Peace Begins with Truth:

A community-based conflict transformation workshop targeting an end to racism, bias and structural inequities

 

Peace Begins with Truth (PBT) community-based workshops are designed to have persons who share communal spaces enjoin in contemplating and seeking local resolution to the often painful and complicated consequences of racism, racial conflict, and social injustice.

 

Philosophy

The concept for Peace Begins with Truth workshops is based on the belief that all humans are created equally, and that by virtue of sharing the gift of life with other humans we have a shared, collective responsibility: 1) to build and maintain a society where each person’s existence is rendered the utmost respect; 2) to value and support different worldviews based on cultural backgrounds and historical realities, and 3) to cultivate an existence where harmonious, equitable, and peaceful human interactions are the enduring principles upon which practices, programs and policies are established.

 

Goals

Building on the call for community-based “Truth, Reconciliation and Peace Processes” as conveyed in the book, Crimes against humanity in the land of the free: Can a truth and reconciliation process heal racial conflict in America? -- the goals of PBT workshops are to: 

 

  1. Nurture communal relationships based on the honest and deliberate involvement of participants in acknowledging the uncomfortable realities associated with historical and contemporary social conflicts based on racism, and

  2. Engage participants in devising the best ways in which they and others might employ the concepts of truth, peace and justice as the basis for actively working to transform social conflict, reconcile differences, and build harmonious communities.

 

Structure

To best accommodate the interests of distinct groups and empower the local ownership of workshop outcomes, each Peace Begins with Truth module is designed to accommodate the general interests, concerns and needs of localized populations. Given that community needs, interests and resources will vary, workshops may be offered in one of three different formats: Module I – two-three hours; Module II – one full day; Module III – two full days.

 

Topics & Content

The impact of racism on America’s past and present * The Just World hypothesis *Identity and identity conflict * The politics of memory, knowledge and peacebuilding * The constructs and meanings of truth, peace, racism, justice, and empathy * The pursuit of apology, forgiveness and reconciliation * The realities and consequences of oppression on the oppressors and the oppressed * The role of the hegemony * Collective, social responsibility * The power of perceptions and biases * Systemic racism * White privilege * Peacebuilding and reconciliation in other locales * Moving forward. (Note: content may be added and/or deleted based on the pre-workshop assessment and selected Module).