Notes for a Speech to the Canadian Peace Researchers & Educators Association ("CPREA") Annual General Meeting June 3, 2000 by Robert Stewart, C.A., C.M.C., Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace

VISIONS OF A CANADIAN PEACE INSTITUTE

 Preamble

 "Canadian Peace Research and Education Association. The main purpose of the Association is to advance research and promote education in the causes of war and the conditions of peace. To this end the Association undertakes to: Organize those engaged or interested in peace research or education in order to institute communication and contacts among them; Encourage the interdisciplinary study of war and peace in Canadian schools and research institutes; Cooperate in the popularization of knowledge about international conflict and its resolution."  From the web site at http://www.msvu.ca/pax/cprea.htm

 "These are the characteristics of a leader. Providing direction and support towards the creation of a Canadian Peace Institute falls into this mandate." R. Stewart

 The Bad News

 About 5 years ago, I started a journey to try and see how I could help and make a contribution to peace. I did it for all the right reasons:

- I was sparked to do so by my Service Club,

- I was concerned that the status quo was not good enough and in fact the situation was getting worse in my community, my country and my world,

- I wanted to show my children that they can make a difference with their lives by my making a difference with my life, and in the process leave a better world for future generations.

 What I found was an information void, a leadership void, a resource void, and an educational void.

 When I started my journey, I was looking for a road map. Something to get my bearings: where we are, where our destination is, and the path to get there. I was looking for a book like 'Peace for Dummies' - its not there! It does not exist. There is nothing for John or Jane Q. Public. You would think we don't want the public to get involved - "this is too complicated for simple minds - we must leave it to great statesmen, bureaucrats and academics". Wrong!

 The problem is that the great statesmen, bureaucrats ... and yes, academics, are not resolving things. And it is not because we don't know what to do. In fact, the Carnegie Commission on Resolving Deadly Conflict concluded, "It is not that we do not know what to do - it is that we do not act". http://www.ccpdc.org/

  HELLO!!

 I repeat, we know what to do - we just aren't doing it!

 Isn't that enough to make you mad? ... Millions of people are dying and they don't have to, because we aren't doing what we can and should.

 We all have to take collective responsibility, but some of us with more capacity are even more responsible: our world leaders, our country's leaders, our religious leaders, our corporate leaders, our academic leaders. Not only are we not doing what we can and should, we are putting barriers in the way of John and Jane Q. Public from carrying out their democratic responsibility to be part of the solution. It is so bad, for example, that I have heard it said that the Department of Foreign Affairs is happy that the public doesn't understand their programs and issues because that way they can do what they want with impunity.

 Well, if our leaders won't act then it is up to us - and that is where the Good News and opportunity is.

 The Good News

 The Good News is: we know what to do to solve the most important issue in the world.

 Now, when you have a great need in the marketplace and you have a solution, particularly an economic solution, you can profit from this. And I don't mean just in dollars and cents, but in any way you measure success.

 So where does the academic community come in?

 It is unconscionable that there is no pre-eminent peace university or school of higher peace learning in Canada. You can't even get a Masters degree in peace in Canada. You can't even learn the 'big picture' about peace in Canada. That is a serious problem.

 I don't know if you know the big picture in peace - if you do, why are you keeping it a secret?

 Here is what I propose as a unique Canadian Peace Institute designed, not to navel gaze, but to help motivate, prepare and activate Canadians and others around the world to resolve peace problems, and in the process build a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World.

A Vision of a Canadian Peace Institute - Background

 In 1974, Canada was party to the U.N. Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy. Canada, by signing the document, did not merely endorse it; instead it made a commitment to fulfil certain obligations, just as signing the landmines treaty, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc., represents a commitment. This is something we can hold our government responsible for. These obligations included building significant peace education into our formal and informal education systems. A scan of our education system in Canada quickly indicates that we are currently falling far short.

 Around 1994, the U.N. participating countries were also endorsing the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program. Six years later, this year is the International Year for a Culture of Peace in 2000 - one of the best kept secrets of the new millennium. The Canadian government has devoted not one new dollar to this most important event! All they pay is lip service, and I say this as someone who has repeatedly queried our government leaders on their commitment, or should I say lack of commitment. This is an important point to make, because a National Culture of Peace Program is the big picture solution to the peace problem. I have written an article on this, available on our web site at http://www.peace.ca/copp.htm , but that is a topic of another presentation. An overview of the big picture is enclosed as Appendix A (also at http://www.peace.ca/appendixb.htm ).

