By: David J. Smith, October 18, 2014
The first day of the National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar “Teaching About Global Conflict and Peacebuilding” was hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace on October 17. The program started at 11:00 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m. 37 faculty and program staff listened to USIP experts talk about a range of peacebuilding work.
Nadia Gerspacher, Director of Security Sector Education, addressed the issue of improving police work in zones of conflict. She talked about the challenges of militarized law enforcement in conflict zones and the need for police to develop counter narratives. She also talked about the need to change the objectives and mission of police from security forces to security services.
Elizabeth Cole of the Center for Applied Research on Conflict shared her work in reconciliation and the importance of teaching about history. One struggle in considering reconciliation is the lack of a unifying definition.
The Global Peacebuilding Center is USIP’s public education arm. Megan Chabalowski engaged the group in activities that focused on considering and defining peace and conflict including visiting the “peace well.” She also provided copies of USIP’s Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators.
Finally, Britt Manzo for the Center for Middle East and North Africa shared with the group USIP’s extensive work with Israelis and Palestinians.
The day ended with a visit to the terrace on the 5th floor of the USIP building.