Session 3

Teaching Peace and War (PART 1) - Panel

Amy Cox, Jill Strauss, Amanda Donahoe, Wim Laven, Michael Klein (Moderator: Tony Jenkins)

On this panel, we wish to examine the practices of teaching about peace and war in an atmosphere characterized by too much of one and not enough of the other. Teaching about the complexities of peace and war is often an exercise in balancing idealism and pragmatism. What is more, it is also a normative endeavor that tends to draw students who are genuinely interested in making the world a better place. How are these students best engaged? What should they learn in our courses? This panel focuses on pedagogies and best practices in teaching our field.

New Directions in Peace Education - Panel

  • “Possibilities in Online Peace Pedagogy: Generating Critical Hope and Change”, Joy Meeker (Saybrook University)
     
  • “Peace education and education for peace”, Michael Minch (Utah Valley University)

    In this paper, I will argue for (1) strategies to build and proliferate educational systems and models for peace education; and (2) strategies, systems, and models for education more broadly, that also contribute to peace. The distinction between (1) and (2) above is this. By "peace education" I mean educational endeavors meant to empower the student peacebuilding properly speaking, often in terms of entering peacebuilding professions. This education entails, among other things, interrogation and analysis of peacebuilding strategies, models, and methodologies, engaging in both theory, and the case study and practice-informed pedagogy. By "education for peace," I mean education in a broader range of topics. For example, students learning about sustainable ecological systems, or about how deep democracy is built and sustained, will learn, indirectly, about important matters that contribute to peace. I will not only explain the difference between peace education and education for peace, but I will also argue for constructive strategies, models, and methodologies for each-- and for their synthesis-- extending from primary school through secondary school, into the university. A key component of this argument will be the need to transform schools and departments of education in universities, where future teachers are prepared. A common view is that where "peace industries" develop, something regrettable has occurred. A concomitant of my argument will be that this common view is mistaken, and to the contrary, we must greatly expand peacebuilding (broadly understood) in all societies, communities, and cultures.
     

  • “Pedagogy of Circles: Teaching Restorative Justice to Social Work Students", Daniel Rhodes (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

    Human rights and social justice are cornerstones of social work practice and are reflected in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. Social workers are guided by their Code of Ethics when engaging in dialogue with communities who have historically been oppressed or experiencing trauma. The form of education social workers receives in the university setting, however, is not based on dialogue, but on what Paulo Freire calls the “banking” model of education, where students are passive recipients of information. This banking model of education is hegemonic and antithetical to dialogue and does not honor the very human rights and social justice mandated by the NASW Code of Ethics.

    In this paper, I take a critical approach to the educational structure of social work curriculum, which reinforces the passive and hegemonic role of the banking model of education. This banking model of education counters the NASW Code of Ethics which notes,

    “Social workers understand that relationships between and among people are an important vehicle for change. Social workers engage people as partners in the helping process. Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.”

    Using the Circle Process as a way to introduce restorative justice practices to social work students, I reflect on this process with students and how this form of restorative practices counters the banking model of education. Utilizing Circle Process to introduce restorative justice to social work students develops dialogue in class and helps students form relationships. As Howard Zehr notes in his book, Changing Lenses (1990), “Restorative Justice reminds us of the importance of relationships” (p. 246). Teaching restorative justice to social work students also connects them with their Code of Ethics. Mark Umbreit and Marilyn Armour note in their text, Restorative Justice Dialogue (2011), “As a social reform movement, restorative justice is social justice in action,” (p. 43), and that restorative justice is “a movement grounded in core social work values” (p. v).

    Utilizing the Circle Process in the classroom we are breaking up the non-dialogical and “primitive utilitarianism” of the classroom setting which is based on rigid, inflexible structure and guidelines of the classroom and its setting. Whereas the standard classroom in the university setting creates passivity, Umbreit notes (2011), “Peacemaking circles are based on the process of dialogue, relationship building, and the communication of moral values in order to promote accountability, healing, and compassion through community participation in resolving conflicts.” (p. 86).