 Appendix E (also at http://www.peace.ca/educationpartnerships.htm ) provides a brief overview of the Inventory of University (and other higher learning) Peace Studies Programs in Canada. Again, what strikes me here is that there is no pre-eminent Canadian Peace University. There are a lot of specific programs, no Masters Program, nowhere to get the big picture. It is actually quite amazing, given the importance of peace education, that so many universities do not have a program (for example, I was disappointed that U of Calgary canned its program).

 To help fill the informational void, in May 1998 I founded the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace - a virtual Peace Institute at http://www.peace.ca , in plain language, intended to help John or Jane Q. Public get the big picture quickly, see where their interests may lie, and link them with the resources they might need to 'do something' to build peace in their community. I attach Appendix B (also available at http://www.peace.ca/Museum.htm ), an overview of the CCTP framework to highlight what I consider are some key principles CCTP was founded upon. I am proud to say that we have had almost 10,000 visitors (without advertising) in the past 2 years and have been able to provide a lot of help to many people throughout the world. The feedback we get almost daily is proof that we have a successful model.

 I identified that an opportunity presents itself because (i) there is no pre-eminent 'Peace University' in Canada, (ii) the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace has identified basic needs for peace education and established a successful methodology for serving those needs, (iii) many Canadian Universities have struggling but respected Peace Studies Programs (or parts thereof), but many more have very little, (iv) Canada has a history of positive contributions to peace and non-violence programming, (v) the Canadian government has made certain commitments to the United Nations with respect to peace education, and (vi) the United Nations International Year for a Culture of Peace, Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, and UNESCO Culture of Peace Program incite institutional transformations (including Education Reform) to which the Canadian Government is a signatory.

 With this background, I would like to talk about the possibility of Canadian Universities, Colleges, Secondary, Elementary and Primary Schools becoming a part of a visionary new Canadian Peace Institute, including the promotion (research, development, education, etc.) of a National Culture of Peace Program and a network with Canadian (and foreign) universities (and other schools). I would like to summarize some of those key principles that I recommend leading up to a visionary 'Peace Institution' in Canada :

 General

 1. It would be a major Peace institution, aligned with one or more Universities (it might be slightly removed similar to the Arctic Institute's relationship to the University of Calgary; working with other University priorities which impinge upon peace such as environment/health, globalization studies, multi-media studies, leadership in learning, business, etc. In other words, this program is transdisciplinary),

 2. It would be linked with other Universities (Canadian and International) offering Peace studies (not duplicating; but working with existing infrastructure),

 3. It would be linked with high schools, primary and elementary schools providing peace studies,

 4. It would be helping to provide leadership and capacity for peace action (i.e. not just research and studies)

 

Program Elements

 5. It would include the holistic, problem-solving framework (i.e. the 'Matrix' found in Appendix B http://www.peace.ca/museum.htm including building peace at the individual level, family level, community level and world level),

 6. It would encompass the Canadian Culture of Peace Program framework (reference http://www.peace.ca/un2000celebration.htm , and particularly the organization chart in Appendix A http://www.peace.ca/appendixb.htm)

 7. It would consist of plain language to communicate (outreach) to, and involve, the general public/grass roots (i.e. we wish to activate the 80% of people with positive outlooks towards peace and non-violence but who are currently inactive because they do not know what they can do to contribute, or are unmotivated; working at the community level; empowering citizens),

 8. It would be peace information management (or 'peace informatics'; including a virtual centre and degrees by distance education; incorporate planning, action, measuring results, and corrective action/redirection),

 9. It would include Safe and Caring Schools, and Safe and Caring Communities programs (reference Alberta Safe and Caring Schools requirements; work done by Edmonton Rotary Urban Hope Program; work done by Toronto Rotary Urban Peace Initiative, for examples; incorporate addressing current issues related to Canada's aboriginal peoples and francophones, minorities,etc.),

 10. It would include Health Reach (reference current work by McMaster linking health issues to peace; influence of fetal alcohol syndrome and drugs on violence; analogy of Rotary PolioPlus Program to PeacePlus - violence is a disease, find the treatment, and inoculate everyone; employing a scientific approach to solving 'the problem of convergence', and building a culture of peace and non-violence including psychology, philosophy, law and justice, conflict resolution, etc.),

 11. It would include Selling Peace and non-violence (i.e. taking a market-based, added value approach; peace and non-violence is a product - how do we sell it to the masses? political and community leaders?) We have to more formally recognize that we are all salespersons - selling our ideas to others - and prepare accordingly. You can call this marketing, or applied psychology for the purists.

