Three College of Charleston professors are developing workshops to increase the understanding of strategic peace building. The workshops are a result of having attended the elite Summer Faculty Institute for Peace. Kristi Brian, director of diversity education and training at the College, and E. Moore Quinn and Reba Parker, both from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, were invited to join 55 other faculty and administration officials from around the world to participate in the fifth annual Institute sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
“It is not often that we have the chance to ‘study peace,’ or to have three faculty from the same university invited to an Institute,” says Moore Quinn.
This year’s Institute, which was by invitation only, centered around the theme of “Teaching Peace in the 21st Century.” Devoted to the study of the past, present and future of peace studies, it consisted of a series of discussions and workshops dedicated to the important shifts that have occurred in the past few decades and the exciting directions in store for the field’s future.
“We’re now more prepared to invite students to explore with us the fields of restorative justice, meditation, strategic peace building and conflict transformation,“ explains Parker. “We’ve been challenged to actualize what we learned at the Institute, and we plan to do that through infusing ‘peace pedagogy’ into our classes and workshops.”
The three College of Charleston colleagues brought to the Kroc Institute their own unique talents and interests in the growing field of peace studies. Sociology Professor Reba Parker, who teaches the subject not only at the College, but at The Citadel as well, is founder of the non-profit organization Charleston Peace One Day. She is known for her pedagogical focus on “positive peace” and “peace building,” both of which are strategies that teach students how to become actively engaged in creating a less violent world at personal, familial, local, and national levels. Kristi Brian, director of the College’s diversity education and training at the College, offers classes and workshops that promote an awareness of how ethnic, racial, gendered, and class-oriented prejudice are all forms of violence. E. Moore Quinn studies post-conflict dynamics in Northern Ireland, where at present, she is examining how shared cultural heritage is being explored at the community level as a tool to foster peace and reconciliation.
Their attendance and travel to the Institute was supported by the College of Charleston’s First Year Experience, Office of Institutional Diversity and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.