Visit to Richland College: The “Peace Pole” College

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One thought on “Visit to Richland College: The “Peace Pole” College

  1. Richland peace poles honor students and employees whose first languages are represented on the pole. Those individuals are important participants in the peace pole dedication ceremony. Many thanks to Scott Branks for his role in creating this important Richland tradition.


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