No time is more appropriate than now to build the culture of peace. No social responsibility is greater nor task more significant than that of securing peace on our planet on a sustainable foundation. Today's world with its complexities and challenges is becoming increasingly more interdependent and interconnected. The sheer magnitude of it requires all of us to work together.By Anwarul K. Chowdhury
Recognition of the human right to peace by the international community, particularly the United Nations, will surely generate the inspiration in creating the much-needed culture of peace in each one of us.
Nearly thirteen years ago in 1998, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a group of civil society organizations launched a global campaign for the recognition by all of the human right to peace. They declared, "We are convinced that after this century with its horrible wars, barbarism and crimes against humanity and human rights, it is high time for the 'Human Right to Peace' ".
They elaborated by underscoring that "the right to live is not applied in times of war – this contradiction and the undermining of the universality of human rights must be ended by the recognition of the human right to peace". They called upon all "to prevent violence, intolerance and injustice in our countries and societies in order to overcome the cult of war and to build a Culture of Peace".
Both objectives still remain elusive, unattained – human right to peace has not yet been fully, formally and directly recognized as well as efforts needed for advancing the culture of peace remain sidelined in the UN system.
©UNESCO/Mustafa R. M. Daras
Under human rights law, governments everywhere are obliged to facilitate the right to education, according to a recent UN report. They must also secure sustainable investment in education. Prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the report also addresses education in contexts affected by conflict and disaster.
The right to education is also at the heart of an ongoing consultation of UNESCO Member States. Launched in September 2011, it concerns the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (2006-2011).
An exhibition of graphic, brightly-coloured posters illustrating the right to education will be launched on 8 December in the context of the partnership between UNESCO and the NGO “Posters4tomorrow”. A video of the posters is on YouTube.
Education as a human right and teaching and learning about human rights are two aspects of UNESCO’s rights-based work in education. Knowledge of rights and freedoms ensures respect for the rights of all. Human rights education creates a “human rights-friendly” environment. It aims to develop learners’ competencies to apply a rights-based approach to everyday issues for a sustainable and peaceful future.
How does one learn nonviolent resistance? The same way that Martin Luther King Jr. did—by study, reading and interrogating seasoned tutors. King would eventually become the person most responsible for advancing and popularizing Gandhi’s ideas in the United States, by persuading black Americans to adapt the strategies used against British imperialism in India to their own struggles. Yet he was not the first to bring this knowledge from the subcontinent.
By the 1930s and 1940s, via ocean voyages and propeller airplanes, a constant flow of prominent black leaders were traveling to India. College presidents, professors, pastors and journalists journeyed to India to meet Gandhi and study how to forge mass struggle with nonviolent means. Returning to the United States, they wrote articles, preached, lectured and passed key documents from hand to hand for study by other black leaders.
By ELTON SKENDAJ, Visiting Research Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame
Original post found in the Global Campaign for Peace Education Newsletter, February 2012 issue.
I write this as a research fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, where reflection and action in peace research are encouraged. In a review of current practices of peace education by US Institute of Peace, the writers celebrate the diversity of peace practice, but sound a note of caution that we need better evaluation of the strategies that work in peace education. In this spirit of reflection, I want to make a plea for learning from our failures and sharing information about when our strategies work and when they don’t. As peace educators, we often share information about what we consider successful outcomes of our efforts, and failures to achieve the peace we seek are used to justify the claim that more peace education activities are needed.
Your personal myths—the hidden themes and stories of your life—could be subconsciously shaping the way you live today. Personal myths are generated from family, society, and your own experience. When you become aware of your guiding personal myths, you can examine them to determine whether they are more functional than dysfunctional. This process can help you identify myths that no longer serve you, which reduces the power they have to influence your thinking and decisions.
When I was producing television, I met Whitney Houston. She was suggested by a network for a guest role on a show I was producing. I had never heard of her so they sent over a copy of her singing "I'm Saving All My Love for You." Before the song was over, I knew that I was willing to give her a shot even though she had never acted before. Not only was she a fantastic singer, but she really jumped off the screen with a luminous energy.
