Voices [Education Project]

POSTED ON BEHALF OF EDEN MESGHENNA

The mission of Voices is to share unbiased accounts of war by those who have experienced war first hand in order to “heal the wounds and lay the ground work for peaceful world”.

In addition to the stories told by soldiers and civilians, the site provided a wealth of resources for educators such as books, curricula, education packets, and instructional activities that assist with the critical exploration and dialogue of peace education. In addition to the personal narratives, the visual media that is made available through this site provides for a rich background for facilitators.

Stories of Arrival: Youth Voices, a component of the project, allow students who have recently immigrated from countries that are experiencing the hardships of war, to share their experiences using poetry. These stories are heartbreaking but powerful in that they produce a direct connection to young students that have never experienced the reality of war. To listen and share Youth Voices go to: http://www.jackstraw.org/programs/ed/youth/foster.shtml

For information go explore at:

http://www.voiceseducation.org

World Humanitarian Day

Ever wonder who ventures into areas so rife with conflict that basic services and protection have completely broken down?  Where events have been so catastrophic that heroic acts are required for people to survive?  Well, those who work in the field of humanitarian aid and relief are just those people and today is World Humanitarian Day – honoring those whose work saves lives every single day.

As educators, we often talk about acts of heroism that have occurred throughout history.  Those acts of heroism are often granted to those who have engaged in some type of violent conflict.  But there are many heroes, as this video shows above, whose work to save and protect lives, reduce conflict and suffering, and who mission is not for an ideology, economic gain, or control, but rather honoring and cherishing human life.

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Negative Peace: "Economics and Power"

Goal: The purpose of this lesson is to examine negative and positive peace through a hands on exercise. The class will work to solve a specific set of problems present in modern society. The goal for the instructor is to provide circumstances that could potentially create conflict within or between groups. These conflicts would make it necessary to set up institutions related to the concepts of negative peace. Conversely, participants may peacefully work through these obstacles and create a mock society that would be desirable for the concept positive peace.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Understand economics, politics, and potential conflict from a perspective of experience.
  • Participate in an activity that illustrates economics and political cooperation/conflict. This activity will simulate regions with different natural, industrial, and human resources.
  • Examine how trade, negotiation, availability of resources, and strength determines power structures in an international system.
  • negotiate ways to provide for their region under particular set of circumstances; specifically experiencing negative and positive peace structures.
  • Understand how regulation, sanctions, and political influence can create situations of negative peace.
  • follow the rules set forth in the beginning stages of the activity, and examine potential conflicts if such barriers to trade are broken.
  • Begin to understand how a world could be created using positive peace with a strong history of a negative peace structure.
  • explain how they experienced negative peace in the simulation and explain what elements would have to be added or eliminated make a culture of positive peace work; inside and outside of the simulation.

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Switching a National Psyche from War to Peace – Japanese Style

Japan is one of the most prosperous and technologically advanced countries in the world. And, as the previous blog post mentions, Japan is also the only G8 country that is among the top 5 most peaceful countries in the world. With conflicts brewing right next door in North Korea and between China and Taiwan, how can Japan be so peaceful? It may have something to do with the fact that Japan’s Constitution forbids the maintaining of a standing army and denounces war as a tool for foreign policy:

Article 9 of their Constitution says:

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

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Raytheon's Pain Ray: Coming to a Protest Near You?

http://www.alternet.org/rights/86692/

This is a bit frightening…an invisible ray that boils the skin producing a burning sensation?! The things people invent…

That being said, as awful as it feels to type this, maybe this is a “good” thing depending on how you look at it. Could this “save” lives, in that violent mobs of people may no longer need to be dispersed with bombs and bullets?

The danger is of course in the title of the article…could this machine be used to disperse nonviolent resisters?

How to use this article with your students…

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