Fall 2021 Peace Week

Monday, September 20th

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Transforming the Mind for Peace

Can the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of conflict actors be transformed in ways that undermine the psychological lure of commit mass violence and promote positive intergroup interactions? The speakers of this panel explore this question from the perspective of the revolution discoveries in the psychological sciences on the processes of neuro-plasticity, emotional intelligence, and moral neuro-cognition.  The panel begins with Mari Fitzduff, whose recent book Our Brain at War showcases the remarkable discoveries in the neuroscience of conflict and peacebuilding.  Fitzduff recommends a radical change in the ways in which peacebuilding is conceived and practiced. Following her presentation, panelists from the laboratory called Transforming the Mind for Peace will summarize their four lab projects on the mind’s transformative potential as a basis for discovering innovative peacebuilding practices. One project focuses on expressions of empathy and counter-empathy of conflict actors, with a case study of the responses to residents of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to international refugees in their region. For a second project, lab researchers examine the value of enhancing curiosity among conflict actors as a technique for undermining their negative perceptions in response to perceived threats.  A third project focuses on actionable pathways to promote the psychological and physical health and wellbeing of peacebuilding practitioners in the aftermath of stressful or possibly traumatic interventions.  For fourth project, panelists will explore the value of constructing oral histories as a process of transitional justice, with special attention to the peacebuilding in Sudan.

Facilitator: Daniel Rothbart 

Hosted by: Carter School Transforming the Mind for Peace Lab


  • Keynote Speaker:  Mari Fitzduff, Professor Emerita at Brandeis University, author of Our Brains at War.   
  • Commentator: Daniel Rothbart, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, The Carter School.  

Lab Projects:

  1. Empathy and counter-empathy of conflict actors

    • Project Members:

      • Natalia Alexander: Graduate Student, Columbia University
      • Toni Farris: Ph.D. student, The Carter School  
      • Naomi Kraenbring: Ph.D. student, The Carter School 
  2. Cultivating curiosity towards threat-reduction among conflict actors
    • Project Members:

      • Megan Price, Ph.D.: Adjunct Faculty, Carter School 
      • Belle Gjeloshi: Ph.D. Student, The Carter School  
      • Shannon Sneary Alabanza: Masters Student, The Carter School  
  3. Psychological and Physical health for peacebuilding practitioners
    • Project Member:

      • Nicholas Sherwood, Ph.D. Student, The Carter School  
  4. Living Through War: An oral history of civilians experiencing the effects of structural violence in Sudan 
    • Project Members:

      • Daniel Rothbart, Professor. The Carter School
      • Belle Gjeloshi: Ph.D. Student, The Carter School

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Emergent Evidence-Based Practices Supporting SDG 16

Drawing from across local and global agencies, we examine emergent evidence-based practices that support SDG 16 and how the evidence informs this work. Looking at the cutting edge of peace and development work, we consider a) what the new approaches are, and b) how the evidence base informs the development and adaptation of these new approaches. By learning today from the cutting-edge approaches, we encourage further innovation based on evidence to strengthen our progress towards SDG 16, setting an agenda for a field-wide movement to improve practice by improving the evidence base and its accessibility and influence in shaping policy and practice. This discussion highlights the important roles for universities in supporting SDG 16.

Facilitator: Susan Allen 

Hosted by: Better Evidence Project in the Center for Peacemaking Practice

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Leadership and Innovation in Global Governance and Conflict Resolution: Celebrating Ambassador John W. McDonald

This event will commemorate the life and work of Ambassador John W. McDonald (1922 – 2019), a lawyer, diplomat, international civil servant, development expert and peacebuilder. The Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts Boston gives out an annual award to a graduating student for showing leadership and innovation in global governance and conflict resolution. Inspired by the impact of Ambassador McDonald whose career was dedicated to the integration of thought and action in solving global challenges through innovative means at all levels of governance, the award has recognized the power of young people. During this event, these alumni will reflect on leadership and innovation and discuss their contributions, challenges, and ideas for improving global governance. 

