In 2015 the NAPF Peace Leadership Program extended its reach: from the Durr Lecture Series at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama to the United World College in Maastricht, The Netherlands; from Rotary Conference 6670 in the Ohio heartland to the CMM Institute Learning Exchange in Munich, Germany; from big and small cities to eleven states and three foreign countries. NAPF Peace Leadership Director Paul K. Chappell gave more than 53 lectures and reached more than 5,300 people. More than 250 educators, students, and activists attended 13 Peace Leadership workshops.
Special youth events included the UNESCO Model UN Summer Camp in Frederick, Maryland. Campus events ranged from the University of California-Irvine to York College in York, PA, and included campuses such as Tufts University, Georgetown University, American University, the University of Maryland, the University of Iowa, and Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas.
Spiritual communities also sought out Paul Chappell to learn more about the art of waging peace. This included the Archdiocese of Baltimore Social Justice Ministry in Baltimore, Maryland, the Presbyterian Peacemakers Convocation in Stony Point, New York, and the Soka Gakkai (Buddhist) sponsored “Transforming the Human Spirit” exhibit in Tijuana, Mexcio.
Time was also spent at the Dayton International Peace Museum (DIPM) as Paul Chappell’s essay on “Why We Need Peace Heroes” helped to inspire the DIPM’s first Peace Heroes walk. Paul Chappell is now the peace literacy consultant for the DIPM.
For 2016, the Peace Leadership Program will continue to change hearts and minds, with an international youth conference in Hamburg, Germany, trips to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Oregon, and events in Norfolk, VA (home to numerous navy bases), Boston, Massachusetts, and Huntsville, Alabama. Also planned are more interactions with Rotary Club members, and peace leadership workshops to be held in places such as Portland, Maine, and Detroit, Michigan.
Chappell will give a one day workshop in June 2016 at the International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He will also work with educators to develop curriculum to bring components of the Peace Leadership Program into a wider range of classrooms.
“Because of nuclear weapons, war, and environmental destruction, if we do not become literate in peace, humanity will not survive. During an era when humanity has the technological capacity to destroy itself, peace literacy means survival literacy. As a child in school I spent many years learning to read and write, but I did not learn peace literacy skills.”
This is the work of the NAPF Peace Leadership Program – transforming how people think—one person at a time.