Peace Literacy 2019 Highlights and 2020 Preview

By |2020-01-13T13:56:16-08:00January 13, 2020|

*Cover photo: Paul K. Chappell with Canadian Rotary members and high school students at the Rotary Adventure in Human Rights conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in August 2019.

With the goal of making education in Peace Literacy a universal human right by 2030, NAPF Peace Literacy Director Paul K. Chappell focused this past year on education for building strong communities, healing trauma, and navigating technology. He spoke at over 57 events reaching more than 4,800 people, including over 500 teachers, 500 school counselors, as well as prison reformers, teenage nuclear abolition and human rights activists, college students, university professors and staff, veterans, and community leaders in twelve states and four Canadian provinces. He also oversaw the implementation of Peace Literacy skills in pilot projects for more than 1,000 high school students and facilitated 21 workshops, including six 2-day workshops as well as our annual summer 4-day Peace Literacy workshop.

Educator Workshops

Professional development for teachers became a significant part of our Peace Literacy work in 2019. Paul began the year with a two-hour professional development session at the public Campus International School in Cleveland, Ohio. He was also joined by our Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator and Oregon State University philosophy professor Sharyn Clough to offer a two-day June workshop as part of the Summer Institute for the Poudre School District of Fort Collins, Colorado. Paul and Sharyn continued with a two-day workshop in June for Minneapolis activists and educators, a one-day workshop for teachers and staff from two Montessori public schools also in Cleveland (with a return December visit), and a fall two-day workshop with a cohort of teachers learning to embed Peace Literacy skills in a new “Freshmen Success” class for 480 high school students in the Corvallis, Oregon school district. Sharyn successfully applied for and received a university approved research protocol for a study of the success of the Peace Literacy curriculum in the Corvallis school district Freshmen Success class.

Paul K Chappell with workshop participants community engagement specialist Antonia Apolinario-Wilcoxin, design professional Jewelean Jackson, author Kate Towle, Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator Sharyn Clough, and peace educator Cecil Ramnaraine.

“Given that nuclear war is still a possibility, given the climate crisis is coming, given unbridled technology is here, Chappell’s compelling and urgent philosophy of Peace Literacy offers a curriculum, a vocabulary, and a universal skill set for survival so we can live in the world together.”Caren Stelson, educator, Minneapolis workshop participant, and author of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story

Inspiration for Counselors and Facilitators

As a keynote speaker, Chappell also inspired the 500 counselors attending the Prevent Child Abuse Iowa conference in Des Moines, Iowa and over a hundred and fifty facilitators, who volunteer primarily in prisons, at the annual gathering of the Alternatives to Violence Project in Oakland, California. Chappell explained that the frameworks of Peace Literacy offer a new understanding of aggression, rage, and trauma, along with radical empathy, vision and hope. Both groups gave him a standing ovation.

“Paul K. Chappell’s compellingly original synthesis of the role of meaning and purpose as foundational to both peace work and conflict was immensely helpful to this audience of experienced peace educators. One participant seemed to speak for the whole when she said afterward that ‘this talk made my whole weekend!’”— Steve Gelb, AVP facilitator and University of San Diego professor

A Commitment to Peace and Education

Rotary International’s interest in both peace and education allows for significant dialogue on Peace Literacy. Chappell lectured to community leaders at more than a dozen Rotary events, including a talk for several hundred at the Southwest President-Elect Training Seminar and six different Rotary district conferences. At just about every Rotary event, contacts were made with current and former teachers and school administrators who want to find ways to bring and support Peace Literacy in their communities. In Canada, Chappell also spoke to high school students at the Rotary Adventure in Human Rights in August and to the high school students from both the U.S. and Canada in October at another education event with Rotary as a sponsor: the Youth Nuclear Peace Summit.

