Betty Reardon & The Ikeda Center: An Experiment in Alternative Thinking about Global Issues

Over the course of the spring/summer of 2017, the Ikeda Center worked with feminist peace educator and civil society activist Betty Reardon to plan a two-part seminar series for Boston-area university students. With Daisaku Ikeda’s annual peace proposals as a guide, students will consider creative modes of responding to and ameliorating difficult global challenges, centering on the abolition of nuclear weapons. This essay is adapted from the seminar purpose statement and learning objectives so that readers can also engage with seminar themes and begin to shape their own creative responses to pressing problems confronting our world. 

Legal Limits on Presidential Power to Launch Nuclear Strike

The Global Campaign for Peace Education, concerned about the current nuclear crisis and the continued neglect of the possibilities of law to reduce the frequency and severity of international violence, is undertaking to offer ideas and proposals that inspire consideration of such possibilities. We begin the offerings with observations on executive power to initiate a nuclear strike by a distinguished international lawyer and peace activist, Peter Weiss.

Schools of Peace as Safe Environments: A Peace Education Project in San Vicente Del Caguán, Colombia

The project, operated by Fundación Escuelas de Paz, was Developed in San Vicente del Caguán, former FARC territory, as an alliance between the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, Caqueta’s Department of Education, USAID, the International Organization for Migration and UNICEF.

In refugee camps, education is a priority for many parents. Here, children explain they can safely attend school every day. (Photo: https://flic.kr/p/RdXHqb)

Iraq’s Crisis in Education: Dismantling the Roots of Extremism

It is important to closely examine how the Iraqi government is rebuilding a conflict-sensitive educational system that will hopefully devote itself to both the mental health and the intellectual development of young Iraqi children. With this in mind, a peace education program seems like a viable solution for Iraqi children.

Human rights training at the Basic Education High School in Zee Kone Township, Bago Region, on August 18, 2017. (Photo: Irrawaddy)

Human Rights Program Launches in High Schools (Burma)

YANGON – A human rights training program has launched for thousands of high-school students in 73 public schools in Bago Region, according to U Aung Myo Kyaw of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan (front) and Kailash Satyarthi of India. (Photo: South Asia Journal) - See more at:

Building a Culture of Peace in Pakistan

The transformation from a culture of war to a culture of peace represents a radical and historical change because everyone from the centers of power to the most remote villages may be engaged and transformed.

More than 60 percent of Muslim students said they've felt unsafe in public since the 2016 election campaign, according to a recent survey. (Photo: J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

How Do Washington State Schools Counter Anti-Muslim Bullying?

Since the 2016 election campaign, incidents of bullying Muslim students have skyrocketed. In a survey by the Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Community Resource Center, more than 60 percent of Muslim students have said they’ve felt unsafe in public since 2016.

HU-Peace Park opening ceremony 21st of Sep, Peace Int. Day, students, faculties, 10 civil society organizations, government including governor of Herat province. (Photo: USIP)

Peace Education in Afghanistan

Since 2014, USIP has worked with public and private universities as well as the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) to develop a peace and conflict studies curriculum that can be taught by universities across the country. By developing and institutionalizing such education programs, USIP is helping to develop a cadre of conflict resolution experts that will contribute to securing peace in Afghanistan.

Children displaced by the fighting in Marawi City play inside the temporary learning space at the central elementary school in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur. (Photo: Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News)

Nightmares of war haunting displaced Marawi children (Philippines)

Peace advocate Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman and her group Teach Peace, Build Peace movement have been going around evacuation centers to help traumatized Maranao kids recover. 

Award-winning Film to Highlight Peace Education Program on PBS Stations Across U.S.

After winning accolades at numerous film festivals for how it powerfully documents the impact of peace education on the lives of Texas inmates, Inside Peace will be shown on PBS television stations across the U.S. The feature documentary focuses on four men at the Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio. With lives marked by generations of violence and addiction, they attend the “Peace Class” and begin the struggle to discover their humanity and rebuild their lives from the inside out.