From October 25 – 28, my daughter, Kaiya and I were in Birmingham, AL for the 2017 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference.
This was the third peace and justice related conference she and I attended this year, and just as in the past, it was a special and remarkable experience.
There were three main things that I was scheduled to do/present at this year’s conference. First, I facilitated a workshop, “Podcasting for Peace” which looked at how I have produced and used podcasts for educational purposes for the online courses I design and build for the United States Institute of Peace Global Campus. The podcast series I host and produce is called The Peace Frequency, which taps into the stories of people across the globe who are making peace possible and finding ways to create a world free of violent conflict. In the workshop the participants and I co-created an episode of for the series. I played short excerpts from previous episodes as a way to prompt discussion and story-sharing around peace and conflict related topics.
Second, I moderated a panel looking at the 100 year history of the American Friends Service Committee and their work around peacebuilding, quiet diplomacy and nonviolent resistance. The panel was part of a promotion effort for an online collection of stories that USIP and AFSC partnered to design.
Third, I screened a 20 minute version of the documentary, Fly by Light, about the amazing program by the same name offered by One Common Unity, on whose board I serve as chair.
Another great part of this trip is that Kaiya and I got to room with my good friend, Arthur Romano, who was also attended and presenting at the conference.
For four years I have been serving on the PJSA board. This, however, was my last year and I have decided to step away from that role. I still plan to stay engaged with PJSA as a supporting member and to attend the conferences in years to come. And hopefully my daughter Kaiya and her younger sister, Zoey will be joining me at those.