The week that we did the taping, Whitney couldn't have been nicer. She was about 20 at the time and seemed to be surprised and delighted at her new found fame. As I've watched her very public struggle with drugs and an abusive marriage, it has been heartbreaking. How did that joyous talented young woman turn into a pathetic drug addict?
Of course it is a common story in the entertainment business and especially among musicians. Quincy Jones, the renowned music producer, said on CBS News that he "was angry about her drug use" but recalled the similar problems of Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix. He offered his opinion that he doesn't think there's going to be any change in the music industry in a clip available at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7398559n&tag=mncol;lst;1
Finding the right job in conflict resolution, international development and related fields requires a combination of the right experience and training, an understanding of the field, developing strong connections and a bit of serendipity. In addition to academic and/or professional training, it is essential to have an understanding of how conflict resolution works in practice. Many people working in conflict related jobs, will not find employment with "conflict resolution organizations" but with organizations in others sectors (international development, education, environment, business) working on conflict related jobs. Thus it is also important in the job search to broaden your scope to include international development organizations, government and intergovernmental institutions, for-profit and business institutions, educational institutions, and more.
PsySR’s 30th Anniversary Conference: July 12-14, 2012 – Washington, DC
Conference Information: www.psysr.org/conference2012
We invite psychologists, researchers, students, activists, and artists to submit proposals for Psychologists for Social Responsibility’s July 2012 Conference in Washington, DC: “Psychology and the Occupy Movement: Synergies for Social Change.”
The Occupy Movement in the United States, inspired by the earlier Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Wisconsin Movement, is using creative, nonviolent methods to decry inequities in our society. It is enlisting citizens from all walks of life to right injustices of wealth and power and to stop the use of violence to perpetuate these injustices. This 30th anniversary PsySR conference will explore the relationship between psychology and the Occupy Movement and the synergies this relationship can generate in the service of social justice. We will focus on three areas:
“Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot life without it. It is a transformational force, enhancing self-esteem and self-empowerment.” -- Natalie Rogers
Natalie Rogers, PhD, founder of the transformational Creative Connection® system of person-centered expressive arts has published an all-in-one guide to group facilitation titled: The Creative Connection for Groups ~ Person-Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change, which, I believe, has the power to impact personal and global transformation and healing.
Every step of her unique, intermodal expressive arts process is explained in a way which allows readers to take part in the exercises as if they were participating in a workshop intensive. The tools, procedures, and resources designed to initiate creative action have all been included, making it a ‘must have’ book for anyone ready to stimulate growth through expressive creative action. This book is a soulful wake-up call for a world in crisis which requires new ways of seeing, acting, and being to begin the journey toward peace through community engagement. Natalie Rogers writes: “Using creative expression to get acquainted with oneself – one’ values, thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams – is imperative in today’s world” (p. 4). The next step – using expressive arts to build community and move in the direction of inner and world peace – is the goal closest to Rogers’ heart. The underlying theme of the book is encouragement of expressive arts being used in groups as a vehicle for personal growth, transpersonal work, and building a sense of belonging and community (Rogers, 2011, p. 208).
Tammy Hanks and Priscilla Schlottman -- both of whom completed doctoral degrees in Psychology/Social Transformation at Saybrook -- serve as Director and Clinical Director of the Zulu Orphan Alliance (ZOA), a nonprofit organization founded by volunteer psychologists, therapists, social workers, and medical professionals. Current Saybrook student Donna Nassor sits on the board of ZOA, helping the organization provide a network of ongoing support to orphaned and vulnerable children living near Adams Mission, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
ZOA supports the Bhekanisizwe (which is Zulu for "look after the nation") Center where where 26 orphans are housed and an additional 30 orphans and other vulnerable children receive meals and basic needs. What makes ZOA unique among aid groups is that, beyond the provision of basic needs like food, shelter, and medical care, we also offer free access to therapeutic modalities - particularly art therapy and expressive therapies that can be adapted in culturally senstive and appropriate ways that transcend ethnic barriers.