"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella
Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) is a leader among faith-based universities emphasizing peacebuilding, creation care, experiential learning, and cross-cultural engagement.
One of EMU’s graduate programs is The Center for Justice and Peace (CJP). This program is committed to supporting conflict transformation, restorative justice, trauma healing, development, organizational leadership, and peacebuilding efforts at all levels of society in situations of complex, protracted, violent or potentially violent, social conflict in the U.S. and around the world.
Since 2005 Global Learning Partners (GLP) has had the honor of being part of the CJP program, the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). This summer graduate program is internationally respected and renowned. Recognizing the potential of Dialogue Education™ in this important area of study and work, SPI continues to invite GLP to teach the course: Designing Learner-Centered Training for Conflict Transformation.
The GLP/SPI course examines and uses the principles and practices of Dialogue Education™ to design learner-centered trainings with a focus on learning events that involve conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
The class focuses primarily on peacebuilding program creation and the practice of DE principles as well as the exploration of adult learning theory. Learners research and experience a model for planning learner-centered events and try out a planning framework that accounts for the people involved, the reason the program was developed and the desired change that is envisioned.
The course builds on the work of Paulo Freire and Jane Vella, among others.
The value for the students and all the organizations, groups and countries they represent has been profound. Beside going back to their work and lives around the world with new skills and knowledge that can help build peace and lead to more dialogue in conflict and challenging situations, they also go back with provocative and life-changing courses/training programs. Here are few that have been developed and used over the years: A restorative justice program for prison officials in US prisons; a trauma healing training for high school teachers in Haiti; a conflict mediation training program for UN Police Officials in Mali; healing and reconciliation program for ex-combatants in Liberia; and, an active citizens camp for children and teenagers in Lebanon.
“My life has been changed, and now I feel I have the skills to change my society.” (SPI student)