    Restorative justice reinforces for social work students their own values of human rights and social justice, reconnecting them with their Code of Ethics. Teaching restorative justice to social work students also demonstrates for them, as Elizabeth Beck (2011) in her introduction to the text, Social Work and Restorative Justice, that, “it is in the interest of social work to take a leadership position in advancing restorative justice principles and restorative processes” (p. 6).
     

  • "Student stories: Using digital media for civic engagement in peace studies courses", Elton Skendaj (Manchester University)

    My paper demonstrates how to integrate digital media and ePortfolios in the classroom to further student learning and engagement. I will give examples from my nonviolence and migration courses. In the Nonviolence course, students created timelines and infographics of nonviolent movements and placed them in a public weebly website. In the Migration and Refugees course, students created digital reflection stories of their civic engagement. I discuss the various elements included in Eporfolios and digital stories, as well as scaffolding of the assignment. I will present findings of student learning from a survey that the Migration course students did on the digital story.

Being an Ally for Racial Equity - Panel

Pushpa Iyer, Elizabeth Fisher, Julia Lipkis, Kaitlyn Throgmorton

Today, it has become difficult if not impossible to find a conflict, especially an identity based conflict, where race is not an important factor. While we do see growing incidences of racial discrimination, we also hear the loud voices demanding change. Individuals and institutions are rallying against racially motivated violence and have recognized the power in joining forces to create greater impact. The prominent voices among these often belong to academics and students in institutions of higher learning because the recognition that social change needs to happen rightfully begins with knowledge acquisition. Change however, must be managed to ensure that it does not turn into destructive conflict.

The Allies at MIIS project of the Center for Conflict Studies at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey began in response to this growing need to bring race conversations to the forefront. The project emphasizes on social change leaders, who we call Allies, as being responsible, committed and self-reflective citizens. We believe that one must earn the title of an Ally; it is not an association one can choose or an honor one can claim. In effect, we want to increase the number of individuals who are constantly working on becoming true allies in the fight against racial inequity. At the Center, our understanding of race is that it is a socially constructed concept, institutionalized in societal structures and culture, resulting in structural and cultural violence. Our definition of race includes all identity groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability status, age, physical attributes, class, cultural background, nationality and more.
Our presentation will detail our efforts to increase racial equity on our campus and beyond. We will explore various dimensions of racial equity by focusing on some of the questions that drive us: How do we create safe (and brave) spaces for individuals to discuss discrimination? Who takes or who should take leadership in creating and managing these safe spaces? What role do emotions, especially anger, play when experiencing discrimination or in efforts to deal with discrimination? How can power and privilege help individuals be better allies? When in cultures not our own, how do we experience power and privilege? Why is the intersectionality lens key for any ally? In the journey of an ally, what are some of the key challenges?

Global Conflicts - Panel

(Moderator: Laura Finley)

  • "Post-conflict Kosovo: The Implications and Challenges of a Global Peace Cycle", Ajanet Rountree (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Nicholas Sherwood (Graduate student, University of Alabama at Birmingham) 

