Highlights from Music of Nonviolent Action Event at USIP

A recording of the June 10th event at USIP, “Rhythms at the Intersection of Peace and Conflict: The Music of Nonviolent Resistance” is now available on YouTube. Don’t have time to watch the whole event and the movie? Then check out some of the key points and highlights I have extracted from the discussion. Powerful and insightful points were made by both panelists and participants alike.

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Summer Institute for Teaching Peace

summer institute teaching peace news icon_0This week I have the privilege of attending and presenting at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies’ Summer Institute for Teaching Peace in the 21st Century. This institute brings together college and university educators from various disciplines to Notre Dame for the week to learn about, strategize, develop a plan for how to create or enhance peace studies programs at their schools. This year’s institute brings together educators from several African universities as well, from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

On Thursday, I will be facilitating two sessions that introduce the participants to USIP’s catalog of online courses and to help them think of ways to integrate these courses into their budding programs.

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The Power and Promise of Online Learning

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This week my friend and fellow peace and nonviolence educator, Joshua Cooper, had an article we wrote together posted on the USIP website. The article describes how Joshua integrated the use of USIP’s online, self-paced course, Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict (which I helped design), into his work with indigenous Cambodian activists living along the border of Cambodia and Vietnam AND with students in his intro political science class at the University of Hawaii.

Over the past eight months, USIP’s Academy has launched 8 self-paced, online courses, registering more than 3,000 people in more than 134 countries. The work, however, is not solely a numbers game. Peacebuilders, activists and educators working in conflict zones must be able to take the knowledge, skills and perspectives that USIP offers online and adapt them for their own specific needs in the field.  A case of young Khmer activists in Vietnam and Cambodia and another involving students in Hawaii interested in peacemaking illustrate the need.

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Rhythms at the Intersection of Peace and Conflict: The Music of Nonviolent Action

This past Tuesday, USIP and the Conflict Prevention & Resolution Forum co-hosted and event at USIP presenting an exciting new movie followed by a panel discussion on the intersection between music and nonviolent civic action.

My USIP colleague, Maria Stephan, and my Freedom Beat partner, Timothy O’Keefe envisioned  this event and over the course of several weeks we worked with our friends and USIP and with the CPRF to organize a great event that brought in over 75 people to USIP to explore an exciting topic in a creative way.

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TEDx Talk at American University

This past weekend I gave a TEDx talk at American University. The theme of the event was “Exploring Our Global Future.” The title of my talk was, “Bridging the Distance: Teaching and Learning Peace Online.” In short, the talk laid out my reasons for believing in online learning as a valuable development in the field of education and how online learning can be infused with the values of peace and nonviolence. I also lay out in the talk what I have come to call, “The Seven Blossoms of Peace Education,” which is a pedagogical framework that any educators can apply to their work to integrate peace and nonviolence into their classrooms.

Teaching Our Way Out of the Cave

This past October I gave the keynote presentation at the Teaching about Global Conflict and Peacebuilding Conference at Montgomery Community College and the video was uploaded to YouTube just a couple weeks ago.

The event brought together a great group of community college educators interested in establishing and developing peace and conflict studies programs at their respective colleges. The goal of my presentation was to introduce and outline some of the foundational concepts within the peace and conflict studies field and share some pedagogical approaches for becoming a peace educator, no matter the subject matter you teach or age group with whom you work.

If you want to check it out, I would love any comments or feedback on my cave and blossom analogies :). Enjoy.

Workshop on Intercutural Competence and Nonviolent Action for Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice

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On Friday, I had the honor and privilege of facilitating a workshop at Georgetown University for their The Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service (CSJ).  the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor (KI), and the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA). This year Georgetown launched their Social Justice Leadership Training Institute (SJLTI), a small-group intensive experience for undergraduate students who wish to deepen their commitment to and engagement with issues of social justice. Through an 8-week skills-building, cohort-based experience with accomplished social justice activists and one another, SJLTI participants will learn and reflect on ways to creatively and effectively work for social justice. I was invited by two of the most amazing and inspiring peace and social justice educators I know – Amanda Munroe and Dr. Andria Wisler.

The workshop I facilitated was titled, The Intercultural Dimensions of Nonviolent Action: Power, Participation and Progress. The workshop explored two concepts – intercultural competence and nonviolent action as a method of struggle – and why one is an integral part of the other’s success. For the past couple weeks I have been giving some talks and presentation on this topic. My interest in the connection was spurred by a three day training I did a few weeks ago to become a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Ever since that training I have been finding a number of valuable connections between that cultural work and the theory and strategy behind nonviolent action.