Facilitator: Professor Maria Ivanova, director of the PhD program in global governance and human security at University of Massachusetts Boston


  • Dr. J. Michael Denney, Director of Research and Evaluation, Lydia Sierra Consulting 
  • Ms. Saadia Ahmad, Coordinator of Conflict Resolution, Babson College 
  • Mr. Samuillah Mahdi, Journalist and Kabul University lecturer

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: A. Dirk Moses Book Talk: The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression

Genocide is not only a problem of mass death, but also of how, as a relatively new idea and law, it organizes and distorts thinking about civilian destruction. Taking the normative perspective of civilian immunity from military attack, A. Dirk Moses argues that the implicit hierarchy of international criminal law, atop which sits genocide as the 'crime of crimes', blinds us to other types of humanly caused civilian death, like bombing cities, and the 'collateral damage' of missile and drone strikes. Talk of genocide, then, can function ideologically to detract from systematic violence against civilians perpetrated by governments of all types. The Problems of Genocide contends that this violence is the consequence of 'permanent security' imperatives: the striving of states, and armed groups seeking to found states, to make themselves invulnerable to threats.

Facilitator: Douglas Irvin-Erickson 

Hosted by: Raphael Lemkin Genocide Prevention Program 


  • Douglas Irvin-Erickson, Assistant Professor, Carter School 
  • A. Dirk Moses, Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor in Global Human Rights History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

Tuesday, September 21st

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM: Peace Week Keynote Event: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope – The Work of The Carter Center

Join us and our special guests, Paige Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of The Carter Center and Stacia George, director of the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center, as they share the work of the Carter Center.  

Paige Alexander joined The Carter Center as chief executive officer in June 2020.   

Alexander has had a distinguished global development career, with over two decades of experience spanning the government and nonprofit sectors. She has held U.S. Senate confirmed senior leadership positions at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was senior vice president of IREX, an international civil society, democracy, and education nonprofit organization in Washington, and executive of EUCORD, a nonprofit in Brussels and Amsterdam working to bring market-led solutions to marginalized farmers in Africa. Earlier, Alexander was associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a consultant to institutions including the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Open Society Institute.  

Alexander currently serves on the boards of the Romanian-American Foundation, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the ADL Southeast Region, and as a member of several human rights organizations. 

Stacia George became director of the Conflict Resolution Program in 2021. 

She previously served as director for West and Central Africa and Haiti at Chemonics International Inc., a global implementer of international development assistance. George previously served as the deputy director for USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) and is an expert in conflict management and international development with specializations in conflict-affected environments, stabilization, democracy, and community-driven development programming. 

Earlier, George was a foreign policy fellow on the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the practice director for government services at Caerus Associates. She held an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations in 2011. 

During 11 years with USAID, George was country representative for programs in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. She managed OTI’s Afghanistan program as the deputy team leader for Asia and the Middle East, established programs in Colombia, Nepal, and Sudan, and served as country representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

George holds degrees in international studies and Spanish from Niagara University and International Conflict Management and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies. 

Hosted by: Alpaslan Özerdem, Dean, Carter School 

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Coffee and Conversation: A Discussion on the Peace Week Keynote Speech

Join Carter School alumni for an open discussion of the Peace Week keynote speech, delivered by Paige Alexander, CEO of the Carter Center.  Discuss highlights, action plans, and learn from your community of alumni thought leaders, with a coffee or tea.

Facilitator: Maria Seniw 

Hosted by: Carter School Alumni Chapter 

Wednesday, September 22nd

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Reconciliation in Divided Societies: Perspectives from Arab Countries

Ten years since the outbreak of Arab revolutions, many Arab countries remain hampered by intra-state conflicts, terrorism and geopolitical competition. At the time when many countries in the region are witnessing a wave of unprecedented violence, envisioning a process for conflict resolution and peacebuilding becomes crucial to resolve historical problems and root causes of conflicts in the region. At the core of this process comes reconciliation. In general terms, reconciliation refers to finding common grounds. It is a process of uniting divided societies and restoring broken relationships to create social cohesion. Reconciliation is an instrument for transforming conflicts in divided societies into peace. Yet, it remains largely unclear what reconciliation actually entails. This event will bring together academics and practitioners from Syria, Lebanon and Yemen to share their perspectives and work on reconciliation in divided societies.