    Peace is an active and passive process made manifest through behavior. Peaceful behavior is defined as an individual preserving harmony in relationships while avoiding violence (Verbeek, 2008; Gregor, 1996). Violence is defined as physical and / or psychological damage, considered legitimate by the performer and / or other witnesses, for the purpose of asserting control over a limited resource (Schroder & Schmidt, 2001). Violent behavior is distinct from competitive and aggressive behavior, as violence fundamentally threatens and / or compromises the safety and rights of the receiving actor. Peaceful behavior is not only limited to individual interactions, but also permeates the societal, institution, and global levels. The peaceful interaction between these four levels may be conceptualized as a 4-part cycle of peace. This paper, using the post-conflict state of Kosovo, argues all individuals, as part of their collective society, are contributors to institutions, and in their role as global citizens, have the responsibility and power to resurrect peace from violent conflict. Research suggests a defining characteristic of peaceful behavior is its transference over both time and space; a peaceful interaction increases the likelihood of future peaceful behavior from both actors. In Kosovo, peace was originally imposed top-down by international actors such as the United Nations and the European Union. However, to achieve stable and durable peace, the repetitive nature of individual daily behaviors have to be cultivated into a natural, social society where peace is self-reinforcing across all social domains. A peaceful society is comprised of peaceful behaviors outnumbering and outweighing violent behaviors across all individuals in the particular society (Fry, 2007). Peaceful societies recognize the importance of instruments and mechanisms of peace, whether within a society (such as cultural celebration events) or between societies (the acceptance of foreign refugees). As a result, these societies create and maintain opportunities for peaceful interactions between societies. Many peaceful societies--mutually enhancing one another--create political institutions that reflect peaceful decision-making, such as the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). These “peace institutions” attempt to curtail violent conflict and protect harmonious relationships from the top-down. Again, peaceful institutions are self-reinforcing through the use of transnational ‘peace-promoting’ mechanisms, such as economic sanctions for noncompliant states and economic / political aid for states attempting to reintroduce peace in society.

    The importance of peace can be studied in post-conflict societies, because the effects of both peace and violence can be documented about the same society in question. Individual peaceful behavior is particularly critical in the case of post-conflict societies, as the use of peace-through-behavior can ameliorate the traumatic effects of violence. These post-conflict societies offer solutions to the issue of repairing formerly peaceful relationships between the society, individuals within the society, and the institutions of which the society belongs. By promoting peace in post-conflict societies, the four parts of the peace cycle may again work in symphony. Peace-through-behavior is created by people, nourishes a peaceful society, inspires peaceful institutions, and maintains a peaceful globe.

 

  • “Once Upon a Birmingham: A Helping Hand”, Angela Hollowell & Caitlin Beard (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

    “A nation should not be judged be how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” -Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

    The access to necessary resources provided to the homeless community in Birmingham, Alabama has increased in the recent years to include the designation of Boutwell Auditorium as a warm shelter during the winter months and the implementation of Project Homeless Connect. Project Homeless Connect is an annually occurring event that gives people experiencing homelessness access to housing, medical, identification, veterans’, employment, and pet care services among many others (Hands On Birmingham, 2017). Though both the local government and non-profit organizations have positively impacted the resources available to the homeless community, those directly impacted by their efforts are in the best position to articulate their needs. With the magnitude of Birmingham mayoral candidates for the 2017 election cycle, totaling in at eight candidates including the incumbent, the impact of their policies and views can be directly observed by those who are most economically and socially vulnerable. This research endeavor seeks to examine the relationship between justice and human rights as faced from the perspective of Birmingham’s homeless population. Taking inspiration from Brandon Stanton and JR, the creators of Humans of New York and the Inside Out Project respectively, their portraits and stories will be displayed through a unique style of black and white street photography. This photographic exhibition of black and white canvases, discussion of the collected testimonials, and research conclusions will be accompanied by an Instagram account, named @onceuponabham.
     

  • “Human Rights and Poverty: The Role Of Non-Governmental Organizations In Poverty Alleviation”, Oluwaseun Olanrewaju (Lawyer, Straightpath Solicitors & Advocate and Coordinator, Academics Stand Against Poverty, West Africa Chapter)

    Over the past 40 years, the concept of human rights has become increasingly relevant in global political affairs. This is adduced to the fact that human rights are universal and held by all human beings. Therefore, the issue of human rights becomes inescapable as they address who we are as human beings.

    Relatedly, poverty remains a plague in many societies of the world, even in the face of globalisation. Given the above, poverty is a chronic issue that deserves greater attention than it has received in the international humanitarian agenda. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), ‘’poverty is both a cause and a consequence of human rights violations’’. The above alludes to the nexus between poverty and human rights.

