Center for Global Peacebuilding
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’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:
Digital Peace Building
This includes fellowships, projects, practices, and research in how social media can be used for conflict resolution in areas of discord. Center staff members are currently bloggers for major religion websites including Muslim Voices and Feminist.com to give perspectives on peace and interfaith relations.
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 focus here is mostly local, including research and collaboration with existing programs to address gang conflicts and community violence. The Center is also developing curricula to train clergy to become ambassadors of peacebuilding in response to community conflicts where violence has been an issue.
Public Education on Global Peacebuilding Issues
Participation in and sponsorship of public conversations on issues that effect peace. Past activities have included sponsoring panels on Responsibility to Protect and Depiction of Muslims in Graphic Novels. In 2012, the Center will host a national ground-breaking conference: Muslim Perspectives on Peacebuilding. Of particular interest is engaging young people through participation in interfaith events that use the arts, comedy, and entertainment for multi-faith conversations.
Follow the Center on Twitter: GlobalPeaceCtr