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.
In 2012 BAAPT will offer scholarships to two students pursuing master’s degree in psychology, social work, organizational development, counseling or a related field. Diane Weston, a past president and long-time member of BAAPT, was a social psychology instructor at SFSU and SJSU. Diane was diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer during her 2007-2008 term as president of the Bay Area chapter of the Association for Psychological Type. A scholarship fund was established in her name through financial contributions from BAAPT members and a matching gift from the Charles Schwab Foundation. The scholarship is comprised of the following benefits:
• 50% of the cost of a MBTI® Certification course ($900 value) in San Francisco or Mountain View in 2012
• Opportunity to co-present an Introduction to MBTI® session with a seasoned MBTI® practitioner
• Free entrance to BAAPT Special Event (March 10, 2012) for the scholarship recipient and three friends “Type and the Enneagram,” presented by Pat Wyman, M.Ed., LPC, 9:30am–3:30pm ($200 value per scholarship recipient)
• Free entrance to 2 BAAPT Workshops for the scholarship recipient and three friends See: baapt.org/workshops.html ($240 value per scholarship recipient)
• Free BAAPT membership for the scholarship recipient (March 2012 through May 2013, a $175 value) Access to extensive lending library, program and webinar recordings
Candidates must submit the following by February 17, 2012 to email@example.com or, mail completed forms to 481 34th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121.
• one-page essay on your interest in Psychological Type
• recommendation from a faculty member
• application form
The Bay Area Association for Psychological Type (BAAPT) was formed in 1984 to promote the understanding, constructive use, and valuing of human diversity through the study and application of Carl Jung’s theory of Psychological Type. Our interests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, David Keirsey's work on Temperament, and a variety of typology applications. We welcome all people who are interested in using psychological type personally or professionally. We invite you to join our lively monthly meetings held September through May. Local, national, and international professionals offer presentations to our group of delightful and articulate psychological type enthusiasts. BAAPT is a volunteer-based non-profit organization, and is a chapter of APTi, the Association for Psychological Type International.
Please see www.BAAPT.org/diane-weston-scholarship.html for application forms and details.
Diane McGinty Weston (INFJ) was born in Oakland, California on March 19, 1954. She graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1972. She received her bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Diane worked at SRI Menlo Park as a business researcher, then as an independent consultant, and finally as an instructor in Social Psychology at San Francisco State University and San Jose State University.
Art for Peace: An Evolving Mural Project is about collaboration, dialogue, and insight
using visual arts. The means for encouraging harmonious interaction and
effective communication is through mural projects that have no end date leaving
them in a perpetual state of evolution. This project is based on three beliefs:
1. Visual arts can be used as a communication tool.
2. Clear communication moves us closer to peaceful interactions.
3. There is a reciprocal relationship between what we see and what we think and
These mural projects for peace are about encouraging intentional thoughts
towards peace. Everyone is welcome to participate and paint or write their
ideas on what is needed to move us closer to social harmony. This project is
about creating and encouraging beauty within communities and it is about
empowering people to share what they think with others in a creative visual
Saybrook students are invited to submit an abstract for consideration in an upcoming publication on peace education. The finished volume will be published by Information Age Press as part of its peace education series.
The end of the twentieth century marked the beginning of an upsurge of interest in peace education. Starting in the 1950s, as exemplified in the United States with the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), concerned citizens at the grassroots level developed peace education strategies to inform others about the dangers of violence and the need for peace. They mobilized to stop the build up of nuclear arms, to oppose the war in Vietnam, to cease support for cruel dictatorships, to support human rights, to endorse environmental sustainability, and to promote nonviolence. These campaigns. sprung up out of the hearts and minds of ordinary people concerned about their own welfare and the future of “Mother Earth.”
These grassroots peace education efforts throughout the globe teach children and adults how to live sustainably and how to resolve conflicts nonviolently. Ordinary citizens, parents, teachers, and community organizers become spiritual agents who initiate peace education programs that have contributed to the end of the war in Vietnam, disillusionment about nuclear power and weapons, regime change in places as diverse as Tunisia, Argentina, the Philippines, and Serbia, the preservation of ecosystems, the development of human rights, truth and reconciliation commissions, and the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Some of these peace education efforts took place entirely within civic society organized by community-based organizations. Some were directed towards churches and religious organizations. Others struggled to gain access to formal education systems. As a result of these efforts there are now over 300 colleges and universities around the world that have peace studies programs; schools in El Salvador, Uganda, the Philippines, and Nepal include peace education in their curricula; and schools throughout the world have adopted a variety of peacemaking strategies that teach violence prevention techniques to children and reduce violence and hostility on campuses.