Peace literacy is an idea created by Paul K. Chappell, a West Point graduate, former Army captain, and Iraq war veteran who grew up in a violent household and struggled with trauma throughout his school years. Realizing that humanity is facing new challenges that require us to become as well-trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war, he created peace literacy to help students and adults from various backgrounds work toward their full potential and a more peaceful world.
Peace literacy frames peace not merely as a goal, but as a practical skill-set that allows us to increase realistic peace in our lives, communities, nations, and the world. Peace literacy also helps us fully develop our human capacity for empathy, conscience, and reason.
Since our understanding of peace is only as good as our understanding of the human condition, peace literacy provides a realistic and empowering framework for understanding what it means to be human, the root causes of violence, the nature of peace, and the anatomy of trauma, including childhood trauma, racial trauma, and war trauma.
In a world where so many proposed solutions merely address surface symptoms, peace literacy teaches people how to create solutions that heal the root causes of our human problems. The wellbeing of our communities and the world will depend on humanity moving from preliteracy in peace to peace literacy, and every bit helps.
There is a lot you can do to help create a more peace literate world. Here are a few ideas:
You can contact us at peaceliteracy.org or e-mail our Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator, Dr. Sharyn Clough, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be grateful to hear about how you are using peace literacy. We are here to support you as best we can.