Pietro Ameglio, Latin American Peace Educator and Activist to be Awarded 2014 El Hibri Peace Education Prize
(El-Hibri Foundation) At a gathering of supporters of peace education, Fuad El-Hibri, Chair of the El-Hibri Foundation’s Board of Trustees, announced the selection of Pietro Ameglio as the 2014 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize Laureate. At an invitation-only ceremony on October 15, Ameglio will receive the award and the $20,000 cash prize. Three graduate students will also receive $5,000 scholarships at the ceremony to further their peace education studies. Ameglio is an activist and peace educator who is one of the most important teachers and practitioners of active nonviolence in Latin America today. He has co-founded many vehicles promoting peace in Mexico, including the Mexican Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ, 1987), a chapter of the SERPAJ nonviolence network spanning Latin America; Thinking Out Loud (Pensar en Voz Alta, 1995), a Gandhian-inspired nonviolent action collective to analyze and publicize statistical information on the nature of social conflict in Mexico and promote nonviolent direct actions; and the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD, 2011), along with poet Javier Sicilia and the families of dead and missing persons. He has authored the book, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: Mexico Today (2002).
Holistic human rights education essential to make schools safer, says Amnesty International India
(Times of India) Mechanisms to prevent violence against children in schools must be holistic, sustained and consistent in their intent and focused on upholding human rights, Amnesty International India said on Friday, following the dissemination of new guidelines on safety measures in schools by the government of Karnataka. On July 23, the Karnataka Department of Public Instruction issued directions to schools regarding "Safety Measures and Guidelines for School children". There have been several protests in Bangalore, Karnataka, in recent days following the rape of a girl in a private school in the city on July 2. The guidelines recommend the formation of child protection committees, surveillance, staff background checks and restrictions on access to children. The Department of Public Instruction has issued other guidelines on school safety earlier. "The various guidelines issued by the authorities in Karnataka unfortunately do not form a coherent response to issues of violence against children in schools," said Tara Rao, Director, Human Rights Education, Amnesty International India. "It is important to have a holistic approach to institute secure school environments."
The quiet revolution: inside the organization that's promoting world peace by educating women (USA)
(Fast Company) The Global Partnership for Women and Girls supports the power of local organizations to help muslim women attain education and employment. One group working through the Global Partnership is the Peace & Education Foundation, an Islamabad, Pakistan based NGO working to promote peace and end religious intolerance. Founder Azhar Hussain works with “hard to reach” people in remote regions, especially religious leaders and women, to help modernize education, incorporating peace education into the curriculum. One of his goals is to increase understanding of tolerance and human rights issues. In the program the Global Women’s Partnership supported, Hussain works with religious leaders and women to show them that education and employment are not incongruent with conservative Muslim beliefs. Hussain says that often he encounters communities that believe in education, but where there is a negative view about women and employment. He works on obtaining permission to run a three to four day workshop in the community, with the goal of helping people understand the role education and employment can play in economic stability and in promoting peace. Women trainers show videos and share stories of Muslim women who have helped opened small dressmaking businesses. Employment options are still limited, Hussain admits. But it’s a start.
Peace Educator Janet Gerson Recipient of the 2014 Peace and Justice Studies Association Graduate Student Paper Award
Janet Gerson Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University (2014) is the winner of the 2014 Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Graduate Student Paper Award for her dissertation Public Deliberation on Global Justice: The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI). Her interdisciplinary study, sponsored by Professor Megan Laverty and Professor Dale Snauwaert, was characterized as “excellent and very highly commended” by Karen Ridd (Award Committee Chair, PJSA). According to Dr. Betty Reardon, internationally acknowledged founder of peace education, Public Deliberation on Global Justice makes a major contribution to peace knowledge and peace learning.
