Using Improv to Work With Those We Disagree With In his class, Doug Irvin-Erickson gave his grad students an assignment half way through the short summer semester. He broke them into teams and asked them to make presentations to the class on how peacebuilding and human rights overlapped—or didn’t as the course may be. Because I had had to miss the previous class, the students had decided that I would serve as a discussant and respond to each project. During the course of the semester, we had mostly focused on how the two fields differ. Human rights advocates focus on rights that they assume to be universal and innate—and all too often denied by the powers that be. [...]
How can peacebuilders work for social justice as well as peace?
Advocacy and Peacebuilding The Peacebuilder's Dilemma In the last few months, I've been involved in dozens of discussions about creating a peacebuilding architecture in the United States. No matter what the topic or venue we keep running into a dilemma. How do we reconcile two goals that seem to conflict with each other that are near and dear to our hearts: Most of us became and remain peacebuilders because we believe in social change that would lead to a more inclusive and just society. Despite the fact that most of us are advocates for change, our work has brought people on all sides of an issue together in an attempt to reconcile their differences. In the simplest possible [...]
An Architecture for American Peacebuilding Last week, two of my AfP colleagues and I joined about 70 other people at George Mason University’s Point of View retreat center to take the first steps toward building what we are calling an “architecture for peace” in the United States. The conference was run held using strict Chatham House rules, so I can’t talk much about the specifics of what took place. I can however, talk about What we mean by an architecture for peace Some concrete steps we have already taken and others whose next steps will follow soon and will be discussed in future blog posts I first began thinking of the importance of workshops like this when I attended the launch of Douglas Irvin-Erickson’s [...]