Scholars from various institutions gather at an IFYC event to discuss interfaith initiatives on their campuses. (Photo: IFYC)

Current Synergies and Future Collaborations: Possibilities for Peace Studies and Interfaith Leadership

Eboo Patel and Kristi Del Vecchio of Interfaith Youth Core encourage peace education and peace studies practitioners
to increase consideration of religious and philosophical diversity in their teaching. They also invite reciprocal collaboration toward integrating foundational ideas and methodologies from peace studies — such as non-violent conflict resolution skills — into the preparation of interfaith leaders.

Learning about food cycles by turning compost piles at Vine and FIG. Food is grown for local restaurants and scraps come back to feed the soil―the circle of life.

Learning for Inclusive Leadership for Sustainable Peace

Looking at home and abroad, one experiences a rising tide of conflict and tension that permeates our world; societies divided along political and ideological fault lines, massive humanitarian crises, mass global migration, violent extremism, climate change denial and progressive action, environmental degradation and species extinction, and faltering old and fluctuating new economies. In short, these are the challenges of our times–wicked problems without easy solutions. Some of us remain hopeful in the power of peace education to transform individuals and the world. In that spirit, the educators among the readership here may ask the following questions: How do we create deep learning experiences for our students that are rooted in placed-based, experiential learning and also connected to global vision and initiatives? How do we inspire future leaders to dedicate their work toward alleviating violence and suffering and building sustainable peace?

A call to Address Identity-based Violence through Teach-ins at American* Universities

While identity violence is not unique to the US it is in our own society that we have the opportunity and responsibility to take civic action toward overcoming it. American universities have a history of rising to such challenges, producing responses of learning/action on campuses across the country. The IIPE believes that the new epidemics of hate, particularly Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, should be similarly confronted by the academic community. We invite you to share resources and join us in undertaking teach-ins on campuses and in communities across the US and around the world.

International Institute on Peace Education 2017: Innsbruck, Austria

The 2017 International Institute for Peace Education (IIPE) will be held in Innsbruck, Austria from August 27 to September 2, 2017. Exploring the theme of “Aesthetic Peaces: Social, Political & Embodied Learning – Responses for Human & Planetary Survival,” IIPE 2017 is being organized in partnership with the IIPE Secretariat, members of the Faculty of Education and Queens’ College at the University of Cambridge, and the MA Program and UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck.

Students from San Vicente del Caguan. Fundacion Escuelas de Paz is conducting peace education training with more than 80 educators in the formerly FARC controlled area.

Reflections from a Peace Educator on the Possibility of Peace in Colombia

Amada Benavides de Perez is President of Fundación Escuelas de Paz, a peace education NGO in Colombia. She attended the September 26 signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. She and colleagues have been working tirelessly developing and training networks of formal and non-formal networks for decades, contributing to the foundational peacebuilding work making the possibility of the agreement possible. In the coming months, Fundacion Escuelas de Paz will be coordinating peace education efforts in territories formerly controlled by the FARC.

In this message, Amada offers her reflections on a turbulent week that began with hope, only to collide with confusion and exasperation. We stand in solidarity with Amada, the peace educators and the citizens of Colombia for their continued courage in pursuit of peace through education.

“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.

(Photo: Bart. Flickr/Creative Commons)

Integrating Educational Perspectives into the International Peace Bureau World Congress 2016

The Global Campaign for Peace Education is collaborating with the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) and partnering with the International Peace Bureau (IPB) to develop a special peace education strand on military and social spending at the IPB World Congress 2016. The theme for the Congress is ““Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda.” The aim of the IPB World Congress 2016 is to bring the issue of military spending, often seen as technical question, into the broad public debate and to strengthen our global community of activism regarding disarmament and demilitarization. Solutions to the enormous global challenges of hunger, jobs, and climate change can be significantly enhanced by real disarmament steps – steps that need to be clearly formulated and put into political reality.

IIPE & GCPE’s participation is intended to integrate educational perspectives, including formal and non-formal, public and community-based learning strategies, into the policy & citizen action recommendations generated at the Congress. IIPE & GCPE are also encouraging educators to participate in the Congress to learn from the experience and perspectives of activist and policy-maker counterparts.