EU Children of Peace: Providing Education in a Safe Environment (EU)
(INEE) Today, 90% of victims of conflicts are civilians. Half of them are children. In fact, of the approximately 75 million children who are out of school worldwide, half live in conflict areas and are especially vulnerable to the fallout of war. The EU Children of Peace initiative, a legacy programme created from the EU's 2012 Nobel Peace prize, funds humanitarian projects supporting children's needs in conflict regions and draws an effort to render their often forgotten plight visible. These projects particularly seek to address a severely underfunded sector: education in emergencies. With continued funding and commitment from the European Commission and its Member States, particularly Austria and Luxembourg, the initiative has so far and through its partner organisations, reached and benefitted to more than 108 000 boys and girls in 12 countries around the world. In 2014, the EU has dedicated €6 712 500 million in funding to continue increasing the reach to more children affected by conflict.
Couple put skills to work against fears about Ebola (Sierra Leone)
(The Chronicle Herald) Knowledge is what Mary and Thomas Turay have to give. And it’s knowledge that their country needs. “The biggest problem we face is a lack of trust,” Mary said Monday. “People are afraid to go to the hospital when they start having symptoms, and in our hospitals some prominent medical staff have died of the disease.” The small West African nation of Sierra Leone was just beginning to rebuild its institutions after a brutal 11-year civil war when the Ebola virus returned in force this summer. When they moved home two years ago, the Turays had intended to spend their lives helping their country rebuild after 14 years learning and teaching at St. Francis Xavier University as they waited for the war to end. Thomas, known as Dr. Peace at the Antigonish university’s Coady Institute at which he taught, was elected as a member of parliament in Sierra Leone’s young democracy. The Centre for Development and Peace Education the couple founded began work to develop literacy skills, participatory government and self-reliance and to promote non-violence. Now they find themselves struggling to protect not only individuals but also the country’s institutions from a virus that kills 90 per cent of those it infects.
Is religious education the key to world peace? (Australia)
(ABC Southern Queensland) The founder of Toowoomba's Pure Land Learning College says education can play a part in peace, and hopes to build a new university in the garden city to prove it. Toowoomba is a city well-known for its educational facilities and culturally diverse population. Eighty-seven-year-old Buddhist monk Master Chin Kung wants to combine the two in establishing what he calls a "multifaith university." Visiting Toowoomba this week, and speaking through an interpreter, the Buddhist Master says he has attended "many" UN organized peace conferences around the world. "Most of the experts and scholars are not confident about achieving lasting peace for the world," he said. "I deeply felt we need a point of demonstration so I went back to my home in China, and started an experimental project to promote peace and harmony. "It was very successful, so now we are in Toowoomba and it is my wish to start something similar here."
Press release: World Vision and Ministry of Education in partnership to promote peace education (Sri Lanka)
(World Vision Sri Lanka) World Vision Lanka and the Ministry of Education (MoE) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to collaborate on educational development by promoting social cohesion and peace through education. This partnership will focus on educational development especially with respect to the framework of action on Education for Social Cohesion and Peace (EFSCP). This is especially relevant given the post-conflict development context and is in addition to all other education related initiatives supported by World Vision in its 42 programme areas. “This is the first time we are coming together on a topic such as this,” said Anura Dissanayake, Secretary, Ministry of Education. “I’m sure this partnership will help foster lasting peace through present and future students who will benefit from this focused initiative. Our partnership with World Vision goes as far back as the tsunami programme, when they provided assistance for the rehabilitation of affected schools. I thank World Vision for their long standing commitment to education particularly in rural Sri Lanka and for partnering with us to promote peace through education.”
Peace Scholar Post: Memory and Our Future Through Peace Education (USA)
(Nobel Peace Prize Forum - Aimée Fisher from Augustana College, Sioux Falls.) As I have been conducting my research on peace education in Israel and Palestine, I am continually struck by the question of memory or history as a force in opposition to successful peace. Theories may lay out a set framework for how peace education can succeed, but what truly matters are the facts on the ground. This only confirms how difficult peace and reconciliation are, especially in a situation where the conflict evolves day to day. aimeepic2When we go to school we bring along our biases and ideologies that our parents and communities reinforce. Many times our experiences in class only reiterate these biases and ideologies, further distancing us from “the Other.” In conflict situations, especially intractable conflicts, these views may be in direct opposition to the thought of reconciliation and the peace process.