“As a former school administrator, I very much admire the partnership, synergy, and the process to drive the Peace Literacy curriculum in a positive direction with students. I endorse everything about this activity and as a future District Governor, I will continue to advocate Peace Literacy in my Rotary journey.” Gerry Kosanovic, Ph.D., District 5110/ Governor Nominee, 2021-2022

Unity Walden Award for 2019 for Social and Environmental Activism

On August 2, 2019, Unity Worldwide, joined by an association of spiritual living centers, honored Paul K. Chappell as a recipient of its Walden Awards to honor “dynamic socially conscious leaders” who use “empowering spiritual ideas and philosophies” to change lives and make our planet a better place. This year’s twenty honorees included artists, teachers, healers, ministers, and activists.

Chappell was honored in the category of social and environmental activism. Last year’s honorees included Daryl Davis, who has befriended Ku Klux Klan members and has convinced members to give up their robes, as seen in the 2016 documentary Accidental Courtesy, and Rev. William J. Barber II, D.Min, the founder of the Moral Monday Alliance and co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign.

“Our goal with the Waldens is not only to honor these fine people and spotlight their notable accomplishments but also to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

Unity Magazine Editor Katy Koontz, a member of the awards selection committee

Peace Literacy 2019 Summer Workshop

The Peace Literacy 2019 Summer Workshop was held in Corvallis, Oregon and included a mix of Oregon State University faculty and staff, local nonprofit executives, students, and community leaders from California, Florida, Oregon, and Washington. New contacts were made and established relationships were strengthened.

“I absolutely endorse Peace Literacy, a movement that is and has been needed since time immemorial. Our general population is so divided . . . [Peace Literacy offers] a unifying force with a clear articulation of the problems and solutions that can lead to a global awakening to proactive ways to behave in humane ways and avoid conflict and aggressive behavior that demeans life.” Kathleen Wertz, Soka Gakkai International, USA

“It quickly becomes clear why these skills and concepts are so badly needed. Through them, one starts to gain a sense of why our world is so screwed up and just maybe how to start fixing it.”  –— Zachary Lee, Engineering student, President, Advocates for Freethought & Skepticism, OSU

Training the Trainers

Those who have trained with Paul also expanded the reach of Peace Literacy. In Australia, Emily Nabakooza, a Rotary Peace Fellow from Uganda who did her field training at NAPF in 2018 and attended Paul’s 2015 workshop in Uganda, presented at Queensland University in Brisbane to the Rotary Peace Fellows Class XVI Seminar, “Peace Literacy in Educational Settings: The Case for a Revolutionary Vision in Peacebuilding Practice.”

“I closed the panel by discussing about how building a healthier and more peaceful future actually requires a whole new language – Peace Literacy – and the role of youth as key to making this happen.” — Emily Nabakooza, Rotary Peace Fellow

On the home front, Trish Beckett, a member of the Peace Literacy National Committee who attended the 2013 Summer Workshop in Santa Barbara, gave an eight-week Peace Literacy training at a local church in Wisconsin as a pilot program for faith-based groups. Manal Fakhoury, executive coach and Ted-X speaker who helped to host Chappell at the College of Central Florida earlier this year and attended the Peace Literacy 2019 Summer Workshop in Corvallis, gave a one-day workshop in Ocala. Both Beckett and Fakhoury received excellent evaluations and are planning additional workshops for 2020.

“Peace Literacy is one of the most important skill sets of the 21st century.” Manal Fakhoury, Ollin Women International

Teaching Award for OSU Professor and Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator Sharyn Clough

In October, Oregon State University Professor and our Peace Literacy Curriculum Coordinator Sharyn Clough received a prestigious award for her teaching. Dr. Larry Rodgers, OSU Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, presented her with the Thomas R. Meehan Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU. Congratulations to Sharyn!

Engineering Peace in Practice

One of the last Peace Literacy events of the year was a December weekend workshop, “Engineering Peace in Practice,” designed for engineering students and faculty at Oregon State University. OSU professor Devlin Montfort whose research interests include engineering education and who was inspired by his participation in the 2019 Summer Workshop in Corvallis, helped to sponsor the workshop, along with the campus club Advocates for Freethought and Skepticism. Enthusiastic faculty, alum, and students all considered ways to increase Peace Literacy skills among a new generation of engineers.

