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Community-Driven Peacebuilding

The Community-Driven Peacebuilding Series is an interactive program designed to foster understanding, respect, and social cohesion among diverse peoples and communities. The Study Series is comprised of four sessions and requires a weekly or monthly commitment of time and effort.  Peacebuilding activities explore the root causes or potential causes of conflict, principles and values that are broadly shared among the world’s faith and wisdom traditions and provide the basis for peace, and case studies of community-driven peacebuilding.

The program includes a video presentation, interactive questions based on the video, discussions on how the lessons can be applied, and action steps that can make a measurable impact in communities.

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.

The Community-driven Peacebuilding Workbook and Study Guide is ideal for faith-based organizations, clubs, and community small groups. The workbook is available in both print and online, with support available to assist your small group.

To order individual or group-rate workbooks visit our workbook portal (coming soon) or contact Gail Hambleton at ghambleton@globalpeace.org.