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Transformative Conversations

As part of our programs, we convene bi-monthly Transformative Conversations aimed at introducing new perspectives, raising awareness, and sparking critical conversations within the realm of inclusive peacebuilding. Transformative Conversations seek to make connections among peacebuilders from the Global South to foster an exchange of innovative ideas, experiences, and solutions driven by shared historic experience, challenges, and opportunities while also facilitating Global North-South connections to inspire global peacebuilding efforts that are more inclusive, equitable, and just. We explore topics using a critical lens to unpack how power asymmetries and global inequalities among international actors impact conflict transformation and explore ways to better advance inclusion, local ownership, and gender and conflict-sensitive approaches in peacebuilding. Above all, Transformative Conversations are designed to be disruptive, prompting listeners to examine our current moment in history, navigate obstacles to peace, and build a way forward.


Join us as we contemplate our moment in history, with civic leaders, policymakers, and community activists for Transformative Peace's innovative series of conversations, seminars, and workshops. Led by our founder, Dr. Houda Abadi, this interactive program sparks provocative conversations around timely questions and timeless themes.


Interested in participating in one of our conversations? Inquire here

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"If you do not address [social injustices], it leaves permanent fault lines in the DNA of a society..."
- Amb. Ebrahim Rassol


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South to South Collaboration: Catalyzing Pan African Youth Leadership
Transformative Peace

South to South Collaboration: Catalyzing Pan African Youth Leadership

The African continent faces a number of security and development challenges, including irregular migration, human trafficking, and violent extremism. African challenges are often framed as needing “African solutions”--that is, developing and deploying indigenous resources and leadership to advance transnational security and catalyze political, social, and economic liberation from the legacy of colonial rule and post-colonial systems. Facilitating south-south partnerships that transcend national borders requires building a new generation of African leadership that is ethical, community-oriented, and above all, transformational. Dr. Kofi Osei-Kusi is the president and founder of the Pan-African Leadership Institute, an executive education center with the aim of developing holistic, conscientious, and entrepreneurial leaders for Africa. In this month’s Transformative Conversation, Catalyzing Pan-African Youth Leadership for Transformative Peace, Dr. Osei-Kusi will discuss how education can be used to harness the inherent potential of Africa’s youth and cultivate leadership that fosters good governance, catalyzes economic innovation, and transforms the fabric of African communities. The conversation will further explore the gap between youth development policy frameworks and their implementation in Africa, the significance and operationalization of an African framework for effective leadership, and Dr. Osei-Kusi’s vision for how pan-African leadership will transform the future of the continent.
The Critical Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding
Transformative Peace

The Critical Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding

Civil society has increasingly been recognized as a key actor in peace processes at all levels, including official Track I negotiations, Track II negotiations designated for non-state actors, and grassroots peacebuilding efforts aimed at monitoring and building support for formal peace agreements. Research has consistently shown that the inclusion of civil society leads to more effective, representative, and sustainable peace agreements, and can contribute to a stronger social contract between state and society in post-conflict transitions. However, civil society continues to be excluded from meaningful participation and continues to face a number of challenges such as the internationalization of local conflicts, lack of horizontal cohesion, and power dynamics that favor international actors. October 2021's Transformative Conversation, The Critical Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding, featuring Dr. Marie-Joëlle Zahar, will explore the role of civil society in 2 peace processes, including why civil society’s participation has been shown to be so effective, what is to be gained from their participation, and how to operationalize civil society’s meaningful inclusion. Dr. Zahar will further unpack how civil society is shaping current peace negotiations around the world -- including in contexts such as Syria, Yemen, and Mali -- and what is needed to open the door to more effective and meaningful participation.
Religious Peacebuilding: Challenges and Opportunities for Transformative Peace
Transformative Peace

Religious Peacebuilding: Challenges and Opportunities for Transformative Peace

In 2021, global levels of governmental restrictions on Freedom of Religious Belief are at an all-time high, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated tensions around the world and fueled discrimination and violence against religious minorities. Now more than ever, it is critical to understand how religious frameworks can be harnessed as a positive force for transformation to guarantee a more peaceful future. While religion can divide communities, it can also be harnessed as a force for positive transformation by advancing shared values of empathy, nonviolence, and human dignity. Religious actors have long played a role in both grassroots and official peacebuilding efforts, including by acting as mediators, setting the vision for transitional justice efforts, and mobilizing communities of faith to prevent and cease conflict. Yet, the field also faces many challenges, such as bridging intra-religious polarization, ensuring the inclusion of women and youth, and overcoming structural inequities within religious institutions themselves. In this vein, Transformative Peace is excited to be hosting its fourth Transformative Conversation with Rev. Dr. Fatimah S. Salleh and Ms. Omar Manal on Religious Approaches to Peacebuilding. The speakers will examine the state of religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in the world today, including the impact of COVID-19, the new tools being used by religious peacebuilders to transform conflict, and the potential for religious peacebuilding to contribute to lasting social and transitional justice.


Watch & Learn

Don't miss out on past discussions. Explore our collection of conversations, and see how we make peace happen.

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