“The tools for making sense of aggression and its roots are essential to moving forward as a species. I hope this training is available for all OSU community members.” Wendy Aaron, Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education, Oregon Math and Stats Learning Center

I can’t say enough about this movement . . . From an individual standpoint it has inspired me, restored my hope, and reaffirmed my sense of purpose.” Aditya Rajashnarayanan, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Student

The Constellation of Peace

Throughout 2019 Chappell also worked on 100+ pages of a new Peace Literacy curricular unit titled “The Constellation of Peace,” with Peace Literacy Curriculum Developer and Learning Specialist Stephanie Clapes. It has four parts: The Power of Ideals; The Stars of Struggle, Training, Truth, and Strategy; The Allegory of Video Games; and Realistic Hope in History

We plan to have the first three parts available on peaceliteracy.org by the end of January 2020.

“We live in an age when we can no longer settle for peace as an abstract concept, sentimental wish, or shallow cliché. The Constellation of Peace unit leads students into a deeper understanding of basic elements that empower us to create peace that is realistic, resilient, and sustainable.” Paul K. Chappell

Peace Literacy Preview for 2020

Paul K. Chappell will give a lecture “Peaceful Revolution: Restoring Hope in a Traumatized World,” at IslandWood, an education and conference center on Bainbridge Island, Washinton State, on February 17, 2020.

In 2020 Peace Literacy is scheduled to increase its visibility with new organizations and to reach deeper levels with long-time supporters. Here are some upcoming highlights:

In February, Paul K. Chappell will give the Sunday morning keynote for teachers of adolescents at the Association Montessori International Refresher Course in Seattle. He will speak on “Peace Literacy: Healing Trauma, Navigating Technology, and Protecting Humanity’s Future.” After the keynote he will give a breakout session on “Exploring the Landscape of Our Human Needs.”

Also in February, Chappell will speak on “Peaceful Revolution: Restoring Hope in a Traumatized World” at IslandWood, an education and conference center on Bainbridge Island in Washington State.

In March, he will give a one-day Peace Literacy workshop to local Rotarians in District 5240 that covers four Southern California counties.

In March, he will also present at “Technology’s Impact on Society,” an event in Orange County sponsored by BRDG/Bridge to Connect, an organization that provides bridge programs for first generation college students majoring in engineering and computer science.

In April, Chappell will give an endowed lecture at the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University in Norfolk, Virginia, and a keynote at a high school Model United Nations in Eugene, Oregon.

In May, he and Professor Shari Clough will give a one-day workshop for the Santa Barbara County Education Office to address the needs of Santa Barbara early childhood educators.

Rotary district conferences for spring 2020 where Chappell will be giving keynote lectures include Reno, Nevada; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Abbotsford, B.C.

In July, the Dayton International Peace Museum will host a workshop for college professors and high school teachers. Our annual Peace Literacy Summer Workshop will be held in Central Florida.

Fall 2020 events include keynote lectures for the Manitoba Youth Leadership Conference, the Rotary District conference in Ottawa, Ontario, and the National Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), in Denver, Colorado. CADRE is a project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Special Education Programs and the conference audience will include federal special education program staff, state dispute resolution coordinators, directors of special education, dispute resolution practitioners, parents, parent leaders, attorneys, educators, service providers, and researchers.

In November, Chappell will also appear at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center in Cowichan outside of Victoria, B.C. as part of a local Rotary-sponsored tour with events throughout Vancouver Island.

For Peace Literacy, we expect that 2020 will be a year of breakthroughs and surprises. This year we are already scheduled to reach educators at all levels: special ed, early childhood education, middle school teachers, high school and college educators, and those always important community leaders who, as role models, teach every day.

Thank you for all your support as we continue to bring Peace Literacy and its transformative curriculum into classrooms, communities, and cultures across the U.S. and Canada, and around the world.

For more information, visit peaceliteracy.org.