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Educating for Peace in a Time of War: Conference in May at the Peace Abbey in Massachusetts
an article by Mary Lee Morrison, Pax Educare-The CT Center for Peace Education

Bernard Lafayette, Director of the Center for Peace and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island shared with us the following observation, based on his years of working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his recent work in Colombia, helping to organize leadership teams in nonviolence: "Nonviolence is at its best when violence is at its worst".

This hopeful theme provided the backdrop for about fifty educators, activists and community members who gathered at the beautiful Peace Abbey for this half day conference. There were several workshops held with themes such as how to educate for peace in this time of global terrorism and war, military recruiters in schools, the Earth Charter and sustainability and creating models for peace around healing and compassion.

In the wrap-up session, the following themes emerged, for further reflection and action: we must think of ourselves as having allegiance to more than just one country, we must teach young people the value of "walking in another's shoes", we must educate toward a sustainable world where every person has enough to eat, a home, clothing and a means of livelihood. These things need not be done "out there" but each of us can practice peace in our everyday lives, in our relationships with others and in how we live our lives.

Following a delicious vegan lunch, some viewed the film "The Good War (WWII) and Those Who Refused to Fight" and some toured the beautiful grounds of the Abbey, viewing the many peace plaques, commemorating those who have fought, and some dying, for their beliefs and convictions. There is also a small farm, with wandering goats. The Peace Abbey is at the intersection of Rts. 16 and 27 in Sherborne, MA.

DISCUSSION

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Nonviolence is at its best when violence is at its worst, Do you agree?

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Bernard Lafayette, Director of the Center for Peace and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island shared with us the following observation, based on his years of working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his recent work in Colombia, helping to organize leadership teams in nonviolence:
"Nonviolence is at its best when violence is at its worst".


This report was posted on June 24, 2002.