Book Review – Building a peaceful society: creative integration of peace education

“Building a peaceful society: creative integration of peace education” by Laura L. Finley, is a volume in the Information Age Press series: Peace Education, edited by Laura Finley & Robin Cooper. This review, authored by Christie Billups, is one in a series co-published by the Global Campaign for Peace Education and In Factis Pax: Journal of Peace Education and Social Justice toward promoting peace education scholarship.

Invitation to Participate: Survey Exploring Networked Impact of Peace/Conflict-Focused International Education Programs

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Boston are conducting a study on the networks formed through peace/conflict-focused international education and study abroad programs, and the impact that these networks have in fostering peace. If you direct (or work/teach in) such a program, or have in the past, they ask for your assistance in filling out an online survey.

“COLECTIVO EDUCACIÓN PARA LA PAZ” MANIFESTO: Farewell to war! Reasons for a Pedagogy for Peace

This manifesto, issued by ‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ of Colombia outlines a collective commitment to, and vision for, peace education through clearly articulated values and principles for peace education and peace pedagogy.

‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ (The Peace Education Collective) constitutes an effort of several universities, research centers and non-governmental organizations at the national and international order committed to the design, management and implementation of plans, programs and projects of national and international practices aimed at reducing social exclusion and violence impact, as well as strengthen a culture of peace, peaceful coexistence and recognition of differences.

Senior Manager for Learning & Evaluation: Alliance for Peacebuilding

The Alliance for Peacebuilding plays a key role in convening the peacebuilding field around improving capacity and understanding of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in conflict-affected settings. AfP is seeking a Senior Manager to work in their Washington DC Headquarters. The Senior Manager manages the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium and the Effective InterReligious Action and Peacebuilding and also advises other AfP programs on monitoring, evaluation and learning systems.

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.

Peacebuilding and Resilience: How Society Responds to Violence

Based on research and a series of working group meetings hosted by the United States Institute of Peace, this report explores the concept of resilience in the context of peacebuilding and conflict-affected states and how socioecological systems respond to violence. Summary findings suggest that a resilient response to violence involves actors that self-organize and learn within the system and institutions and norms that support absorption, adaptation, and transformation.

Youth delegates presenting at the final plenary session.

Inspiring Youth demand more space in the Peace Movement

At the IPB Disarmament Congress in Berlin the first weekend in October around 40 young people from 15 different nations met during a Youth Gathering. Pressenza interviewed three of them: Marie Cucurella from France, Emma Pritchard from England and Simon Ott from Germany.

When asked to constructively criticize the Congress, all three become rather lively: “They always say: Engage the Youth! But then they do not give us space.” Emma says that the Youth had an important perspective to contribute, a perspective that is also valuable. “The goal would be that we no longer have Youth Gatherings in the future but that we participate on equal terms”, Marie says.

Cora Weiss (Photo: The East Hampton Star)

Cora Weiss Fellowship for Young Women Peacebuilders

The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) is pleased to announce its second annual Cora Weiss Fellowship for Young Women Peacebuilders. The Fellowship aims to support the development of young women peacebuilders and ensure that more young people share Cora’s vision for sustainable peace and gender equality as strong and integral parts of our global culture. Cora Weiss was also one of the founders of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.

Forest Whitaker announces launch of the Domestic Harmonizer program at Andrew Carnegie Middle School. (Photo: CSUDH news)

Forest Whitaker Partners with Cal State Dominguez Hills to Teach Middle School Students Peace and Conflict Resolution

At a school-wide assembly at Andrew Carnegie Middle School artist and social activist Forest Whitaker officially launched the Domestic Harmonizer Program with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). All 915 6-8th grade students will participate in the program. The program is an innovative initiative designed by WPDI and CSUDH specifically for middle schools, with the aim of nurturing a new generation of youth leaders committed to peaceful conflict resolution. The program integrates Conflict Resolution Education with Common Core State Standards in math, science, social studies, and English.

Gender, Education and Peacebuilding: A Review of Learning for Peace Case Studies (UNICEF)

The overarching question of this research conducted by Learning for Peace is how can education interventions address gender inequalities in contexts of armed violent conflict and in the process contribute towards sustainable peace? In other words, what do the four case studies tell us about how a gender-transformative approach to education for peacebuilding can strengthen its policy and practice?

Their analysis reveals that conflict is less likely in contexts where there is gender parity in terms of average years of schooling. Analysis has furthermore shown that gender inequality in education increases in response to the incidence of conflict.

Passers-by take in wall art promoting peaceful elections in Afghanistan that was produced with support from USIP.

Gauging What Works and What Doesn’t in Peacebuilding

Those of us who work in peacebuilding are constantly reminded that the challenges we confront are big and the resources we command are small. So there is both a practical and an ethical obligation to use those resources wisely and be certain of their value.

A peace march through Balboa Park, San Diego, California, 2003 to protest the Iraq War seven days before it began. (Photo: Patty Mooney, Crystal Pyramid Productions)

The Need for a Conclave of Associations and Groups in Our Field

Professionals doing very similar peace work but participating in different groups are typically not connected and the lack of linkages or even communication between various organizations and their members present complications and roadblocks to advancing important social and policy change. In an era of limited funding coupled with the difficultly of finding time to participate in professional associations, would not the entire field benefit from knowing more about each other’s work, and thereby, find commonality that could advance practice, research, education, and policy outcomes?

A peace-building event organized by RPEP. (photo RPEP Facebook)

3-year peace education program concludes (Rwanda)

After three years of building sustainable peace in communities across the country, the Rwanda Peace Education Program (RPEP) is coming to a close. RPEP has reached more than 50,000 people from more than 20 districts across Rwanda promoting positive values including social cohesion, pluralism and personal responsibility, empathy, critical thinking and action to build a more peaceful society.

Invitation for Youth to Submit Videos to the United Nations for the International Day of Peace

The Education Outreach Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information invites young people from around the world between the ages of 15 and 24 to submit 10- to 15-second videos in English on how the Sustainable Development Goals can build peace. Submissions will be accepted from now until 1 September.

John Paul Lederach speaking about his experiences in Nepal. (Photo: David Smith)

Alliance for Peacebuilding Meets in Washington, DC, 5/24-5/26

The 2016 Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) annual conference met May 24 through May 26 in Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s conference was “Next Gen Peace,” focusing on innovation and how new approaches and solutions can be applied to today’s challenges. Nearly 500 practitioners, academics, and policymakers attended the conference which was held the first two days at FHI 360 and the third day at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).