Center for Global Peacebuilding


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The Center for Global Peacebuilding was founded in 2011 by Professor Najeeba Syeed-Miller, who also serves as its Director. Prof. Syeed-Miller, J.D., teaches Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology. She has extensive experience in mediating conflicts among communities of ethnic and religious diversity, and has won awards for her peacemaking and public interest work. The Center welcomes community and student interns on a project by project basis.

The Center’s mission is to promote peacebuilding practices and research with a global perspective. Its scope ranges from local and national to international activities that use multifaceted approaches, including social media, conferences, fellowships, workshops, and interventions. The Center works with a variety of communities, individuals, groups, and governmental, academic, secular, and religious organizations and leaders. The central working principle of the Center is that those closest to the conflict are the experts, and it partners with on-the-ground actors to build the capacity for peace.

Focus of the Center’s Peacebuilding Efforts:

MULTIFAITH RECONCILIATION

The center develops projects and research in areas where interfaith conflict has very high stakes, and where there has been a history of animosity and misunderstanding. In the past year Center staff have engaged in dialogue between Muslim communities and Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jewish, Christian, Seven Day Adventists, evangelical Christian, Mormon, and Hindu communities.

A major focus is in communities in America's heartland and small towns. Another is offering consultative services for international conflicts and for international delegations. In the past year, Center staff members have worked with leaders and scholars visiting from Algeria, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, and South Asian countries. The Center has held seminars and programs on engaging secular leaders in interfaith dialogue, Sikh community activism, representation of Muslim Americans in popular culture, Muslim perspectives on interfaith activism, and international approaches to the Responsibility to Protect.



SPREADING SEEDS HEALING NETWORK

Spreading Seeds Healing Network (SSNH) convenes LA County based gang intervention organizations on a monthly basis. Organizations are asked to also bring young people they work with to each meeting. Each monthly healing circle consists of three parts. These healing circles utilize universal cultural principles and indigenous spirituality practices for individuals to heal from trauma and capacity building for organizations that do direct "gang" intervention services. In addition to the monthly circles, SSHN takes participants and their families on an annual rites of passage culmination retreat for nature based learning, self-reflection and wellness.

SSHN is a partnership of Center for Global Peacebuilding, University of Southern California Office of Religious Life, and participating organizations/individuals are found below. It was founded by Fidel Rodriguez who coordinates its ongoing programs.

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The Germanacos Foundation has provided a grant for the work of SSHN: http://www.thegermanacosfoundation.org

Participating organizations:

Spreading Seeds Healing Network
Communities In Schools / Blinky Rodriguez
Homies Unidos / Alex Sanchez
New Earth / HG Graham
PCITI – The BUILD Program / Aquil Basheer
Homeboys Industries / Hector Verdugo
LA County Probation Department
City of LA CDD / Adrian Veliz
Young Warriors
Youth Justice Coalition
Street Poets Inc.
LA County HRC / Fidel Rodriguez
IJO IJA Martial Arts Academy / Sifu Earl White
Margie Torrez, MA Ed. (Narrative Therapy Curriculum Development)
USC Professor Robert Hernandez (Evaluator)
Mike de la Rocha / Director of Strategic Planning (Californians For Safety and Justice)
Tia Chuchas / Luis Rodriguez (Trainer)
Orland Bishop (Trainer)
Julie Sender (Film Director)
Adam Vine (Wake The Beast)
Najeeba Syeed-Miller, J. D. (Claremont School of Theology)
River Runners INC.
Dr. Mario Martinez
USC Religious Life
Los Angele County Probation Department
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Chang for Balance / Adam Steel
Krishna Kaur / Yoga For Youth
Joanna Harper / Against the Stream / Meditation
Tony Giuliano / Yoga At The Raven
Mario Rocha
Aquella Sherills , Maximum Force
Tierra de la Culebra Park

TRAINING CLERGY/ SPIRITUAL LEADERS/COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

The Center offers technical assistance to congregational leaders of all faiths, community groups and leaders in conflict resolution training and restorative practices. Past clients include groups of United Methodist pastors, Muslim young leaders and interfaith organizations serving multiple faith communities.

Center staff also work directly with organizations and individuals developing curricula. The Center has offered technical assistance to restorative practitioners. Past partners include groups working with incarcerated children and hip hop education life skills training.

POLICY PUBLICATIONS/CONVENING

The Center publishes periodic white papers on issues relevant to global urban peacemaking. An upcoming publication focuses on the process of creating safe spaces for youth in violent contexts. The Center’s current projects for publication and convening are the following:

1) Restorative practices founded on the Los Angeles City Community Based Gang Intervention Strategy.
2) Advocacy mechanisms for restorative practices in current violence prevention legislation.
3) Mapping restorative practice based organizations in the state of California, and maintaining state-wide coalition.