 

 Methodology

 12. The methodology would incorporate the movement towards service-learning in peace education (http://www.aahe.org ): a) responding to real community needs as identified by the community, b) by utilizing reflection to combine service and training, c) through a collaborative process involving faculty, students, administrators, and staff and community partners. 

13. The methodology would include students teaching students (reference Peace by Peace Program at University of Toronto http://www.peacebypeace.net, where University students go in to high schools to teach peace and non-violence; high school students could similarly go to elementary schools; empowering youth),

 14. The methodology would include volunteers teaching students (akin to the Junior Achievement Program; volunteers such as the Red Cross Abuse Prevention Program and Block Parents already go into schools to teach aspects). However, currently it is spotty in that all children and youth at all schools do not get the full spectrum of related life skills taught to them - we must ensure this happens. Until peace education is integrated into school curriculum it will have to be supplemented by volunteers and students.),

 15. The methodology would include working with Canadian Ministries of Education to integrate peace education into curricula ('rebuilding the education system'). Cora Weiss, President of the Hague Appeal for Peace, when describing the Global Peace Education Campaign at the recent U.N. Millennium Forum, referred to The 4 R's - reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic and reconciliation which will help children confront their biases, redirect their aggressive behaviour, learn to negotiate, and discover non-violent peaceful means to relate to one another.

 

 Revenue Generating Activities

 16. It would follow an entrepreneurial approach (i.e. pragmatic, sustainable, value added solutions; significant fund raising potential), [Note - In Canada, we provide education as a basic right, so even if it "lost" money it would be worth doing, and in fact we are obligated to do so. Having said that, I stress to all my non-profit organization clients that unless you establish a sustainable source of funds you will not be independent and will be at the mercy of the funder (you may have heard about the Golden Rule: "he who has the gold makes the rules"). I believe that it is possible to establish a sustainable source of funds for peacebuilding and a Culture of Peace. I will stress the need to be entrepreneurial in approach, but I will not get into detail - that also is the subject of a longer planning session.}

 17. It would incorporate the creation of a fund raising 'Peace Education Foundation', and teach peace groups how to fund raise,

 18. It would offer the first (and only, to date) Masters degree in Peace and Non-violence in Canada (generating tuition fees) (Note - for an example of satisfying employment needs in the area of peace, I will mention the new programs that the University of Calgary has initiated where it goes to major related employers asking what type of skills they require and seeking hiring commitments, then designing approved courses to fit the employment need),

 19. It will offer training to teachers (implementing Safe and Caring School Programs), civil servants and others (implementing Safe and Caring Communities Programs), and companies (implementing violence in the workplace programs),

 20. It will offer consultants and coaches to 'your place of business', to other countries (reference requests that I have received from Nicaragua, Russia, Congo and Nigeria for assistance in developing Culture of Peace Programs), and within Canada,

 21. It will be Canada's only (to date) holistic Peace Museum (with more emphasis on building peace for the future rather than past history; reference the 'Matrix' found in Appendix B http://www.peace.ca/museum.htm ), and including a 'Peace Shoppe', a 'Peace Cafe', a 'Children's Centre', a 'Peace Hall of Fame' (including Canadian heroes, and World heroes),

 22. It will offer Canada's largest Peace Resource Centre (including books, videos, multi-media, etc.),

 23. It will offer a Volunteer's Centre (e.g.. room and facilities rental),

 24. It will offer target hardening courses, [Note - Examples of target hardening: street-proofing children; better lighting; self-defence; Red Cross relationship violence prevention programs; etc. i.e. helping potential victims to reduce their chances of becoming victims (based on the concept that it is easier to change the behaviours of potential victims (and even potential perpetrators), than of hardened perpetrators - although, of course we wish to work on that as well)]

 25. It will involve government, nongovernment organizations and community service organizations who have a mandate that impinges upon peace and non-violence (for example, there are over 500 in most major cities), focusing, networking and promoting partnerships and economies of scale in resource utilization.

 If it is not clear from my remarks, I do speak of a consortium model. In fact, what I am proposing could be one of the largest consortiums in Canada: of all universities, colleges, high schools, elementary and primary schools, virtual centres, etc. in a Canadian Peace Institute. I would also foresee this consortium linking with peace institutes world-wide. A Canadian Peace Institute will help unify the peace movement in Canada.  

