By: David J. Smith, October 18, 2014

Inside USIP
Inside USIP

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.

First day of seminar was hosted by USIP
First day of seminar was hosted by USIP

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.

Listening to a presentation on by USIP staff
Listening to a presentation by USIP staff

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.

37 faculty and program staff were in attendance
37 faculty and program staff were in attendance

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.

Megan Chabalowski talks about interpretations of peace
Megan Chabalowski talks about interpretations of peace

Finally, Britt Manzo for the Center for Middle East and North Africa shared with the group USIP’s extensive work with Israelis and Palestinians.

Britt Manzo talks about the Israeli Palestinian conflict
Britt Manzo talks about the Israeli Palestinian conflict

The day ended with a visit to the terrace on the 5th floor of the USIP building.

Visiting the USIP terrace with a great view of DC
Visiting the USIP terrace with a great view of DC