Masks, Health, Peace and Justice
This may not come as a surprise to you, but we are living through a singular moment in the search for social justice. Systems of oppression are not isolated from one another. In fact, they intersect in a number of significant ways.
As Dr. Martin Luther King eloquently stated,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
This time calls for transnational solidarity within and across borders that places equity, access to healthcare, social justice, and human rights at the forefront. Transformative Peace is keen on using an intersectional and evidence-based approach in its projects and programming.
To address the rise of autocracy, violence, hate, and systemic global inequities, Transformative Peace will be engaging in a series of conversations and peace talks with leaders and experts in the field of arts, social justice, peace-building, policy, and media.
We hope these interactive online conversations will serve as a place to generate new ideas on how we can play an active role in building transformative change and advocate on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In parallel, we will highlight stories from the global south. Stay tuned!
2019 at a Glance:
Capacity Building Workshop
Consultant at The Carter Center
The Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)
For this project, we assisted in designing and leading a high-level stakeholder workshop between grassroots leaders and policymakers. The goal was to bridge the divide and create a safe space for dialogue around security and PVE issues, share lessons learned, and advocate for local/national human rights-based PVE practices. And finally, we assisted in developing a manual on the Carter Center PVE methodology. The manual examines how effective programs should be community-led and designed to respond to the strengths and challenges of local contexts.
Consultant at The Institute for War and Peace Reporting
During 2019, four training lecture series were given on the following themes: Gender analysis and gender mainstreaming; and communication strategies and engaging with stakeholders.
Gender equality is not just about women, it looks at the differences between men and women in terms of access to resources, gender roles, and their ability to fully participate. Once we fully understand these differences and their implications, we can start to develop specific strategies to address these issues. Programs that include a deliberate gender component are more effective, enhance equity and long-term sustainability. To overcome resistance and facilitate understanding of the importance of gender integration, holistic approaches and strategies were discussed.
The other two lectures focused on communication strategies and engaging with stakeholders. Best practices and the top eight rules for communicating effectively were shared with the participants. One of the main takeaways is how engagement with stakeholders is an ongoing, year-round process. It is important to cultivate, build, and develop relationships with stakeholders. Trust building and emotional intelligence are two of the most important factors that are frequently disregarded.
Forums and Workshops
Participation in several high-level international forums, conferences and government information sessions, some of which are:
Panelist | Resolve Network Forum and part of the advisory board. Washington DC, October 2019 // "Non-State Approaches to Security and Governance".
Featured Speaker | Fireside Chat: Center for Global Policy. Washington DC, October 2019 // "Community Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism. Morocco as a Case Study."
Panelist | Colloque International: Mechaniques de L’Exremism Violent: Lecons d’une Experience et d’une Logique Comparative. “Grassroots Approaches to Peace-building: Prospects and Challenge.” Paris, July 2019
Let’s Spark Change
Sometimes playing a part in your community can seem overwhelming and daunting. Don’t worry: we get it. But there’s always something you can do – even if it’s a small action. Here are eight efforts you can undertake to further the quest for peace.
Get to know and speak with people whom you don’t automatically agree with. Many times, it’s our ignorance that fuels bigotry. Often, the media has contributed to the dehumanization of minority groups. Amplify and elevate voices of those most marginalized!
Build trust and inclusivity. Trust is the main currency in doing peacebuilding. For sustainable peace, we need an all-inclusive and participatory process where there is local ownership. A gender-conscious agenda increases governmental accountability and enhances the likelihood for effective, equitable, and sustainable programs.
White Supremacy groups and Daesh feed onto each other. Daesh and white Supremacists want the world divided into “us and them”. They both find expression in fear politics that divides, and breeds hate. They both have a toxic understanding of masculinity where they recruit disillusioned men and reclaim what was “lost”.
Governments have spent so much money on counter-narratives but have seen little fruits. Governments should focus on addressing the root causes, strengthen social cohesion, equality, and social contract.
There’s no one size fits all solution to peacebuilding. Conflict is complex. We need to take a holistic multidisciplinary approach. Strategies vary by country. Only by understanding the issues at the very local level, can we find sustainable solutions.
Organizing at the grassroots level is super important. We can’t mediate at only the highest political levels. We need to invest our time in understanding what’s happening in our local community.
We don’t have to have it all figured out. Don’t despair. We need to have hope to TRANSFORM our challenges into opportunities. Don’t stop dreaming and believing in a better tomorrow. That’s our fuel and driver.
Inspire others and be a source of strength and courage to someone else.
An important quote from the novel le Petit Prince states:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
We take that to mean that we, as people, need to bring radical love, humility, and empathy back into the equation of peace-building and organizing. Emotional intelligence sets great leaders apart from the rest.
We need to open our hearts, listen, create a safe space for learning, test our ideas, and work across political and ideological aisles for a common vision and noble goal - and Transformative Peace is committed to doing just that.
We are thrilled to have you be part of our work.