Plans Underway for 2014 National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar, Northern Virginia Community College, October 17-20, 2014

Planning continues for the 2014 National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar to be held October 17-20, 2014 at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.  The seminar is being hosted by the college’s Institute for Public Service and organized by David J. Smith, editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges:  A Teaching Resource. This is the second year the seminar has been held.  Last year, it was held at Montgomery College in Germantown, MD.

2013 program visiting the American Red Cross
2013 program visiting the American Red Cross

The overall objective of the seminar is to provide an opportunity for community college faculty and administrators to learn from DC and international experts, scholars, and practitioners about issues related to global conflict, violence, war, and peacebuilding.  The 4-day intensive program will allow for educators to focus on projects, activities, and curricula that they might develop and implement with their students using resources shared by NGOs, think tanks, international organizations, and government entities working on global issues.  No program of its kind exists in Washington, DC that provides an opportunity for community college educators to learn from national and international policymakers and organizations.

The agenda is a rich one (attached) and includes 2-days of visits to organizations that support peacebuilding work and awareness, and are interested in supporting community college efforts.  On Friday, 10/17, the program will spend the day at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federally funded entity that focuses on global conflict management.  The institute building is located on the National Mall and was designed by Moshe Safdie.

Saturday  (10/18) and Sunday’s (10/19) program will be held at the college and include presentations from representatives of the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the Student Peace Alliance, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative, as well as several experts talking about  specific global conflicts and peacebuilding including Colman McCarthy.

Monday’s program (10/20) will include visits to important organizations that focus on peacebuilding and global conflict: the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

During the weekend program, two films will be screened: Beyond the Divide, produced by Quiet Island Films, which examines the conflict and coming together of the veterans and peace communities in Missoula, MN, and Seeds of Hope, sponsored by the Pulitzer Center, which examines conflict in Africa and role of women.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for groups looking to work with community colleges on issues of global education, civic engagement, and peacebuilding.  At present, The Democracy Commitment will be a sponsor.

Registration information can be found here and closes on September 17, 2014.  For more information on registration contact Linda Rodriguez at If you have questions about the program, including sponsorship, contact David J. Smith at



Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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