    Globally, the advocates of human rights have most often been citizens not government functionaries. Against this backdrop, human rights Non-Governmental Organisations advocate for the protection of human rights; and on this basis, it is widely acknowledged that they seek freedom for the oppressed and marginalised.

    Consequently, the topic of discussion seeks to analsyse the influence of Non-Governmental Organisations in alleviating poverty by advocating against its root causes such as marginalisation, social exclusion, injustice, discrimination, gender inequality, lack of education as well as corruption. Furthermore, it will attempt to propose the way forward for human rights Non-Governmental Organisations as non-state actors that ‘supposedly’ have the influence to improve human rights conditions but are faced with various obstacles that militate against their effectiveness.
     

  • “On Cosmopolitan Responsibility: The Individuals' Global Role in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights”, David W. Gethings (Kennesaw State University)

    This paper examines the role of the individual in an ever globalizing world, particularly with respect to human rights promotion and protection. The digital age has unleashed a new potential for the realization of human rights through a promotion of cosmopolitan responsibility. At the most fundamental level, cosmopolitan responsibility is the acceptance of an ethical imperative to extend and defend the same legal protections one would expect for their neighbor to all individuals around the globe, regardless of geographic proximity. The spread of cosmopolitan responsibility is spurred on by heretofore unimaginable connections produced by the digital age. The world is witnessing an unprecedented access to information and communication from around the globe. Individuals can connect with others around the world in real-time, and those connections foster empathy, compassion, and understanding. This paper will develop a normative description of cosmopolitan responsibility and its implications for global human rights.

Organizing for Peace: Politics and Non-State Actors - Panel

(Moderator: Jinelle Piereder)

  • “Better than a Left Tea Party”, John Lawrence (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
     
  • “Other Diplomacies for Peace”: The Role of Non-State Actors in Canada’s Peace Sector and Beyond”, Jinelle Piereder (Balsillie School of International Affairs)

    This paper draws on Young and Henders’ (2012) concept of “other diplomacies” – activities of non-state actors that shape foreign relations and/or contribute to foreign policy – to examine Canada’s peace sector. Peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and peacekeeping training have been a part of Canadian identity, whether in actual or rhetorical ways, for decades. These have been important pillars in Canadian foreign policy and national defence policy. However, the activities that make up these efforts have often involved non-state actors as well as official government actors/departments. In fact, Canada has a history of civil-military relations and government-NGO collaboration on peacebuilding. Outside of traditional peace support operations led by the Canadian Forces under UN auspices, peace-related non-governmental organizations, academic associations, and even private corporations increasingly participate in, comment on, and contribute to Canada’s peace-related diplomacy and activities in direct and indirect ways. Recognition of these myriad contributions through the lens of “other diplomacies for peace” gives us insight into the political effects of non-state actors’ practices and discourses around peace. Since Prime Minister Trudeau’s August 2016 announcement regarding Canada’s new peacekeeping agenda, and new UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ January 2017 call for a “surge in diplomacy for peace,” there has been renewed interest among peace and conflict scholars in figuring out how to frame the new narrative and vision. This paper suggests that without attention to and understanding of “other diplomacies” within Canada’s peace sector and beyond, renewed and transformed efforts toward peace are likely to be incomplete.
     

  • “A Basic Civil Right: Is voter suppression a single party issue?”, Daniel Kirk (University of Mount Union)

    Voting is a basic civil right, and this paper is geared to showing how voting has been unfair and unequal. Civil rights are often viewed as a black and white issue but the problem of voter suppression transcends gender and race, and this paper will aim to show that every person has a right to have their vote matter. Voter suppression has typically been viewed as a problem facing democrats, however, this paper aims to explore the idea that the issue of voter suppression is perpetrated by both major political parties. In the most recent election, voter suppression was a topic of discussion. This debate spurred me to create the research question: is voter suppression a single-party issue? To answer this research question, I will use recent news and documented cases of suppression to show that both major parties suppress voters. After presenting the information about voter suppression, I will move onto a section discussing several ways to combat this problem moving forward, so that all Americans feel that their voice is respected and counted. Most voters agree with issues that directly affect them and I believe this paper and presentation will highlight an essential issue that affects every voters’ personal life. Voting in a democratic country is a basic civil right, geared to bettering the lives of those who need the most from their government. This paper will show that this does not have to be the norm and we can change voting for the better moving forward.

