By: David J. Smith, October 23, 2015
The first day of the 3rd Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar was held at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) in Alexandria, VA today, October 23. Twenty-six community college faculty and those interested in community colleges gathered to learn about peacebuilding work and concepts and consider how to incorporate conflict-related material into their courses and activities. The participants came from 16 colleges around the U.S.
After introductions and a program overview led by David J. Smith and Linda Campos, Jim McClellan, dean of liberal arts at NOVA/Alexandria welcomed the group. Daryn Cambridge from the U.S. Institute of Peace then discussed approaches to considering peace. He explored
peace education, positive peace, structural violence, and negative peace. An important take away was an expanded notion of violence and considering multiple ways in which educators can consider peace issues with their students.
Chip Hauss spoke during lunch about the work of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the group’s interest in working with community colleges, and exploring local dimensions of peacebuilding. He engaged in a conversation with faculty asking them to consider ways in which the Alliance can collaborate with their institutions.
The day ended with a visit to the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). At USIP, Jeff Helsing, acting Vice President of the Institute’s Academy, talked about the Institute’s history and mandate to work on
global conflict. He stressed USIP’s efforts at building peace in conflict zones and it’s emphasis on security, goverance, economic well-being, social well-being and rule of law. He talked about a recent study that showed that the basis of cooperation between groups that might be in conflict is sharing “functional” needs. Megan Chabalowski from the Global Peacebuilding Center talked about the center’s work and activities with youth.
Tomorrow’s program starts at 9 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. peace activist Colman McCarthy will address the group. The agenda for the entire program is attached.