Registration Now Open for 4th Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar, October 21-24, 2016, Alexandria, VA

By David J. Smith, April 12, 2016

2015 program visiting the U.S. Institute of Peace

Registration is now open for the 4th Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar.  The seminar will be held October 21-24, 2016 at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)/Alexandria, VA and is sponsored by NOVA’s Institute for Public Service. Registration closes September 23.  The registration form and further information can be found here.

The seminar is the only DC-based program designed specifically for community college professionals that examines issues of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, global affairs, social justice, peace education, and domestic conflict.   Since 2013, over 90 educators from 35 community colleges have attended the program.  Participating schools have included Maricopa County Community Colleges, Miami Dade College, Valencia College, Harper College, Harrisburg Area Community College, Richland College, Tulsa Community College, Santa Monica College, Santa Barbara College, Montgomery College, Anne Arundel Community College, Southeastern Iowa Community College,  and NOVA.

Group at American Red Cross
At the American Red Cross during the 2013 program

The 4-day seminar has included visits and briefings to DC-area federal agencies and non-governmental, intergovernmental, and advocacy groups including the U.S. Institute of Peace, Organization of American States, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Diplomacy Center).   In addition presenters have contributed from a range of think tank, practitioner, advocacy, and educational groups including the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Truth Telling Project, Global Peace Index, American Red Cross, Alliance for PeacebuildingThe Peace Alliance, Saferworld, The Democracy CommitmentGeorge Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Sustained Dialogue Institute, Stanford University Human Rights Education Initiative, and Doctors Without Borders. Speakers have included nationally peace advocate Colman McCarthy and others.

Comments from past participants include:

“I came away from the seminar with new resources, ideas and contacts, all of which contribute to my professional development. I am seen by my peers/colleagues as a leader on my campus when it comes to peacebuilding issues. I am also seen as a valuable member of my community by outside organizations (mostly social and religious) because of my experiences at seminars such as this one.”

“This seminar has been integral to my professional development in giving me the opportunity to collaborate with fellow colleagues, motivating me to infuse my courses with more explicit conflict resolution content, and also offering substantive content and resources that I can draw on now.”

“What struck me most about this seminar was the reach that it had. From the site visits to the diversity of lectures and materials, there was something for everyone, and I was challenged to consider new topics and curricula that could be developed.”

“The workshop was a transformational experience, not only because of the dynamic speakers but because of the genuine interest and passion of the participants.”

This video from the 2013 program  provides an overview of the program, and this blog reviews the past three programs.

A final agenda for the program will be posted in August 2016.  For more information contact Linda Campos 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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