“The Armor of Light”: a Catalyst for Peacelearning

Betty Reardon reviews Abigail Disney’s newest documentary “The Armor of Light.” Brilliantly executed, ethically instructive and politically relevant, the film is an important contribution to the current societal conversation debating the American gun culture, its daily shootings, and the growing conflation of weapons with personal and family security that characterize it. The regularity of gun deaths that takes lives of all ages and races, but disproportionately of young black men makes the persistence of racism imbedded in our social order readily evident. Less noted, brought to public attention only in sensational cases or crimes that bring the active attention of feminists and women’s rights activists, are the multiple incidents of domestic violence escalating beyond physical abuse to murder, when the abuser is in possession of a firearm. Children bringing loaded guns to school or dying by accidental shootings, usually in their own homes is more frequently reported. Easy access to guns also increases the possibility that death or serious injury in the commission of crimes that might not otherwise have had lethal consequences.

Clearly the prevalence of handguns and private possession of assault weapons poses a problem of such proportions as to be a subject of significant attention on the teaching agendas of all peace educators. Disney’s film is a powerful pedagogic tool for addressing this agenda item. It vividly illustrates the dire national need to confront the problem of weapons in American society and documents the struggle to fulfill that need by three individuals of diverse backgrounds who share strongly held beliefs in the value of human life.

Peace Education Training for Philippine Colleges of Education

The Center for Peace Education of Miriam College organized a training for faculty teams from Philippine Colleges of Education May 19-20, 2016. The workshop sought to introduce the participants to the knowledge base, attitudes and skills that comprise peace education as well as on the teaching approaches and strategies compatible with educating for peace. It also sought to encourage the participants to integrate peace education into the professional education courses beginning SY 2016-2017.

Rwanda Peace Education Program Concludes, Measures Impact of USC Shoah Foundation in Rwanda

The education, community and peace-building Rwanda Peace Education Program (RPEP) has concluded after three years, and its partners have begun to evaluate the impact of the USC Shoah Foundation – Institute for Visual History Education’s role in the program, with positive results. The overall aim of RPEP is the promotion of social cohesion, positive values (such as pluralism and personal responsibility), empathy, critical thinking and action in order to build a more peaceful society in Rwanda.

(Photo: Meghan Ralston)

Ekundayo Igeleke: Activism through education

Ohio school policies for addressing “violent, disruptive or inappropriate behavior” do not sit well with a large segment of the community. Activists argue that under these “zero tolerance policies” children are actually being suspended and expelled for offenses that are nonviolent, often out of their control, and possible to resolve with extra care from school officials. They also attest that children of color are being affected at a greater rate than their counterparts.

Ekundayo Igeleke, the new executive director of the University Area Enrichment Association, oversees the Freedom School, a free K-12 summer program in Columbus, OH. “We focus on restorative justice,” said Igeleke, who will bring in intervention specialists this year. “We never kick a kid out of the program, no matter how bad they are.”

Dr Sakena Yacoobi, 2015-2016 WISE Prize for Education Laureate and Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui, a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, at the WISE Tunis Forum, May 26, 2016 (PRNewsFoto/WISE)

WISE Organizes a Global Dialogue on Education, Peace and Development in Tunis

On 26 May 2016, WISE brought together, for the first time, the current WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, and a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui. Dr. Yacoobi and Ms. Bouchamaoui shared their experiences and described diverse strategies they pursued in their countries, including best practices in education to promote peace and development.

Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy

Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy

This document is Declaration of the 44th session of the International Conference on Education (Geneva, October 1994) endorsed by the General Conference Declaration of the 44th session of the International Conference on Education (Geneva, October 1994) endorsed by the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-eight session Paris, November 1995 of UNESCO at its twenty-eight session Paris, November 1995.

