5th Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar Meets at Northern Virginia Community College, 10/20 to 10/23/17

2017 Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar (with Colman McCarthy, far left)

The last four days I have spent with faculty participating in the 5th Annual National Community College Peacebuilding Seminar.   We hosted educators from Santa Monica College, College of Southern Maryland, Valencia College, Massasoit Community College, Montgomery College, Nassau Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and George Mason University.  Seminar participants met with 22 peacebuilding,

At USIP with Aubrey Cox
Aubrey Cox at USIP

international affairs, and conflict resolution professionals representing a range of DC based educational, governmental, and NGO groups.  The seminar to date has hosted nearly 120 community college professionals from around the U.S.  It is the only Washington, DC based educational program designed specifically for community college educators on the topics of peace, conflict, and global affairs.

Looking at peacebuilding efforts in community colleges

The seminar included site visits and programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), where the group was briefed on youth efforts, the U.S. Diplomacy Center, where the focus was on nonproliferation, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where the participants examined propaganda.  The group also enjoyed a visit to the Lincoln and MLK Memorials with a National Park Service ranger.

At the Lincoln Memorial

Classroom programs included a visit by Daryn Cambridge of USIP who looked at negative and positive peace.  Peace activist Colman McCarthy shared about his work with youth and the need to promote a culture of nonviolence.  An examination of the impact of conflict on the environment was addressed by Randall Amster of Georgetown University.  Peter Kent from Northern Virginia Community College shared about his work with the Mapuche people, and Azi Aalai from Queensborough Community College looked at  Holocaust education in community colleges. Tony Jenkins from the Global Campaign for Peace Education and the International Institute on Peace Education examined peace education pedagogy. The Global Peace Index was considered by Michelle Breslauer from the Institute for Economics and Peace, and Greg Rabb from Jamestown Community College shared about his trip to Palestine and work there.  The seminar participants had a chance to create rap music with Colby Jeffers.  The performance of each person’s piece was a highlight of the seminar!   Ann Peters shared about the work of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting,  and Ana Patel from the Outward Bound Peacebuilding led the group in a series of experiential activities.  I had a chance share with the group the emergence of peacebuilding education in community colleges, global opportunities, career awareness with youth.  Finally, Mohit Mukherjee shared with the group about the work of University for Peace in Costa Rica and encouraged educators to consider bringing students to the university.

The U.S. Diplomacy Center

The full agenda of the seminar is below.  Planning will start for the 2018 seminar later this year.  If you interested in participating, please contact me.

NOVA 2017 peacebuilding agenda 10.18.17


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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