By: David J. Smith, March 22, 2017

Richland College in Dallas, TX sponsors the Institute for Peace to promote peace studies awareness.  I first visited Richland in 2006 when I was at the U.S. Institute of Peace. This past week I had the honor of returning after 11 years.

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Visiting the peace pole I dedicated in 2006

The college is one of the most diverse institutions in Texas with 130 countries and 79 languages represented.  As such, raising awareness of social justice and peace has been a long standing commitment of the college community.

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Working with students at Richland College

One exceptional feature of the college is the presence of 27 peace poles on campus: likely the most at any higher education institution in the U.S. Each pole is inscribed with “Peace on Earth” in English and in three other languages.  When I visited in 2006, I dedicated the 14th pole.

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Richland students

Working with students, we explored strategies that might be used to advocate for important peace and social justice issues.  I also met with faculty to consider peacebuilding approaches to promote global education.  The work of Richland College is critically important in these times of change when issues of peace and social justice are in the balance.