Teaching Intersectionality in the Age of Trump - Roundtable

Sa’ed Atshan (Swarthmore College), Geoffrey Bateman (Regis University), Amanda Smith Byron (Portland State University), Emily Davis (University of Delaware), Sheherazade Jafari (Director, Point of View International Retreat and Research Center, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University)

Building on last year’s highly successful workshop on intersectionality and pedagogy in Peace and Justice Studies, this roundtable aims to bring together faculty who approach teaching social justice through an intersectional lens. Discussants will center the conversation on the crucial role intersectionality plays for us in the classroom, in terms of both content and pedagogy. First, it will help us address questions in relation to what we teach as we reflect on our current moment, such as: What role did sexism and racism play in the recent US election? How did the anti-Muslim rhetoric following the Pulse massacre in Orlando attempt to divide communities of color by denying US homophobia? How do cultural differences inflect communication styles in ways that make African American and Latino students vulnerable to increased disciplinary measures in school and funnel them into the school to prison pipeline? How does the “private” problem of domestic violence function as an often unacknowledged warning sign of impending public violence by domestic terrorists?
Second, an intersectional approach allows us to reflect critically on how we teach and engage multiple identities in our classrooms. Interrogating how our and our students’ multiple identities implicate us differently in relation to structures of privilege and oppression opens up opportunities for deep self reflection and transformation. But creating this transformative space in the classroom makes both students and teachers vulnerable in ways that more conventional approaches to content may not. What strategies do we use to establish the classroom as an intersectional space of transformation? How do we best support students as they undertake the difficult intellectual and emotional work of dismantling structures of privilege that challenge their own identities? What readings and classroom exercises have been most useful for laying the groundwork for these critical conversations?

Recognizing and Addressing Sibling Abuse through a Transformative Justice Approach - Roundtable

Rachel Birmingham (Northeastern Illinois University)

Family violence has long been recognized as a considerable social problem and the root of a great deal of interpersonal conflict, trauma and cross-generational abuse. While the majority of research and social policy gives focus to domestic violence and abuse of children by caregivers, the most common form of family violence is abuse between siblings. Sibling relationships provide one of the earliest models for conflict resolution, with violence between siblings serving as a “breeding ground” for later violence. Indeed, sibling abuse is shown to cross into other domains of a young person’s daily life (e.g. bullying of peers, participation in community violence and abuse in later romantic relationships). However, current national discourse normalizes sibling abuse through use of language such as "rivalry", "competition" or "conflict". As a result, what would be considered unacceptable in any other relationship has been normalized (e.g. "rough and tumble play"), legitimized (e.g. "boys will be boys"), and at times encouraged (e.g., "a rite of passage"), via a national discourse of acceptance and a failure to recognize sibling abuse as an injustice against children. Recognizing the right of any child to live free from abuse as a fundamental human right, this session will examine current discourse on sibling abuse with a critical lens on the larger systems in place that perpetuate and encourage family violence. We will also explore first steps in using a transformative justice approach to intervention. Namely, we seek to identify an approach to sibling abuse intervention that avoids labeling children as victims or offenders, or that places blame on parents; seeking instead to bring peace and healing to families affected by this form of family violence. Finally, we will use the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child as a lens through which we explore recognizing, as well as bringing about safety and protection for all children engaged in abusive sibling relationships.