Training Report: “Education for Peace – Developing Competences for Peace Education in the Youth Field”

The European Intercultural Forum e. V. just finalised the narrative report of their 1st training course in the frame of the Training Programme “Education for Peace – Developing Competences for Peace Education in the Youth Field” (Misaktsieli, Georgia – April 10-18, 2016)

New Conflict Resolution MA offered by UMass Boston in Israel

Developed and awarded by UMass Boston, this master of arts degree in Conflict Resolution is an experiential program in which students live, work, observe and collaborate with Jewish and Palestinian residents and scholars in the only community around the world where Palestinians and Jews live together in equality and peace, Wahat al-Salaam/Neve Shalom [Oasis of Peace] in Israel. This master’s degree is ideal for those who seek to promote peaceful coexistence through education, awareness and a commitment to respecting the ideal of a multicultural society.

Snapshot from the cover of "Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding: A Practice Note"

Now is the Time to Support Young Peacebuilders

600 million young people live in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. In many places, young people make up well over half the population. We have an unprecedented opportunity to harness youth efforts toward peace, but only if we combat myths and support the most effective peace actors. The Sustainable Development Goals, comprehensive reviews of the UN’s peace architecture, the New Deal, the World Humanitarian Summit, and UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security have all shone a spotlight on youth peacebuilding.

The United National Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship Programme: Call for Applications

The main objective of the UNAOC Fellowship Program is to challenge cultural stereotypes and develop cross-cultural partnerships between peoples from different faiths and cultures. During two weeks, the Europe & North-America (EUNA) cohort and the Middle East & North-Africa (MENA) cohort will visit each other’s region and interact with a wide range of local actors and partners. In 2016, the Fellowship Program will also focus on Education as a tool to prevent of radicalization and xenophobia. 2016 applications due June 26.

Peace Education Curriculum for Afghan students

Help the Afghan Children’s Peace Education Curriculum is the first formal school-based model to specifically target vulnerable middle-school and high-school students, encouraging them to reject violence and all forms of aggressive behavior while embracing the principles of peaceful living, respect for diversity, and cooperation.

Originally introduced in 2003 to three schools, the model has spread to 62 schools in five provinces, impacting over 86,000 boys and girls. Results from these schools over the past three years have shown a dramatic reduction in fighting, consistent improvement in classroom and schoolyard behavior, and similar reductions in teachers’ use of corporal punishment. In 2012, recognizing its potential to impact millions of students, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education endorsed HTAC’s initiative to expand into other regions of the country.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actor and Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Forest Whitaker speaks at a UN Press Briefing at United Nations on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Education Is the Key to Breaking the Cycle of Violence

In this opinion article published at TIMES Ideas, Forest Whitaker and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO argue that education must rise on the agenda of peace building, and to unlock education’s potential to nurture peace, we must support inclusive education systems that reach out to all groups and that teach human rights and new forms of global citizenship. We need to get this right to allow societies to escape the nightmares of history, to give young people every chance.

No more excuses. Provide education to all forcibly displaced people

This paper, jointly released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Global Education Monitoring Report in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit, shows that the education rights of forcibly displaced populations are being neglected on a large scale. It calls for countries and their humanitarian and development partners to urgently ensure that internally displaced, asylum seeking and refugee children and youth are included in national education plans, and collect better data to monitor their situation.

Teachers: Agents of Peace Building in the Conflict Zones

Dr. Swaleha Sindhi suggests that in conflict-affected situations education is about more than service delivery; it is a means of socialization and identity development through the transmission of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes across generations. Education may therefore be a way of contributing to conflict transformation and building peace.

Restorative Justice takes hold in San Diego schools

Restorative Practices is taking hold in a number of San Diego Unified schools and its aim is to change the culture on campus by giving students more of a voice in their day-to-day lives at school. Under the districts restorative approach, which was adopted in 2014, educators now have more discretion in whether to suspend or expel students for bad behavior. Depending on each individual case, learning can come from “talking it out” in carefully facilitated circle sessions run by highly trained mediators.

Successes and Challenges in Development Education and Youth Work in Egypt. Cumulative Impact and Needs Assessment Report

PATRIR and its 4E team has just released the cumulative impact and needs assessment (CINA) report entitled “Successes and Challenges in Development Education and Youth Work in Egypt”. The report is the output of a 5-months long assessment process implemented in the frame of the project “Technical Assistance for Development and Civic Education in Egypt” (4E), which was implemented by the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) between October 2015 – February 2016.