Education for the World We Want (USA)
(Suna Senman, Huffington Post) How does a society that teaches preschoolers to play well, share toys and not hit raise highly educated leaders to justify revenge, invade countries and develop weapons to kill? In countries such as the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom, education is highly valued and the golden rules of virtues are spoken to children. Still, these nations are often seen involved in power-plays, violence and wars. Although their involvement is taken as a protective role against aggressors, leadership justifies violating the lessons we try to teach our children. Somehow education falls short of facilitating higher methods of resolving conflict above violence. Our education system is "half-baked" -- we think we know what we want (to teach our children to grow into global world citizens creating a flourishing peace world), yet we produce our most educated to be partakers in violence (from putting toxins in consumer products to building instruments of mass destruction). From creative toddler to higher education graduate, there is a missing link in our education system that holds humanity back from progressing to our higher evolution -- a world of fulfilled individual and peace world citizens...
Ferguson and our post Sept. 11 culture of war
(Cheryl Duckworth - Sun Sentinel) Many people believe that violence is caught or imported into the United States' borders from problems that start somewhere else — a phenomenon that I sometimes call Contagion Theory. To the contrary, our nation's history shows that violence is embedded within our own legal, political and yes, educational systems. This must end...
The Military Invasion of My High School: The role of JROTC (USA)
(Rethinking Schools) The potent presence of the military at RHS shines a floodlight on educational inequity. One sees college recruiters walking the halls of affluent Lincoln High School near downtown Portland. At RHS, college recruiters are few and far between, but military recruiters, JROTC commanders, and ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) testers clamor to establish daily contact with potential recruits. All too often I hear the refrain: “Well, the military is a good option—or perhaps the only option—for many kids.” As educators, we must ask critical questions: Whose interests do we ultimately serve by welcoming the military into our poorer schools? Is it really in any of our students’ best interests? What are the qualifications of the instructors? What does the JROTC curriculum actually teach our students?
Teaching History Differently: The Zinn Education Project (USA)
(peacelearner.org) History is often told from the winner’s point of view, neglecting many different populations of people who have histories of their own. In the context of US History, the story told has been dominated by White men leaving other stories untold in a public school setting. Paulo Friere in his work Pedagogy of the Oppressed states the importance of teaching history as “a means of understanding more clearly what and who [a people] are so that they can more wisely build the future” (Friere 84). How can today’s students wisely build the future if only one narrative is being told? The Zinn Education Project, Teaching A People’s History, attempts to break the White male dominated narrative by offering curriculum that emphasizes the roles of minorities like the working class, people of color, and women along with organized social movements.
Make peace, not war - Examining History Textbooks in Pakistan
(The Nation - Pakistan) History textbooks in Pakistan are notorious for distorting facts and perpetuating jingoism. In 2004, a report titled “The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan” compiled by prominent educationists A.H Nayyar and Ahmad Salim, shed some light on this aspect. The report pointed out that “The curriculum directives ask for, and textbooks include: material creating hate and making enemy images, a glorification of war and the use of force, incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jihad and Shahadat, insensitivity to religious diversity of the nation, and reinforcing perspectives that encourage prejudice and discrimination towards religious minorities.” Historian Khursheed Kamal Aziz had highlighted similar issues in his seminal study on state of textbooks in Pakistan , The Murder of History in Pakistan, first published in 1993. The trend has remained unchecked despite change of governing regimes and apparent modernization in the education system.
Dawson College marks shootings anniversary with new peace education centre (Canada)
(CBC News) Dawson College marked the eighth anniversary of the deadly 2006 shooting rampage on its downtown Montreal campus with the official launch of a new centre dedicated to peace and nonviolence education. The Dawson Centre for Peace Education’s core offering is a Peace Studies Certificate that will be available to all students at the Montreal institution. The centre’s coordinator, Julie Mooney, said the certificate will provide students with an applied education in violence prevention and conflict resolution. “This really is a historic moment for Dawson College,” she said. “The certificate will allow students the opportunity to look at their [diploma studies] through the lense of peace and nonviolence.” Mooney said 90 students are now enrolled for the program’s inaugural semester.
