Brandywine Peace Community

The Brandywine Peace Community (BPC) is a peace activist group located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.   They were founded in 1977 as a response to the Vietnam War. BPC is committed to war resistance, disarmament and public education. They are known for holding several nonviolent, direct action campaigns against Lockheed Martin, the world’s #1 weapons corporation. Throughout the year they conduct several nonviolent protests, civil disobedience workshops and meetings to promote peace and encourage disarmament.  I learned about the BPC while attending one of their meetings over Spring Break in Philadelphia, PA.

The BPC is a community resource for all ages because everyone should be aware and involved in the peace movement. Majority of their meetings consist of older people who are well-known in their community however their organization is open to the public. In addition, they have several committees such as the educational committee who reach out to students in the community and try to educate them on peace education and war resistance.

As a community member you could join a peace organization in your own neighborhood or establish your own peace organization group. If you don’t live in Pennsylvania you can use the Brandywine Peace Community as a resource/network for peace activism.  They have a website where they post all their events and how to get involved in the peace movement. Whether you join a peace organization or start your own organization group it does require some time, research and commitment on your part. Obviously if you start your own peace organization it may take more time and research then just joining an existing peace organization.

Participatory and direct action are types of peace education supported by the Brandywine Peace Organization. This resource does require some time, commitment and physical action. By attending one of the Brandywine Peace Community meetings you will gain knowledge on civil disobedience, weapons disarmament, and how to become a peace activist. If you are interested check out their website or attend on of their meetings!

 

 

Improving your Interpersonal Skills: theripplesguy.com

Theripplesguy.com was created by Paul “The Ripples Guy” Wesselmann with the mission of inspiring others to achieve their full potential in life. He does this by traveling around the country giving presentations on interpersonal, leadership and motivational skills. Many companies and organizations contact him to give group presentations on: personal and professional growth, interpersonal skills and motivational skills. I learned about theripplesguy.com while attending one of his presentations at George Mason University but anyone can review his presentations on his website for free. In this blog I will discuss his presentation, Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness and demonstrate how it is related to peace education.

Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness is a presentation about how to get along with others, especially those you don’t like by using effective interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are essential to peace education because  how you communicate and interact with others matters! Therefore by using effective interpersonal skills you can prevent conflict, promote peace and make the world a better place.

I recommend that all resident directors or supervisors use this resource to ehance their staff’s interpersonal skills. Wesselmann’s presentations should be taught at a conference or at a weekend retreat. This  allows employees to step away from their work and really absorb the material. In my opinion, his presentations should be taught to high school students and above because effective interpersonal skills are needed when working with others on teams, projects, jobs and organizations.

In Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness, Paul gives us three techniques to improve our interpersonal skills: Vegetables are Gross, Create Deposits and Get out of Your Chair. Veggies are Gross is a theory that explains that to stay healthy you have to eat vegetables. However you don’t have to like vegetables to eat them; you just have to eat them to stay healthy. When applying this concept to interpersonal skills in the workplace it means to work with people you don’t have to like them; you just have to work with them.  Creating deposits is the concept that explains what you put in something, is what you get out of it. When applying this concept to interpersonal relations we can say that we invest more in people we like then people we don’t like. With that said, if you don’t like someone try depositing more in them, try building a relationship with them and see if your attitude towards them changes. The third technique is Get out of Your Chair in other words make an effort to interact and get to know people you don’t like, instead of writing them off. In addition, by learning to work with other more effectively you are better equipped to prevent and resolve conflicts and inequalities in the workplace. With that said, there is no guarantee that these techniques will prevent conflict in the workplace because conflict is inevitable but in some cases these techniques will help.

Ways to use this resource is to contact  Paul “The Ripples Guy” Wesselmann  to come and do a presentation. However, if you have already attended one of his presentations, you can shared the information with others by visiting his website.  As a supervisor, I would incorporate this presentation after  your employees are well acquainted with each other. During this time, it will help strengthen their current relationships as well as challenge them to interact with other co-workers that they don’t necessarily get along with.  It will also encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones and enhance their interpersonal skills. This resource should be used along with team builders, ice breakers and group outings to check the temperature of the group and the group’s dynamics. Paul’s presentations are useful because they help employees grow on a personal and professional level.

Participatory and experiential peace education methods are most supported by this presentation. By utilizing this resource employees will enhance their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills as well as develop a change in attitude towards interacting with people they don’t like. For more information on how to build peace in the workplace you can check out the 7 Pillars of Peace Education by clicking on the hyperlink.

References

Cambridge, Daryn. (2012). 7 Pillars of Peace Education. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from https://peacelearner.org/about-2/7-pillars-of-peace-education/

Wesselmann, Paul. (2012).Contact. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from http://theripplesguy.com/

Wesselmann, Paul. (2012). Great Work, Great Life: Five GREAT Actions for Success in Work & Life. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from http://www.paulwesselmann.com/files/File/key/great.html