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Sun, Jun 28, 2009

Nonviolence in Action: Leymah Gbowee and the Women of Liberia

The June 19 episode of Bill Moyer’s Journal features a wonderful video interview with Leymah Gbowee, a woman who led her fellow countrywomen to fight for and win peace in war-torn Liberia, and Abigail Disney, who produced the documentary of their struggle and triumph in the award-winning film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The interview video (in two parts) is available for download via the video podcast (vodcast). A related slideshow on the role of women in peace movements is also available. The whole film Pray the Devil Back to Hell will be airing in 2010 on PBS as the first part of a groundbreaking four-part Wide Angle series on Women, War and Peace.


Here’s the interview description from the vodcast:
Instructed by a dream and organized in prayer, Leymah Gbowee and thousands of everyday women in Liberia—both Christians and Muslims alike—confronted warlords and a corrupt president to successfully fight for peace and dignity in their war-torn nation. “I realized that every problem we encounter on this journey, I’m going to rise above it and lead these women because they trusted me with their lives and their future,” says Gbowee. Journal guest host Lynn Sherr interviews Leymah Gbowee and Abigail Disney, who documented their inspiring tale in the award-winning film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Lynn Sherr is a long-time broadcast journalist who most recently covered events in Liberia for PBS’ news program, WorldFocus.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 06 28 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Sat, Jun 27, 2009

Using Computer Models to Predict Conflict Outcomes

A recent article in Computerworld magazine provides a nice plain english interview with political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita explaining his work using computers to predict conflict outcomes.  In the interview Bueno de Mesquita describes the model he has developed for examining international conflicts based on two key dimensions. He is a proponent of a version of rational choice theory. As he explains,

The model starts by assuming that everyone cares about two dimensions on any policy issue: getting an outcome as close to what they want as possible, and getting credit for being essential in putting a deal together—or preventing a deal.

A reprint of a more academic article by the author entitled Game Theory, Political Economy, and the Evolving Study of War and Peace is available online for folks who want to dig deeper.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 06 27 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Tue, Jun 09, 2009

Coaching Boys Into Men - Family Violence Prevention Fund Coaches Kit

playbook coverThe Family Violence Prevention Fund has produced a great new resource for coaches interested in raising healthy young men while promoting respect and the prevention of violence against women. The new Coaches Corner website provides a range of materials and advice, including a downloadable kit with a “Playbook” and discussion cards for addressing inappropriate behaviors. A series of tangible scenarios are presented, with suggested approaches a coach might take.

Here’s part of the description from the website:
Every coach is in a position that allows him to directly influence the attitudes of his athletes and to help eliminate the disrespectful perceptions of women and girls that are at the heart of this tragic problem. The purpose of this Playbook is to provide you with coaching tips, advice and useful anecdotes from great coaches and players to help you take this issue head on.

As a related aside, another nice resource available from the FVPF for Father’s Day is the website providing lots of good ideas and support for building respectful relationships at home and in the community. An e-card with words of respect can be sent to Dads from the site. I particularly liked the Dinner Table Talk handout on the families page.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 06 09 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Thu, Jun 04, 2009

How to Choose a Dance Partner: Insight on Peace Building

Peace Direct has been focused on identifying and supporting local peace builders working in conflict zones, with more than 250 initiatives from 8 conflict areas now in their network. They want to see local organisations treated as equal partners with ‘outsiders’ such as international NGOs, or multilateral agencies such as the UN, but have come to understand that external groups have a hard time identifying who to work with. As one response to this question, Peace Direct has just published a new guide called How to Choose a Dance Partner (4.3 MB pdf). It is a collection of interviews with people who?ve gone through the process, or observed others doing so and is intended to show how people have found the right partners and the way that working with these partners enables a wholly different kind of peacebuilding to develop. More information here.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 06 04 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Tue, Jun 02, 2009

Peace One Day Educational Resources Pack

Peace One Day is a global effort to support an annual day of peace and cessation of violence worldwide. The non-profit project was launched in 1999 by British filmmaker Jeremy Gilley who developed a film documenting his efforts to establish the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date.  The day was unanimously adopted by UN member states in 2001 as 21st September annually.

The effort to promote the September 21 2009 celebration includes an extensive educational resources pack, the 3rd edition, that includes 19 student-centered lesson plans aimed at Grades 6-12.  The kit includes accompanying multimedia and cross-curricular links and information on educational standards met by the activities. Registration is required, but the resource is free.
Peace One Day Educational Resources cover
The stated objectives of the project:
“Peace One Day Education aims to advance active learning in the areas of conflict resolution, global citizenship, human rights and the link between sustainability and peace, using Peace Day 21st September as a focus.  Our goal is to provide resource materials to every school in the world, inspiring a generation to become the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world.”


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 06 02 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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