Teaching peace to deal with domestic violence (USA)
(Marin Independent Journal) Domestic violence will not be solved through the judicial process. The problem is too vast and any perceived solution too fraught with uncertain outcomes. What is needed is dedicated effort and fiscal support to prevent domestic violence. Conflict resolution should be part of school education starting at kindergarten. Schools that have adopted restorative justice and other conflict resolution methods have shown great results in reduced student suspensions and an increase in student empowerment. Let's demand this type of peace education for all children. Let's reward those who do well as peace scholars. We have to be creative and encourage conflict resolution and peace in unlikely places: What about road rage questions on the California driver's license examination? What about conflict resolution literature given with each marriage license application? What about every professional license applicant having to take an oath to promote effective conflict resolution? Peace is rarely achieved through an adversarial court process. Peace is achieved through teaching and practicing peace.
UPEACE MA in Peace Education alumnus speaks at UN High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace on the role of youth (USA)
September 9, 2014 – University for Peace alumnus Oliver Rizzi Carlson participated in a panel discussion on the “Role and contributions of women and youth to the Culture of Peace,” part of the High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace at UN Headquarters in New York. Stressing the importance of a learning mindset, Oliver Rizzi Carlson touched upon the contributions that youth can make to the development of a culture of peace.
WSFBPC Peace Essay Contest Winners (USA)
The West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition, or WSFBPC, has recently announced the results of its annual Peace Essay Contest for 2014. The WSFBPC is a non-profit peace organization based in Chicago, and is one of the more prominent peace activist organizations in the US. The annual Peace Essay Contest is one of the major outreach activities of the organization, and aims to publicize the importance and relevance of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The joint winners for 2014 were Ghadeer S. Awward 'How can we obey the law against war?', and James Page 'Reclaiming the Kellogg-Briand Pact'. The essays can be accessed at the WSFBPC website at the link above.
Talking Circles: For Restorative Justice and Beyond (USA)
(Teaching Tolerance) As more schools consider restorative practice in areas of discipline, Talking Circles, a core component of the restorative justice process, enter the conversation. A Talking Circle, sometimes called a Peacemaking Circle, uses a structural framework to build relationships and to address conflict within a community. But Talking Circles serve other purposes as well: They create safe spaces, build connections and offer teachers a unique means of formative assessment.
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers (UK)
(The Guardian) *This article can be a good teaching resource. “On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe. The customary ways of looking back on war too easily allow us to confuse the two: military cemeteries with the gravestones in ranks like soldiers on parade, parades themselves, statues (which are almost invariably of generals), and war museums and their exhibits of tanks, planes, machine guns, artillery pieces and other technology for meting out death. Let us remember the dead, yes, in these years ahead, but let us also remember the men and women who recognised the war for the madness it was and did all they could to stop it.”
One summer morning, I witnessed the second Norwegian revolution (Norway)
(Times Higher Education) Children’s parades, marching bands, seemingly limitless ice cream: who could object to such a display of non-militaristic nationalism as Norway celebrates its 200th constitutional anniversary? The festivities are particularly noteworthy this year for another reason: Norway has revised its constitution. Yet it’s not just the language of the constitution that’s been updated. Buried in the document is a new clause addressing education, which may have considerable significance for those working in higher education, particularly those engaged in teachers’ professional education. A festival takes place across Norway on Constitution Day every May. The Norwegians, proud of their democracy, are assured that their constitution is an exemplary model. As someone researching citizenship and human rights education, and fascinated by how schools around the globe promote national identity, I was up early one morning to travel to Eidsvoll, the birthplace of the Norwegian constitution, for the jubilee celebrations.