News & Highlights

Speaking to High Schoolers About the Truth of War Helped Me Deal with My Trauma from Being a Soldier

Rory Fanning, a military veteran, speaks to high schoolers about the truth of war. If a teenager is going to sign up to kill and die for a cause or even the promise of a better life, then the least he or she should know is the good, the bad and the ugly about the job. Fanning also notes that in a world without a draft, JROTC’s school-to-military pipeline is a lifeline for Washington’s permanent war across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa. Its unending conflicts are only possible because kids like those he’s talked to in the few classrooms he’s visited continue to volunteer. The politicians and the school boards, time and again, claim their school systems are broke. No money for books, teacher’s salaries and pensions, healthy lunches. And yet, in 2015, the U.S. government spent $598 billion on the military, more than half of its total discretionary budget, and nearly 10 times what it spent on education. [continue reading…]

News & Highlights

Pivot to Peace aims to foster hope, reduce violence

(Louisville, KY) For young people who have been shot or stabbed, that key moment for change can occur while they are in the hospital, recovering from their injuries. This brief window of time — of vulnerability and rethinking their lives — is when an innovative new initiative called Pivot to Peace will offer the respect, skills and resources to strengthen participants, supporting them in a crucial pivot to a healthier, nonviolent way of life. [continue reading…]

News & Highlights

Syria, Five Years On: Building Peace in the Midst of War

Can you really build peace in the middle of a war? It certainly seems at best a counter-intuitive, bad use of time and money. Or does it actually make a lot more sense than any other course of action? The author, Harriet Lamb of International Alert, visited NGOs working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon to do ‘peace education’, a project funded by the British government. Think of this as part citizenship classes for children whose citizenship has been blown to smithereens, part the fun of a Saturday drama class, part therapy for kids who have been through hell – and are still living it. It was a deeply touching experience. [continue reading…]