GCPE launches new book review series to promote peace education scholarship

With the goal of making peace education scholarship more timely and accessible, the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE) and In Factis Pax: Journal of Peace Education and Social Justice, have established a partnership with Information Age Publishing (IAP) to review all volumes in their Peace Education series. IAP’s peace education series offers diverse perspectives on peace education theory, research, curriculum development and practice. It is the only series focused on peace education offered by any major publisher.

This new partnership supports timely and accessible reviews of new scholarship in the field. The GCPE and In Factis Pax will publish peer reviewed book reviews of all volumes in IAP’s peace education series, including past and future works. In Factis Pax will conduct peer reviews through its editorial board and the GCPE will strategically disseminate reviews toward making them accessible to a wide audience of peace educators.

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.

Eighty-six-year-old Fumiko Shimabukuro devotes herself to resisting a police officer forcibly removing her from the front of Camp Schwab’s gate on the morning of October 29 in Henoko, Nago City (Photo: Ryukyu Shimpo)

Civil Resistance to Militarization: A Glimpse of Okinawa’s Nonviolent, Courageous and Tenacious Struggle for a Democratic Security Policy

This report, by Betty Reardon, is written in support of base reduction and withdrawal and in solidarity with the courageous people of Okinawa in their nonviolent resistance to the militarization that reduces their security and detracts from the quality of their daily lives. The Okinawa experience provides an educationally fruitful case for learning some of the vivid particularities of local civil society actions as a realm in which to exercise global citizenship. Similar actions are undertaken in other locations of long-term US military presence. Study of the international anti-base movement could illuminate the destructive consequences of the current militarized global security system to the well-being of host communities, undermining the human security of local populations. Further, and more important to the normative and ethical dimensions of peace education, these civil society actions are vivid examples of the refusal of base communities to accept the powerlessness that security policy makers assume when they make the decisions that ignore the will and welfare of the citizens most affected.

Members of the School Parliament organize a puppet show to promote inclusion and tolerance, Jordan. (Photo: @2014 UNRWA, Alaa Ghosheh.)

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

Ozlem Eskiocak Oguzertem, the Human Rights Education Programme Coordinator of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) shares the story of UNRWA’s efforts at introducing and integrating Global Citizenship Education (GCE) through its Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance Education Programme. “Global citizenship for all is a long-term endeavour. At UNRWA, we recognize our part in the evolutionary process of GCE and take action to engage refugees in this process.”

Dr. Carlos Alberto Torres, President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES)

Connecting peace education, education for sustainable development & global citizenship education to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

A Peace Education Manifesto and the role of WCCES. From the desk of World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) President Carlos Alberto Torres. Our age of global interdependence is being marked not only by the dialectics of the global and the local that we will discuss in Beijing, but also by the dialectics of terrorism and anti-terrorism. I am writing to you as President of WCCES but also as a victim of state terrorism in Argentina that forced me to exile. I would like to invite the WCCES to a dialogue about our moral responsibilities.

The “new” Global Campaign for Peace Education: pursuing intentional, sustained and systematic education for peace

In May 1999 the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE) was launched at the Hague Appeal for Peace conference.  The Hague Conference was the largest international peace conference in history, bringing together nearly 10,000 people from over 100 countries. The conference launched the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century, a set […]

A Peace Educator’s Tribute to Ruth Leger Sivard

Betty Reardon, Global Campaign for Peace Education Civil society has long recognized that while it takes a citizens’ movement to achieve a change, prescient individuals can envision and share the core ideas that inspire and energize such movements. Such was the case with Ruth Sivard. No one more vividly illustrated that war and preparation for […]

Preparing Youth for Peacebuilding Action: Some Principles and Considerations

Megan Chabalowski Global Peacebuilding Center, U.S. Institute of Peace ([email protected])(Featured article: Issue #122 July 2015) In 2010, two young Ugandan men, Nudgwa Hassan and Ahmed Hadji, were injured in the bombing of a café during the FIFA World Cup finals. They now dedicate themselves to fighting violent extremism and preventing the radicalization of youth through […]

The Peace Education Programme in Kenya

Mary Wanjiru Kangethe Assistant Director of Education – Ministry of Education Science and Technology, KenyaNational Coordinator, Peace Education Programme(Featured article: Issue #121 May 2015) Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) Kenya recognizes that education has the potential to exacerbate conflict or promote peace and has therefore adopted a conflict sensitive approach to the delivery […]