With a participation rate like that, how can we go wrong? And you might ask, 'what lucky community might get all this?' - I would suggest that it would be your community, my community, all of our communities would own a piece of it.

 Where do we go from here?

 There is scope for alternatives to the model that I propose. But we do not have a blank page to start with now. I would love to hear your proposals.

 Since the purpose of my presentation is action, I would strongly urge, by way of a resolution for consideration by the participants, the following action steps:

 - form a Working Group of peace educators to research this timely opportunity to create a Canadian Peace Institute, and make a recommendation by the end of 2000 to the leaders in peace education in Canada. (who are they anyway? I asked this question to a prominent PhD, a Member who I respect tremendously, and the response was, "As for your Question --I do take it seriously, and I don't have an answer." The results of a simple poll of the CPREA list are attached as an Appendix C.) I would be pleased to volunteer my support and assistance to the Working Group in any way that I can, including development of a fund raising strategy and business plan.

 - research the legal, administrative and other implications (e.g.. space, student integration, legal issues, etc.)

 - gather more input from a presentation at the University of Victoria and B.C. Teachers' Federation conference August 9 - 12, 2000, which has the theme 'Education and a Culture of Peace',

 - commit to a late 2000/early 2001 recommendation by the Working Group ("Go or No-Go") (by this time, it would be expected that the Working Group would identify/recommend Program elements, budgets, responsibilities, time lines, etc.; it will be important to find identify "Champions" - "movers and shakers")

 This would be a concrete and very valuable outcome of the conference. A copy of a draft resolution is attached in Appendix D.

   

Conclusion

 In preparing for this presentation, I have been told that the CPREA is not meant to be an everything association. It a learned society on peace research, whose main activity is a yearly research conference. This is not to say that people in CPREA are opposed to activism, it is just that activism is the mandate of other peace organizations. It seems like some people may be confusing being a leader vs. being an activist. The main purposes of CPREA (see above) are the characteristics of a leader. Providing direction and support towards the creation of a Canadian Peace Institute falls into this mandate.

 Up to now, I have framed my presentation to appeal to those of you who are researchers - wouldn't it be nice to research the pros and cons of a Canadian Peace Institute and maybe design one?

 Now, I wish to direct my final remarks to any leaders in peace education who may be listening.  The challenge is before us.

 To those leaders, and potential leaders, among you - It is time to act. Yes, we are all very busy, under-powered, under-resourced. But the time for excuses is over. Do not underestimate your ability to have a significant influence.

 We have a moral obligation to act to rectify this situation. We have the knowledge about what needs to be done. The people in this room are among the best and brightest minds, with a passion for peace. The path has been marked - there is a map.

 Within a year the peace leaders of this country could have a virtual Canadian Peace Institute established (at least initiated).

 Within 3 years we can have a bona fide, successful, Masters degree granting Institution that is the talk of the country.

 Within 5 to 10 years we can have that pre-eminent Canadian Peace Institute, respected throughout the world, of which each of your institutions can share in the success and accomplishments - and we will all profit from this, in ways much more important than dollars and cents.

 We will only do that if we have the will, the passion and the commitment to serve humankind. If we do not act now, in 30 years more or less this world will be collapsing,

  Maurice Strong and the world's scientists warn us of this fact (The full text of the Warning to All of Humanity can be read at http://www.pgs.ca/pages/mem/warning.htm). Within one generation, our children and grandchildren will suffer as a result of our lack of resolve if we do not act now.

 If you have a better plan, I challenge you to put it on the table so that we can discuss it, consolidate ideas, refine ... but most important of all ACT! I wish to give this audience the credit for being the people who could and would make this thing happen. Each one of us has to ask ourselves: "Which side of the slate do we get marked on? Where do we stand? Are we part of the solution, or part of the problem?"

 I have decided that I will not quit until there is a pre-eminent Canadian Peace Institute - this is my pledge. I hope each one of you - researcher, educator, and leader - sees a role to play in the creation of a Canadian Peace Institute. It is the opportunity of our lifetime.

