With the new year well underway, we've been busy here at Transformative Peace working on exciting projects and launching new partnerships.
Topics We're Focussing On
This year we’re looking forward to continuing our core work on Conflict Resolution; Preventing Violent Extremism; Women, Peace, and Security; and Intra and Interfaith Dialogue. We’ve been honing in on our mission to employ an inclusive, human rights-based approach to building sustainable and transformative peace that accounts for and builds from indigenous frameworks for conflict resolution and encourages local ownership of the process. So far this year we’ve been working in:
In January of this year, Transformative Peace Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Houda Abadi, engaged in a panel conversation on WPS from an Islamic perspective to support the Afghan peace process. In February Dr. Abadi also assisted in coordinating and participating in a 3 day colloquium in Istanbul, Turkey, which brought together peacebuilders, transitional political leaders, and religious scholars from the Muslim world to explore Islamic-friendly forms of statecraft both in relation to state formation, the development of post conflict transitional governance arrangements, and Islamic oriented modes of peace-making. It also sought to move beyond some of the false binaries that are said to exist between Islam and human rights or Islam and the West.
Transformative Peace is excited for the launch of our new research project with Emory University. Our field research will seek to better understand the nuanced and complex nature of how religion manifests in different cultural contexts throughout Morocco and how the state’s religious policies play out at the micro-levels. The study will open the door for a holistic understanding of how religious diplomacy functions within Morocco, probe the relationship between Morocco’s global promotion of "moderate" Islam and its role in local realities, and provide insight into how people consume religion at the community level. We look forward to keeping you up to date throughout the process!
We are also pleased to continue working with our long-time partner IOM Morocco on issues relating to gender and building resilience. Through the Forsaty program, we continue to work with staff members as well as local CSOs to host gender mainstreaming workshops and contribute guidance and oversight to ongoing projects and programs.
Our researchers have been busy focussing on the nexus of violent extremism, organized militia activity, transnational criminal networks, and gender within Libya and the wider Sahel region. Our research will contribute to PVE strategy recommendations and programmatic implementation.
We are excited to announce our new research partnership with Emory University. Over the next few months, TP will examine how religious diplomacy functions within Morocco and the dialectical relationship between the global and local levels. The study will contribute to religious peacebuilding and how to better engage with key stakeholders at both the policy and local level. We’re excited to keep you updated!
This month we said goodbye to our long-time Senior Researcher, Megan Leigh Smith, who has been a much valued member of the Transformative Peace team. We wish her all the best as she continues her journey in the peacebuilding field working at the intersection of conflict and mental health. Megan shared with us her reflections on her time working with TP:
We are also thrilled to welcome two new interns for the Spring semester, Austin Langdon and Emily Kenward, who will contribute to TP’s research and peacebuilding programs. You can read more about them below:
Austin Langdon recently graduated from George Mason University with a masters in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Extremism and Conflict Transformation. He completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University with a double major in Political Science and Journalism. Austin is interested in the relationship between ideology, conflict and social transformation with a particular focus on the social and psychological dynamics of extremism. Emily Kenward graduated with honors from Tulane University in May 2020 with a B.S. in Environmental Biology and a B.A. in Political Science: International Relations. In August 2021, she graduated summa cum laude from Tel Aviv University with an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, as well as received a mediation certificate from the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution under the auspices of UNITAR. Emily is interested in feminist foreign policy and the ways in which increasing women’s leadership and amplifying historically excluded perspectives leads to more equitable, transformative, and holistic peace and policymaking.