Tag Archives: peacebuilding

Mentoring a New Generation of Peace Builders

A Washington Nationals baseball game isn’t the most likely place to begin a peacebuilding process, but that’s exactly where SIT Graduate Institute alumni Jaime Horn and Kim Massey saw two young women from Syria and the United States put their differences behind them. Horn and Massey are the founders and sole staff members of the Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women (ALI), a new organization that brings together women from the United States and abroad for short-term peacebuilding and leadership workshops. The first ALI group, which included participants from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, spent three weeks in Washington, DC, and New York City this past August, where they engaged in dialogue sessions, met with prominent peace builders, and bonded during backyard barbecues and sporting events. While ALI is a new organization, Horn and Massey have been friends since 2008, when … Continue reading

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Painting to Bridge Divides

Written by Carla Lineback Five years ago I spent a month in Nicosia, Cyprus and was introduced to the UN Buffer Zone dividing the Turkish Cypriots to the north from the Greek Cypriots to the south. I managed to peek through the occasional “windows” in the wall and surveyed the dead zone in between.  Weeds poked through the cracks in the sidewalks, broken storefront windows twinkled in the sun, and critters scurried around undisturbed in this deserted territory. I was staying in the Greek Cypriot part of Nicosia, but ventured through the checkpoints to the Turkish Cypriot part on several occasions. The warmth of the people on both sides of the island left an impression on me, which all came rushing back last summer in Vermont when I met some students participating in the Cyprus Bicommunal Summer Youth Program. I asked … Continue reading

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Rwanda Symposium to Offer Perspectives, Inspiration

A renowned Argentine collective memory scholar and the executive secretary of the Rwanda Governance Advisory Council will be the keynote speakers for SIT’s upcoming interdisciplinary symposium on Conflict, Memory, and Reconciliation: Bridging past, present, and future in Kigali, Rwanda, January 10-13, 2012. Practitioners and scholars in the fields of memory, reconciliation, conflict transformation, peace and conflict studies, and human rights have been invited to the event. SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute, programs of World Learning, are sponsoring the symposium in partnership with the Center for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda. Keynoter Elizabeth Jelin, PhD, is a sociologist and senior researcher at Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council. She is also academic director of the Center for Memory Studies at the Institute for Economic and Social Development in Buenos Aires. Rwanda Governance Advisory Council Executive … Continue reading

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Honoring Proud World Learning Papas

In recognition of Father’s Day June 19, we are highlighting two fathers who encouraged their children to explore the world and themselves through World Learning programs. Twins Nungshi and Tashi Malik from India are celebrating this Father’s Day by following in their dad’s peacebuilding footsteps. They are among the nearly 60 peacebuilders attending SIT Graduate Institute’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, or CONTACT, program which marks its 15th anniversary this summer. Their father, an Indian army colonel deployed in the disputed northern states of Manipur and Nagaland, attended the program in 2008. Another father, World Learning President Adam Weinberg, writes about the profound impact that The Experiment in International Living program in China had on his teenage daughter Margaret last summer. “My daughter was given the experience of a lifetime, while I was able to experience our programs as a parent, coming to understand the profoundness of … Continue reading

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Become a Beacon of Peace: 15 years of Peacebuilding

World Learning’s Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program is nearing its ambitious goal of training professional peacebuilders in half of the world’s countries—and just in time to celebrate the program’s 15-year anniversary. Read the press release. The three-week professional development course covers conflict analysis, interventions and strategies for use in protracted conflicts, and the essential tools of peacebuilding such as dialogue, mediation and training. Applications for this summer’s program are due April 30. Apply now. Below, a former CONTACT participant named Moussa shares how the CONTACT program changed his life and prepared him for a career in international development. In my country, Mali, we don’t know much about Arabic countries and the true realities of some neighboring countries. All we know is from newspapers, TV, or radio. But in the CONTACT Program in 2009, I got the wonderful opportunity to see, … Continue reading

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CONTACT participants honor International Day of Peace

A group of students, faculty and staff from the SIT Graduate Institute came together Tuesday to support peacebuilding efforts around the globe as part of an event marking September 21 as the International Day of Peace. Supporters gathered to sign a peace banner and engage in discussions about peacebuilding strategies, conflict analysis, and the meaning of peace. The event, organized and sponsored by the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures program, featured remarks from current and past CONTACT participants. Some of the dedicated individuals pursuing international peacebuilding efforts this month include: • Dr. Tatsushi Arai, associate professor of Conflict Transformation at the SIT Graduate Institute, who traveled to Pakistan to study the aftermath of the flood that devastated the country in July. He reports that the effects of the flood are both “structural and psychological.” • Dr. Paula Green, CONTACT program director … Continue reading

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Global Peacemakers Sharpen Skills at Workshop

Tatsushi Arai, associate professor of conflict transformation at World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute, led an advanced practitioner training  titled, Building Capacities for Cross-Cultural Communication, August 15-19 in Washington. The Center for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies in California sponsored the training, which brought together 35 practitioners, including senior representatives of the United Nations, government agencies, and non-government organizations from North and South Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. They explored imaginative, yet practical ways of introducing rituals, metaphors, symbolic gestures, and storytelling to inter-communal relations divided by deep-rooted social conflict. Participants examined in-depth case studies that focused on refugee repatriation in the African Great Lakes region and the design of a program that brought Pakistani Islamic leaders to the United States for cross-cultural exchange. The case study of Pakistani-American relations was facilitated jointly by Arai and Azhar Hussain, senior vice president of … Continue reading

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Conflict Transformation In the News

Today’s Brattleboro Reformer has a great article introducing the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program to the greater southern Vermont community: Over the past 14 years, nearly 1,500 people from the United States and 60 countries around the world have traveled to Brattleboro to participate in the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program, a three-week summer course conducted at SIT Graduate Institute. “They come because of the chaos and turmoil in their countries in the hopes they can find non-violent solutions to the problem of differences in approaches and needs and to establish more equal systems in their countries,” said Paula Green, a professor at SIT and the founder and director of CONTACT. Read the whole article here.

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CONTACT South Asia inaugurated in February in Kathmandu

In February, 48 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka gathered in Kathmandu to take part in the first CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) South Asia Program in Kathmandu. The program was started in response to requests from South Asian students participating in the US program, as well as to the escalating tensions within the region. The program draws together South Asian emerging leaders and helps them develop professional affiliations while pushing them to work together towards building a strong and safe region. The program was led by SIT’s experienced CONTACT faculty with over 13 years of experience with refining the CONTACT curriculum and methodology in Vermont and Africa. Faculty included Tatsushi Arai, Kevin Clements, Paula Green, Shweta Sing, and CONTACT graduate, Juan Armando Diaz. “Alone, each facilitator is a powerhouse in their own right, but together … Continue reading

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Join World Peacebuilders in June 2008

Part 1 of the CONTACT 2007 movie As I watched the movie about CONTACT 2007 made by Dil Bhusan and sent all the way from Nepal, I became a little nostalgic. I miss all the 72 participants -I have been in touch with each and every one of them from their first inquiry to their campus arrival. I was happy to see them come and sad to see them go. Fortunately, nowadays we are only one click away and we have plenty of photos that captured the beautiful moments together. But let me not get carried away by nostalgia and concentrate on the 2008 Group of Peacebuilders. Applications for the CONTACT program came in from 35 countries. Rich backgrounds, inspiring stories, determined personalities. CONTACT, the Conflict Transformation across Cultures Summer Peacebuilding Program will take place June 1-20. For 3 weeks … Continue reading

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