 The ball is in our court.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Stewart, C.A., C.M.C.
Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
http://www.peace.ca

 

  

APPENDIX A - http://www.peace.ca/appendixb.htm

APPENDIX B - http://www.peace.ca/Museum.htm

APPENDIX C (below):

Leaders in Peace Education

In preparing for my presentation at the CPREA conference, I have circulated the question on the CPREA list server, "I was wondering who the Members of the CPREA list server may consider to be leaders of peace education in Canada? Individuals and/or organizations? In order of importance, if you can advise me. "
In the course of only three days, I received three responses (from the pool of 65 Members on the listserv) who identified the following leaders in peace education:

Hanna Newcomb
Larry Fisk at MSVU and CPREA
DFAIT and Lloyd Axworthy
Coady International Institute
The Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre
Network Interaction for Conflict Resolution's directory of links (at Conrad Grebel College)
Menno Simons College
Conrad Grebel College
Thomas Homer-Dixon
Jubilee 2000
Ecumenical Coalition for Economic Justice
Project Ploughshares
McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies
Science for Peace
Center for Social Justice
Peter Langille
Anne Adelson
Floyd Rudmin
MV Naidu
Roger Davies, Men for Change
Anatol Rapoport
Graeme MacQueen
Robert Stewart and Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace


Note: the only reason a leader in peace education is not on this list is because no one had put their name forward in the short time given (I did not compile a list of people that I thought should be there - I wished to see what others thought). I will add a caveat to the listing: it is only a list of names put forward, is subjective and debatable - It will be interesting to see how it and the discussion evolves.


APPENDIX D

Upon the occasion of the
CANADIAN PEACE RESEARCHERS & EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION ("CPREA")
Annual General Meeting June 3, 2000

CANADIAN PEACE INSTITUTE RESOLUTION

IN RECOGNITION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL YEAR AND DECADE FOR
A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE
FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

WHEREAS the Peace Research and Education mission is to help motivate, prepare
and activate Canadians and others around the world to resolve peace problems,
and in the process build a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World; and

WHEREAS Peace Researchers and Educators in Canada have undertaken a number
of initiatives in response to recent International and Canadian themes encouraging
building peace in our communities and world; and

WHEREAS the new millennium marks the United Nations International Year for a
Culture of Peace in 2000 and the beginning of the U.N. International Decade
for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World; and

WHEREAS Peace Educators and Researchers are well placed to support and drive forward
this transformation of the existing perceived culture of violence into
a culture of peace; and

WHEREAS there is enormous human suffering and death due to needless
violence, there is a lot at stake for the human race and our environment,
and it is time to act to make peace and its achievement at home and abroad a
major priority,

THEREFORE, the undersigned Peace Researchers and Educators
strongly endorses and urges:

1. that all researchers and educators in Canada and internationally make the personal pledge
and commitment to live and promote peace by signing Manifesto 2000
< http://www2.unesco.org/manifesto2000 >

2. that all schools and educational institutions in Canada and internationally make the
organizational commitment to be a Messenger of the Manifesto 2000 as
recognized by UNESCO
< http://www.unesco.org/manifesto2000/uk/uk_dev_mess_org.asp > and develop a
partnership with UNESCO in the framework of the International Year for a
Culture of Peace < http://www.unesco.org/iycp >

3. that CPREA use its good offices in an ongoing program to
support the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program within Canada, helping to
launch the Canadian movement for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the
Children of the World;

4. that the undersigned Canadian Peace Researchers and Educators hereby form a Working Group
to research this timely opportunity, and need,
to create a Canadian Peace Institute:
research the legal, administrative and other implications,
gather more input from across the country,
identify/recommend Program elements, budgets, responsibilities, time lines, champions,
and make a recommendation by the end of 2000;

5. that the governments of the municipalities, provinces and Canada
use their good offices in an ongoing program to support the UNESCO
Culture of Peace Program at home and abroad, and make the organizational
commitment to be a Messenger of the Manifesto 2000 as recognized by UNESCO,
develop a partnership with UNESCO in the framework of
the International Year for a Culture of Peace, and

actively promote and financially support peace education at all levels;
6. that all individuals and organizations in Canada with an interest in peace and
non-violence work together to build a Culture of Peace.

WE HAVE THE SKILLS, RESOURCES, KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY TO ACHIEVE A CULTURE OF
PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE. WE ALSO HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO CURRENT AND
FUTURE GENERATIONS TO PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP AND MOTIVATION.

LET'S DO IT TOGETHER.

Resolved by:
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APPENDIX E - http://www.peace.ca/educationpartnerships.htm





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