Peacebuilding Study Series

The PeaceHub Campaign is a much-needed public awareness and educational program, uniquely designed for communities. Currently being piloted in the U.S., particularly in the Washington DC Capital Region, the program is based on the Community-Driven Peacebuilding Series, an interactive program designed to foster understanding, respect, and social cohesion among diverse peoples and communities. It explores the root causes of potential conflict; as well as principles and values that are broadly shared among the world’s faith and wisdom traditions and provides the basis for peace and case studies of community-driven peacebuilding.

This self-directed Study Series is designed for study groups, men’s groups, youth groups, women’s groups, and faith-based houses of worship. The four sessions underscore our shared human identity and foster an ethical awareness that all people belong to one human family. The study program affirms the natural desire for social connections and belonging, while exploring the dangers of excessive identification with a particular group. Just as we value unique qualities among family members, so the diversity of the human family can be an enriching source of strength and a basis for mutual respect and peace.

Once a group completes this training, it becomes a “PeaceHub,” a local resource to address sources of conflict and solve problems in the community. PeaceHubs cultivate social cohesion and peace by bringing diverse stakeholders together to collaborate on social innovation and civic projects.

GPF India is actively leading the PeaceHub Campaign throughout the country. Click here to learn more. 

Session 1: Globalization: Blessings and Challenges

The most pressing challenge today is finding common ground in our shared “human identity” and developing an ethical awareness that all people belong to one human family. Religious and wisdom traditions have both unique insights into transcendent truths and shared values and codes of conduct that provide
practical guidance on daily life and fostering peace in society. Session 1 explores the importance of finding common ground in shared values as a basic for peace.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define a clear vision that encapsulates the essence of our common humanity, supports fundamental human rights, and upholds the spiritual and moral essence of all people;
  • Emphasize the universal principles and values that all religions and wisdom traditions uphold, and develop strategies for lasting social cohesion based on these sacred principles;
  • Put those beliefs into practice. This very simple idea can become a lasting basis for faith-based partnership: the agreement that a world of peace is comprised of moral and ethical societies.

Session 2: Successful Models of
Community Peacebuilding

Social connections are important to one’s well-being. This natural desire for “belonging” also presents occasions for gangs or extremist groups to effectively recruit membership. Session 2 explores the dangers of inordinate identification with a group, often leading to hostility and suspicion of those outside the group.
We all belong to the human family, and just as we value unique qualities among family members, so the diversity of the human family can be an enriching source of strength and a basis for mutual respect and peace.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn to understand differences among individuals and groups and develop tolerance and then appreciation for differences in temperament, character, and outlook;
  • Develop awareness of “us vs. them” attitudes and how “role reversals” can lead to liberating new perspectives;
  • Identity the principles and values that Global Peace Foundation fieldwork in Nigeria and urban New Jersey have emphasized in peacebuilding.

Session 3: The Art of Dialogue

Session 3 focuses on approaches to peacebuilding that emphasize motivation and change of heart more than facts, logic or infor-mation. Motivation derives from personal values, which ultimately guide attitudes and behavior. Recog-nition of shared values is thus essential in guiding attitudes and behavior in diverse societies. One of the most valuable and essential tools for all aspects of the peace and relationship building process is the art of dialogue.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the difference between peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding;
  • Learn the essential role of dialogue as a two-way communication between persons who hold significantly differing views on a subject;
  • Discover how peacebuilding can be advanced in communities by people trained in the art of dialogue;
  • Question from your own personal encounter or engagement with someone from a different back-ground or belief system how the experience challenged you to reconsider your personal beliefs or assumptions.

Session 4: Think Globally, Act Locally

Session 4 examines the signifi-cance of a Global Ethic, first formulated by theologian Hans Küng, as the basis for dialogue and cooper-ation. Given the broad, near universal acceptance of the Golden Rule, why is mod-ern life so plagued with conflict? Session 4 proposes that a common vision—that we are all members of one human family—can give greater authority to ethical standards that are often undermined by identity-based divisions and short-term gratification.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how a Global Ethic was first formulated;
  • Understand the central principles of a Global Ethic;
  • Relate the principles of a Global Ethic to values affirmed by religious and wisdom traditions.
  • Understand the obstacles that interfere with full acceptance of a Global Ethic across different soci-eties and cultures;
  • Recognize how globalization has presented both opportunities and obstacles in advancing gen-eral acceptance of a Global Ethic.

How It Works

  • Introductory meetings and orientations with the leadership of the community.
  • Introductory presentation to the community to generate involvement.
  • The community works through the self-directed Study Series education within its own unique approaches, including study groups, men’s groups, youth groups, women’s groups, and full community gatherings.
  • Designate a “PeaceHub Liaison” for the community to connect with the National Campaign Office.
  • Training Completion: Presentation of Certificate to become “Peace Hub.”
  • Option to work with a nearby diverse community and repeat the study, completing a “Community Mapping exercise” and designing a service project together.

Learn more about the Community-driven Peacebuilding Study Series and how essential principles and values broadly shared among the world’s faith and wisdom traditions can provide the basis for peace.

Community-driven Peacebuilding Series

In your group study, after introducing the topic, having an “ice-breaker” discussion and reading the quotations, now your group is ready to watch the film together. The group will be gathered around the nearest viewable television or computer screen. For a larger group, the video can be projected onto a larger screen. Just click on the arrow and expand to full screen viewing to watch online, or you can download the video prior to the meeting to avoid any possibility of connectivity issues. (The transcripts of the narration are in the back of the booklet for further study.) 

Here are the resources needed for the Group Activities and Individual study in Session III and Session IV.

Other Work