- The Latest
We are a violent culture. Almost everything we are taught and exposed to reinforces that fact and continues that trend. In school, our history is a highway of war landmarks: French-Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, on and on. We are taught to memorize the dates, the names. Our heroes are warriors. Rarely, if ever, are we exposed to the teaching of the great makers of peace in our world. We teach mathematics as though the survival of the species depended on it, yet are not given the simplest tools to assure that we can live peaceably with our neighbors. The American three "R's" are quickly becoming Revenge, Retribution and Reinforcement.
In the wake of the increasingly frequent incidents of violence in our country (and I'm talking not only about school and work place shootings, but about bombing campaigns, anti-immigrant violence and the alarming increase in death penalty executions) we are also increasingly asking, "What can we do to stop this?"
There is a growing movement, and has been for years, to include nonviolent conflict resolution as a part of school curricula. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Tolstoy, and countless others offer example and writings designed to instruct and guide us in the study of peace and nonviolence. Various groups and individuals has developed programs that rely on the three "R's" of Reason, Respect and Responsibility. Churches, synagogues and mosques need to teach it. Families need to teach it. And schools need to teach it. Can we afford not to do it?
Below is an ever-expanding list of resources...both on the WWW and via other means...of getting materials for use in your religious and civic organizations, schools and families. There is no endorsement of any of these programs intended simply by listing them. Use your own situation and judgment to determine which, if any, of these curricula will work for you. If you have information about or access to additional resources please pass that information along to us.
One program I can unequivocally endorse is my friend, Colman McCarthy's Solutions to Violence curriculum. It's geared to high school and university-age students. You can contact Colman at: Center for Teaching Peace, 4501 Van Ness Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. (202) 537–1372.
Check out the other programs that are in the Study...