso escolar, protección del agua, del páramo… y ahora de la paz. Esto evidencia la poca o nula reflexión sobre el rol de la escuela en diálogo con la normatividad vigente y los retos de la sociedad actual, además de un gran desconocimiento de los problemas de fondo del sector educativo.

Pacific Basin Research Center

John D. Montgomery Post-Doctoral Fellowship – Theme: “Peace Studies”, Pacific Basin Research Center at Soka University of America

The Pacific Basin Research Center (PBRC) at Soka University of America, a premier Liberal Arts University in Orange County California, is pleased to announce a call for applications for the fourth annual John D. Montgomery Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The Fellowship is intended to support young scholars (within two years of defending their dissertation) whose research emphasizes humanistic development in and connections among the peoples of the Pacific Basin. This year’s theme is Peace Studies.

U.S. Deputy Marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, La., in this Nov. 1960 file photo. (Image by © AP/Corbis)

Segregation Forever?

This article from Teaching Tolerance magazine observes that the history of slavery—which ended in the United States over 150 years ago—is still shaping contemporary patterns of school segregation through its influence on our social institutions and our reliance on historical precedent and local tradition. The history itself happened long ago, but its legacy is a contemporary phenomenon because our social realities today are informed by what happened yesterday—including our less flattering moments. So, although people today are not individually responsible for slavery, we are very much responsible for how we respond to that history. As academic researchers, we use this understanding to guide the questions we ask and attempt to answer. It is what led us to investigate whether counties with stronger attachments to slavery have a higher level of school segregation today. We found out the answer is yes, but not for the reasons you might think.

"Invitation to Peace Studies" by Huston Wood

Invitation to Peace Studies

Invitation to Peace Studies is the first textbook in the field to emphasize 21st-century research and controversies and to encourage the more frequent use of a gender perspective in analyzing peace, war, and violence. Recent empirical research forms the core of most chapters, but substantial attention is also given to faith-based ideas, movements, and peace pioneers.

A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice prepared by Jennifer Gonzalez for the Cult of Pedagogy.

A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice

Ask teachers to describe the impact they hope to have on their students, and most will eventually say something along these lines: I want my students to grow into responsible citizens. I want my students to participate in society in an active, productive way. And maybe: I want my students to change the world. But how many of us know how to make that happen, really? Can we explicitly teach students how to change the world? If this question has been whispering in the back of your mind, the resources in this collection, prepared by Jennifer Gonzalez for the Cult of Pedagogy, will help.