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The Peace Initiative

March 5th - 11th, 2018 (Peace Initiative 2019 TBA)

The Peace Initiative will facilitate a discussion of techniques that can be used to cultivate peace within the individual, community, and our society.  As such, this information can help us to more effectively address the challenges that we are currently confronted by with regard to the social fragmentation in our society.  If we can foster greater levels of understanding and unity with those who have differing views, then the problems that we face can be addressed by working together, rather than working against one another.        

Peace Intiative Schedule

 The Peace Intiative Schedule is avalble for download and also described below. 

All events are free and open to the College of Charleston campus community as well as the general public

Cultivating Peace within the Self 

4:00 p.m. on March 5th Stern Center Ballroom 

Presented by Rhonda Swickert, Ph.D. (Psychology) and sponsored by the Sustainability Literacy Institute, the Meditation Club, and the Mindfulness Initiative. This presentation will involve a discussion of techniques that can serve to facilitate effective emotional and cognitive regulation, particularly when one is faced with conflictual interactions with others. By effectively regulating our own thoughts and emotions, we have a better opportunity to positively engage others who may have beliefs different than our own. Reception to follow. 

Truth and Reconciliation

4:00 p.m. on March 6th Stern Center, room 205 

Truth and reconciliation as a strategy to work toward justice and peace will be reviewed by Lisa Covert, Ph.D. (History) and David Slucki, Ph.D. (Jewish Studies). Our discussants will draw upon models that have been used in post-WWII Germany, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Rwanda and several Latin American countries. They also will explore whether these techniques could be applied in conflictual situations that our country is facing now (e.g., maintenance vs. removal of confederate memorials).

Peace Parade and display of Children’s Art on Peace  

10:30 a.m. on March 7th Stern Center, 4th floor atrium 

The children who attend the College of Charleston’s Early Childhood Development Center, along with their teachers and the director, Katie Houser, M.Ed., will host a Peace Parade. They will be joined by students at Memminger Elementary and the entire College of Charleston campus is invited to participate in the Peace Parade. The parade will start at the School of Education and end at the Stern Center. At the Stern Center there will be a reception for parade participants along with a display of students’ peace-themed artwork.

Importance of Peace in Environmentalism

12:00 p.m. on March 7th  Stern Center Ballroom 

Panelists drawn from across the College of Charleston campus will discuss the role of peace in environmentalism. This presentation will explore the long term environmental consequences that occur when humans engage in conflict and how this awareness might motivate us to work more effectively toward peace.  Organized by Kerry Wischusen, President of the Meditation Club. Sponsored by the Department of Urban Studies and the Office of Sustainability. 

KEYNOTE: Forgiveness as a Process that Facilitates Justice and Peace

5:30 p.m. on March 8th Stern Center Ballroom 

Our keynote speaker, Everett Worthington, Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University), will discuss how forgiveness can serve to facilitate justice and peace. Forgiveness is something that we do first for ourselves, and it does not mean that a transgressor is relieved from being accountable for their actions. Specifically, one can forgive, but still expect the transgressor to experience a consequence based on her or his actions. Dr. Worthington will explore these issues and explain how forgiveness and justice can work together for the benefit of all. Reception to follow. Sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Sustainability Literacy Institute.

Half-day Meditation Retreat 

12:00 – 4:00 p.m. on March 11th 

Rachael McNamara, M.A., Outreach Prevention Coordinator and Director of The Koru Program, will host a meditation retreat. The retreat will explore techniques and themes that complement Peace Week. For more information and to register, please email:  mcnamarar@cofc.edu    

Additional sponsors of the Peace Initiative include The Riley Center, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Department of English, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences