3 Upcoming Conferences Where Discussions on Defining the Field and Challenges Faced Will Take Place

By: David J. Smith, September 25, 2017

I’ll written before about the process that began at Point of View in Virginia in June to better define the field and consider challenges we now face.

During the upcoming Association for Conflict Resolution (Dallas, TX, October 11-14), Alliance for Peacebuilding (Washington, DC, October 11-13), and Peace and Justice Studies Association (Birmingham, AL, October 26-28) conferences these discussions will continue. Read below.  he relevant contact person is noted.

This is the first major effort in many years to foster a holistic discussion including practitioners, academics, and policymakers in examining who and where we are.

Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), October 11-13

Washington, DC

While there won’t be an “official” post-POV gathering at AfP, we expect that many of us are planning to attend and look forward to seeing everyone. Here is a brief description of the conference:

The Alliance for Peacebuilding will be holding its conference on 11-13 October and the preliminary program is set. The first day is at USIP and is open to the public at no charge, although you must preregister. The second and third days are at FHI 360 and you can register via the AfP website.  Most of the discussion of Peacebuilding in the U.S. will be held on the second and third days. Highlights include a keynote address by Dr. Eric Rasmussen, a world-renowned architect of integrated responses to natural disasters as well as presentation by Chip Hauss of a nation-wide survey AfP conducted in the U.S., UK, and Germany that shows surprising support for Peacebuilding in all segments of American society.

Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), October 11-14

Dallas, TX

At the Association for Conflict Resolution meeting in Dallas 10/11 to 10/14, there will be a continuation of the initiative started at Point of View.   For those in attendance at POV in June, you are most welcome to join us in Dallas.  If you plan on attending, let David Smith know (david@foragecenter.org). There are two sessions planned:

  1. Defining Our Field and Work in Challenging Times, Wednesday, October 11, 7-9 pm

Participants will learn about the Point of View Initiative and gathering that took place in June in Virginia that was hosted by George Mason University. This meeting is a continuation of that process. For this session, participants will engage in a facilitative discussion on the changing nature of our work and the field.   Specific questions will be addressed including: 1. How do we define the field (including practice, research, activism, policy and other forms of engagement) today?  2. What inspires us to do our work or activities? 3.What are some of the challenges we face in doing our work? 4.   What are some of the opportunities that are present?

  1. Innovating in Challenging Times: Looking at Challenges We Face, Saturday, October 14, 9:30 – 12 noon

In this session, participants will have the opportunity to choose a specific issue or topic of concern to them.  A list of issues will be generated before the session to consider, but will include sanctuary cities, open carry laws, and transgender bathrooms: public policy issues impacting communities in Texas and throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit: https://davidjsmithconsulting.com/2017/09/18/defining-our-field-and-work-continuation-of-the-point-of-view-sessions-association-for-conflict-resolution-2017-conference-dallas-1011-and-1014/

 Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), October 26-28

Birmingham, Alabama

 Post-POV Gathering, Friday, October 27, 1:15 – 2:30 pm, Hill Student Center room 203

Please join us for an informal post-POV gathering during lunch on Friday, October 27! We will gather during the open lunch period, 1:15-2:30 pm, in the Hill Student Center room 203. Please grab your lunch and join us to catch up with each other and continue our conversations from POV, including with new individuals who are invited to join us to learn more and possibly be involved going forward. Anyone is welcome to join this lunch gathering. If you are attending PJSA, or have colleagues who will be there, please let Sheherazade know at sjafari@gmu.edu.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Moving… From Civil Rights to Human Rights.” Please see the preliminary schedule here: https://www.peacejusticestudies.org/conference/schedule


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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