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Saturday, April 29, 2017

(1) UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

Learning peace

From Kathie's blog, engagingpeace: http://engagingpeace.com

September 21 is the annual United Nations International Day of Peace. The theme for 2013 is peace education.
Mural of children dancing
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminds us, “It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.”
Where do children learn respect—or disrespect—for themselves? Where do they learn respect—or disrespect—for others? Where do they learn how to work and play together with—or reject and dehumanize–people with different backgrounds and experiences? Where to they learn about justice or injustice, nonviolence and violence?
Our answer: in our homes and in our communities—including our schools, our sports teams, our religious communities.
Several wonderful peace and conflict resolution programs are available to our nation’s schools—for example:
  • The Peace Corps Coverdell World Wise Schools program, which offers guest speakers and many valuable resources.
  • The Peace Education Foundation also provides many valuable materials to schools in the U.S., and beyond.
  • The United Nations has recognized sports as a valuable tool for building relationships across differences.
  • And while we all recognize that religion is sometimes used as a tool and a justification for violence, all of the major religions have programs promoting peace. For an excellent resource, see Beyond Intractability.
Finally, think about how much better off the world would be if initiatives such as these were not necessary to offset the messages of fear, hate, and distrust taught in so many homes for so many reasons.
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology

Gold Dust Twin
Comment on Learning Peace
     I recently watched a film called "Skin" about a girl with brown skin born to white parents. Clearly this child was not the result of an infidelity by her mother but a throwback to African genes in one or both of the parents.  It took the father a lifetime to accept the color of his daughter's skin, crying out on his deathbed that he'd been wrong, and he wanted to admit this to his grown child. The movie was based on a true story.
     If only all prejudiced people would "learn peace" and recognize the cruelty and wrongness of their biases.

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