Peace Language Activities: Teaching and Learning Peace Experientially - Workshop

​Rebecca L. Oxford (University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Maryland), Maria Matilde Olivero (University of Rio Cuarto and University of South Florida), Tammy Gregersen (University of Northern Iowa)

The world is full of increasingly volatile conflicts involving religious intolerance; nuclear threats; honor killings; destruction of the environment; and bullying in politics, on social media, and in school. Depression, anxiety, and rage are frequent, and they exist even in teacher education classes. One prospective teacher lashed out in class, “Minorities are worthless people, and they should die.” Later in the same class he interjected, “If they can’t learn in my classroom, they can get THE F*** out” (intonation his). All six peace dimensions, i.e., inner, interpersonal, intergroup, intercultural, international, and ecological, as noted by ----- (2013, 2014, 2017), are urgently needed.
Fortunately, scholars have shown that certain forms of teaching can foster peace and that teacher education can create peacebuilders who can then help change the world through their teaching (Kruger, 2012; Morgan & Vandrick, 2009; -------, 2017; --------, 2013, 2014, 2017). We offer empirical evidence of this based on a 2016-2017 study of future teachers in an English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teaching practicum, part of which was held on a university campus in Argentina and part of which involved practice-teaching in Argentine elementary school EFL classrooms. The study revealed that when peace language activities are well-keyed to the six peace dimensions and are interwoven into the teaching practicum and adapted for use in the schools, a tremendous change can take place. Impulses, beliefs, and actions toward peace can spread in ever-larger ripples. The peace language activities, when effectively used, were described by participants as (a) bringing greater peace to the inner self; (b) increasing empathy and understanding among individuals and among people from diverse groups, cultures, and nations; (c) increasing the desire to work toward human rights; and (d) enhancing appreciation and concern for the environment. One of the Argentine EFL teacher education students wrote in her journal, “Violence is everywhere, increasing every day, and it is visible how it has increased in the classroom. Thanks for giving us the tools to fight against violence!” Many future teachers recognized that inner peace is the key to all other forms of peace (a concept also shared by Lao-Tzu and the Dalai Lama), and many prospective teachers moved from the stance of “Peace is the absence of conflict, maybe?” (from a personal journal) to a much richer and more deeply felt perspective, i.e., peace is harmony created when working with conflicting perspectives (Martin Luther King, Jr. in C. King, 2001).
Further exploration of these peace language activities in the field of language teacher education and language teaching occurred in the U.S. We also found that the same activities were valuable for other education fields and additional groups (--- & ---, 2017).
Although we will discuss our research and experiences, most of the workshop will focus on experiential learning. Participants be engaged in the peace language activities. Small groups will discuss how these activities could be used in their own educational institutions, churches, community groups, and governmental agencies. Finally, participants will receive excellent materials and useful contacts. Networking will be discussed.

Podcasting for Peace - Workshop

Daryn Cambridge (Senior Program Officer, United States Institute of Peace)

Podcasting for peace is an interactive session where participants learn about and participate in co-creating an episode for the Peace Frequency.

The Peace Frequency is a podcast series tapping into the stories of people across the globe who are making peace possible and finding ways to create a world free of violent conflict. The series is produced by the United States Institute of Peace Global Campus - an online learning platform that offers online courses and hosts live events focused on peacebuilding skills, issues, and themes.
There are currently 46 episodes in the podcast series, each featuring stories and perspectives from peacebuilding scholars, practitioners, and activists. Each episode focuses on a different issue related to peace and conflict – nonviolence, gender equality, rule of law, negotiation, and arts-based approaches to peacebuilding, among others. Previous guests on the podcast have included, Dr. Erica Chenoweth – co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Aaron Shneyer – co-founder and Executive Director of Heartbeat, Dr. Andrew Garling - one of the original organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, Julia Roig – President of Partners Global, and world-renowned restorative circles practitioner, Dominic Barter, among others.
During the session, excerpts of some of the most intriguing and insightful stories from the podcast series act as prompts for group dialogue and storytelling. Then, using a mobile recording studio, participants volunteer to interview each other around some of the key ideas that run through the podcast series along with the key themes of the conference.

Film Treasures of the Civil Rights Era - Film

 (Brian Woodman, Film & Media Archive, Washington University) (HSC Alumni Theater)