During the month of October, I had the pleasure of helping facilitate a USIP online course called Strategic Peacebuilding. The main instructor for the course was George Lopez, who took about 40 students through an amazing educational journey exploring the 7 components of strategic peacebuilding. Part of this journey included four episodes of the Peace Frequency podcast series, where George and I interviewed prominent peacebuilders about their work. Take a listen to the series. Enjoy.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest, George Lopez. In this interview we touch on topics of how the peacebuilding field has evolved and adapted overtime and how the concept of “strategic peacebuilding” came to be.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest, Nadia Gerspacher. In this interview we talk about community policing and advising.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest Maria Stephan. In this interview we explore the world of nonviolent, civil resistance and the implications of her award-winning book, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest Fiona Mangan. In this interview we talk about establishing and protecting the rule of law in conflict affected environments and interviewing prisoners to learn about how justice systems are being implemented.
This past week I participated in a great event at USIP organized by the PeaceTech initiative and Dr. Maria Stephan, a senior policy fellow at USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. The event looked at the role that technology can play to aid nonviolent activists around the world. I had the opportunity as a result of this event to interview some amazing activists and technologists about their work addressing this challenge.
This post below originally appeared on the United States Institute of Peace’s Olive Branch blog and was written by Noel Dickover, Senior Program Officer at USIP.
How can technology support activists using nonviolent conflict approaches in difficult places? A two-day workshop at the United States of Peace (USIP) that gathered 70 civic activists, policymakers, technologists, NGO leaders, and education professionals sparked eight distinct, innovative projects that will aim to overcome limits to mobilizing citizens in repressive places.
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.
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.
After about a year of development, USIP has released a self-study, online version of the course, Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict. I started working on this course with my colleagues at USIP and ICNC in 2012. Having recently joined USIP, full-time, I am very pleased that this was one of the first self-study onlie course USIP released. I look forward to seeing how learners engage with the course, what kind of impact it will have, and how we will continue to refine it and make it even better in the months and years to come.
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 Thursday, June 13th, I facilitated a one-day workshop titled, “People Power and Pedagogy: Methods for Teaching Nonviolent Struggle.” There were about 19 participants in the workshop who were all attending pre-conference trainings 7th annual Conflict Resolution Education Conference. This made it one of the most well-attended trainings of the conference. The feedback and comments on the workshop were also very nice to read. Here are a couple quotes from the evaluations:
Daryn managed a very egalitarian structure to the group. No “talking head” behavior. Great material, great activities, great opportunity!
Excellent mix of academic theory and activities. Well prepared, but also flexible. Remained engaged with the group and kept us engaged during this long session. Thank you!
Excellent: interaction, empowerment of participants, Daryn’s presentation skills/ability to clearly articulate info/resources/concepts as well as ensure participants voices understood. Overall facilitation of activities was great.
For the past ten days my colleague, Althea and I were in Phnom Penh where we facilitated two workshops on nonviolent civil resistance. We were invited by a diaspora based group called Khmer Unity whose mission is advocating for democracy, human rights, and territorial sovereignty/integrity in Cambodia. They network and collaborate with other nongovernmental organizations both domestically and internationally for the betterment of Cambodia.
This was an amazing experience for a number of reasons. First, this was my first time in Cambodia so I was constantly soaking up the history, culture, and environment while I was there. Second, the process of designing and facilitating a workshop on nonviolent action for learners whose mother tongue is Khmer – a language very different from English – posed some challenges that helped me and Althea think in new ways about how to talk and teach about the topic. And third, it was an opportunity that brought me into contact with so many amazing people who are organizing around a myriad of issues.
Every year at ICNC we try and find new and better ways to advertise and promote our various educational programs and initiatives. This year I took on a project to create this promotional video about our annual Fletcher Summer Institute. I used photos from past FSIs and excerpts from a variety of interviews I helped conduct for another video project on which I am working. I found the background music using dig.ccmixter.org and I used iMovie to edit everything together. After posting it online, I utilized some of YouTube’s video embed link functions that allow viewers to click on the video and link out to other web pages such as the FSI application page and footage from previous FSIs. My goal was to keep the video short, inspirational and a way for viewers to directly access materials to apply and learn more. Lastly, the video was shared on the website, Waging Nonviolence, along with a blog posting I wrote about my experiences at FSI.
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).