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.
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.
This weekend I gave the keynote presentation at the Teaching about Global Conflict and Peacebuilding Seminar at Montgomery College. The conference brought together over 30 community college professors from across the country teaching in a variety of fields and all interested in incorporating peace and conflict studies into their work. I was invited to give the keynote address by the conference organizer, David Smith, an education and peacebuilding consultant who has for many years now been working with community college helping them build and develop peace and conflict studies program.
The title of my presentation was, “Teaching Our Way Out of the Cave: How Peace and Conflict Educators Are Challenging War, Violence, and Human Suffereing.” The title at first might seem a bit obscure, but for the past few years I have been using the metaphor of a cave to explain the differences between direct violence and structural violence and the difference between negative peace approaches and positive peace approaches to addressing those different kinds of violence.
This past Thursday, my friend and colleague, Althea, and I facilitated a presentation on nonviolence for a group 100 6-12 graders at the New School of Virginia. My friends and former colleague, Travis Cooper, invited us to give this workshops as part of a learning unit he was doing with his students looking at civic activism.
This was a great opportunity for Althea and I to mix concepts from various orientations and conceptions of nonviolence – the ICNC strategic nonviolent action orientation and the Kingian nonviolence orientation.
This past Friday I was a panelist for the “Faculty Face Off” session at American University’s Social Learning Summit – a 2.5 day conference organized by AU’s Social Media Club that looks at the current and emerging role, trends, and a techniques of using social media tools in learning and education. I was joined by moderator Meghan Foster, and panelists Scott Talan, Jim Quirk, and Stef Woods. In the spirit of the summit, my reflection on the experience will be organized by tweets that members of the audience shared during the discussion.
This week I had the opportunity to give a presentation and lead some exercises around peace education with a group of 35 high school students (9th and 10th graders) from two schools in Queens, NY. They were visiting DC as part of a Global Kids trip. Global Kids is an “educational organization for global learning and youth development – works to ensure that urban youth have the knowledge, skills, experiences and values they need to succeed in school, participate effectively in the democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and on the global stage.” This was a unique and valuable experience for a number of reasons I will outline below and I very much appreciated the time I got to spend with the students.
This past Tuesday my colleague, Althea Middleton-Detzner and I got the opportunity and privilege to give a presentation and have a discussion on civil resistance with a group of amazing Burmese civil society and political leaders. The four women in the delegation were Khin Lay, Shunn Lei Swe Yee, Ma Nilar OO, and Zin Mar Aung, who was a recipient the 2012 International Women of Courage Award. The United States Institute of Peace invited us to give the talk, which was part of a series of meetings with the delegation that focused on rule of law, governance and, of course, nonviolent political action (aka civil resistance).
This past weekend I attended and presented at the Ann Ferren Teaching Conference, which is a yearly conference held every January at American University. The last time I attended this conference was in 2010 and had gotten a lot out of it. This year I was invited to be a co-presenter for one of the sessions, “Finding Your First Flip: Getting Started with the Flipped Classroom Model. My co-presenters for this session were Maya Marato and Meghan Foster. The Goal for this session is to engage faculty in the process of “flipping” their lectures by helping them identify and evaluate topics and activities that are easily adapted to the flipped classroom model.
This past Saturday I attended and presented at the Baltimore Educational Equity Summit, which was organized by Teach for America. The session of which I was a part was titled, “Using Social Media as a Vehicle for Change,” and looked at various strategies and tools organizations and movements have used to leverage the power of social media and digital tools to advance their causes and missions.
From June 24th to June 30th, ICNC in partnership with the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, hosted the 7th annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict. As usual, myself, my ICNC colleagues, along with Fletcher faculty and staff worked tirelessly for months to bring 42 participants from all over the world to participate in this intensive week-long institute. Check out this blog posting I wrote for the Fletcher Features blog to get an overview of some of the highlights from the week. Personally, one of my highlights was meeting many of the amazing participants who attended this year. However, I did not get to know them as well as I would have liked due to the various aspects of the week for which I responsible.