Meet Colman McCarthy
Colman McCarthy is an American journalist, teacher, lecturer, pacifist, an anarchist and long-time peace activist. He has been teaching courses on nonviolence and the literature of peace since 1982. He has taught at Georgetown University Law Center, American University, the University of Maryland, the Washington Center for Internships, Wilson High School, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and School Without Walls. In 25 years, he has had more than 7,000 students in his classes. He founded the Center for Teaching Peace, a nonprofit that helps schools begin or expand academic programs in Peace Studies.
Colman wrote columns for The Washington Post from 1969 to 1997. His topics ranged from politics, religion, health, and sports to education, poverty, and peacemaking. He has written for The New Yorker, The Nation, The Progressive, and Atlantic Monthly. He has written bi-weekly columns for The National Catholic Reporter since 1997. Smithsonian Magazine has said that he is “a man of profound spiritual awareness” (Middlebury.edu)
Read chapter 1 of his book, All of One Peace. In it McCarthy shares a number of the articles, op-eds, and essays he has written over the years about his personal experience teaching and developing courses on nonviolence and peace education.
“Aside from the happiness of the loving companionship of my wife and our three sons, my next constant source of personal joy have been the students who have taken my courses on nonviolence. These five pieces are about some of them, and about the courses. I have been amazed – stunned, really – at the eagerness with which my students have opened their minds and hearts to the study of nonviolence (McCarthy, 3).”
Reflection Question: What are some of the challenges, if any, you have faced or may face when attempting to incorporate the study and practice of nonviolence into your teaching and educational contexts? What can Coleman’s experience teach you, if anything, about overcoming these challenges?