National Peace Academy at Point of View – “The Geography of Hope”
Historic Dedication at George Mason University S-CAR Point of View
Lorton, Virginia, USA – April 6, 2016. Over 125 people gathered for the dedication of Point of View, a peacebuilding research and conference center in Lorton, Virginia, dedicated to teaching and learning, research, and a commitment to engagement and practice. United States Representative for Virginia’s 8th District, Donald S. Beyer, Jr., said, “This [Point of View] unique human resource…is part of the new geography of hope.”
George Mason University President Angel Cabrera, expressing his full support, reminded us of the quote shared by Edwin Lynch, who, with his wife Helen, donated the land for Point of View, “We often hear that there are no frontiers left for our young people to explore. I must take exception to that comment, for not only do we have the largely unexplored frontiers of space and of our vast oceans, but scientists say we have not learned to use our minds beyond a fraction of their capabilities. We must seek to develop and use our minds, not to conquer one another, but to peacefully and constructively solve the conflicts that cause so much of the world’s grief. It is this frontier of the human mind that I challenge each of you here today to explore.” Other remarks were offered by GMU Provost David Wu, S-CAR doctoral student Fakhira Hallou, and S-CAR Dean Kevin Avruch.
The National Peace Academy, an affiliate of GMU S-CAR Point of View, recently launched a three million dollar comprehensive development campaign including a million dollar pledge to build the Elise Boulding National Peace Academy House at Point of View. This residence will allow for on-site peacebuilding training, conflict resolution, dialogue, and more. NPA President Kristin Famula said, “The NPA residence will give practitioners the space for intentional, personal reflective practice, while our affiliation enhances NPA’s ability to live into its mission as we promote and catalyze networking and collaboration opportunities among academics, practitioners, community organizers, and policy makers throughout the United States.”
NPA and S-CAR are part of a rich peace history in the United States of America dating back to the Carter Administration’s Matsunaga Commission calling for the establishment of a United States Academy of Peace. Scholars and activists in this original push for a national peace academy approached George Mason University to house what they hoped would be a congressionally approved institution. As a result, the world’s first postgraduate degree program in conflict resolution was developed, and S-CAR was gifted the property known today as Point of View.
NPA at Point of View offers a unique opportunity to support scholar-practitioners to facilitate, teach, conduct research, develop resources, and demonstrate what it will take to break the cycle of violence and to educate, train, and develop cutting-edge conflict resolution and conflict transformation skills and practices, thus institutionalizing peace and supporting safe, resilient communities.
National Peace Academy Contact: Kristin Famula, [email protected], 443-517-3371