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Guidelines for Sponsoring Community Dialogues on Mapping a Culture of Peace

This 5-page document was handed out at John Frank, Ed.D.’s workshop at the 2006 NCDD conference. The workshop, “Mapping A Culture of Peace: A Community Conversation Project of the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice,” focused on the experience of a remarkably successful and innovative project on Mapping a Culture of Peace in Florida.

Here is the first paragraph of the document:

The primary purpose of the dialogue is to engage citizens of a given community in vibrant conversation about the meaning of a Culture of Peace. How do we define it? What does it look like? How is it practiced in the context of the social institutions of a given community? Would we know it if we saw it? The premise is proactive and suggests that peacemaking must be more than simply protesting war or posturing an elusive notion of lions dwelling with lambs and doves flying free among the clouds. For peace to be real it must be concretized in the context of the dominant culture, not separate from it. It must be enfleshed in the structures and systems of our social institutions, cutting through overlapping circles of human exchange as it impacts educational systems, business practices, religious institutions, government, the political economy, media, and family life. It needs to be manifested in our relationships, our workplaces, neighborhoods, and all institutions. The maps cut across the fabric of our lives, linking one community to another, creating a web of relationships that make the global, local and the local, global.

Workshop description for “Mapping A Culture of Peace: A Community Conversation Project of the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice”:

This session is grounded in theory and practice, drawing from transformational leadership and the function of values talk in the context of progressive civic discourse. The presentation focuses on the experience of a remarkably successful and innovative project entitled “Mapping a Culture of Peace in Florida.” Learning objectives include (1) sharing an innovative design for recruiting conversationalists across diverse progressive constituencies that are not previously connected; (2) discovering how conversation unpacks and gives fertile meaning to the phrase culture of peace; (3) learning how to map the organizational and institutional infrastructure of an emerging culture of peace in a given community; and (4) learning how to reframe peace/social justice/sustainability issues in a way that moves beyond a reactive approach to a more proactive agenda, and one that empowers local communities. The presentation will conclude by considering the potential for these dialogues to impact the broader political discourse.

For further background on this project, go to http://fcpj.org/page2.html#community. Also at that site are select documented proceedings of a number of these community dialogues that have taken place. You can also look over the related program brochure (pdf file) at: http://fcpj.org/FCPJ_MCP_Brochure.pdf.

John W. Frank, Ed.D.

Resource Link: www.ncdd.org/exchange/files/docs/Guidelines_Comm_Dlogs.doc

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