Facilitator: Engy M. Ibrahim 

Hosted by: Reconciling Conflicts and Intergroup Divisions Lab 


  • Mr. Jamal Soliman, Renowned Syrian TV Actor 
  • Mrs. Hiba Huneini, Manager of Youth & Civic Engagement Department - Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development 
  • Ms. Sara Al-Mahbashi, Researcher at the Department for Women and Gender Studies - University of Lethbridge, Canada 


12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Peacebuilding in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for SDG 16

As the continent with the most number of protracted violent conflicts, Africa is the land in which peacebuilders are engaged in wide-ranging practices.  Speakers in this panel will examine such practices in relation to the goals of SDG 16 for promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.  Topics include undermining violent extremism, integrating ex-combatants into civil society, supporting youth and women, and promoting transitional justice processes.

Facilitators: Daniel Rothbart and Karina Korostelina 

Hosted by: Transforming the Mind for Peace Lab and Reconciling Conflicts and Intergroup Divisions Lab


  • Joel Amegboh, Academic Specialist at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University 
  • Mathieu Bere, Ph.D. Student, the Carter School 
  • Charles Obiorah Kwuelum, Ph.D. Student, the Carter School  
  • Daniel Rothbart, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution 
  • Kimairis Toogood, Head of Conflict Hub, International Alert
  • Quscondy Abdulshafi, Regional Advisor-Sudan for Freedom House


12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Book Discussion: The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is a writer whose work, which focuses on race, culture, and immigration, has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Vogue, Elle, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, n+1, The New Inquiry, and Interview magazine. One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard, she reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. Join us as we consider together the powerful stories shared by Villavicencio.


  • Leslie Durham, Carter School
  • Jasmyne Rogers, Honors College 

Hosted and sponsored by: Carter School Undergraduate Program, Honors College, Mason Reads Program and New Student and Family Programs 


2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Psychoanalysis and Conflict Resolution: The Work of Vamik Volkan

This 90-minute discussion focuses on the work of Vamik Volkan, a pioneering theorist and practitioner who applied the concepts of psychoanalysis to the analysis and resolution of violent ethno-nationalist conflicts. The session features clips from a recent prizewinning documentary on Volkan's life and work.

Moderated by: Richard E. Rubenstein, University Prof., Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution


  • Vamik D. Volkan, Prof. Emeritus, University of Virginia, founder of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction, and author of Blind Trust and other works 
  • Molly Castelloe, Creator of Volkan's Room and other award-winning films 
  • Joseph Montville, Expert on second-track diplomacy, former Foreign Service Officer and author of works on conflict resolution 


3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Breaking the Illusion: We All Live in a Carceral State

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 focuses on conflict, insecurity, weak institutions, limited access to justice, and ongoing threats to sustainable development. Join us for a panel presentation and break-out room dialogues to explore how the carceral state’s logic, ideology, practice, and structure functions to create and sustain a punitive and retributive environment. Additionally, we will consider how punitive orientation negatively impacts sustainable development for individuals, communities, economies, politics, education, and human dignity – allowing little or no space for justice and redress.

Facilitator: Patricia Maulden, Associate Professor, Transitioning Justice Peace Lab Co-Director, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution 

Hosted by: Transitioning Justice Peace Lab, Carceral Societies Section 


  • Patricia Maulden, Associate Professor, Transitioning Justice Peace Lab Co-Director, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution 
  • Dyjuan Tatro, Senior Government Affairs Officer, Bard Prison Initiative   


4:30 PM – 6:00 PM: 20 Years of the War on Terror: Lessons for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

In 2021 we commemorate twenty years since the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing Global War on Terror. In addition to the lives taken that day, Brown University’s Costs of War Project estimates the global carnage at 900,000 deaths and a cost of $6 trillion for the United States alone. We have also seen a seismic shift in the ways that responses to terror and extremism have been incorporated into conflict resolution and peacebuilding. These respective fields have become active participants in Global War on Terror programming including through scholarship that has provided cover for militarized responses like counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, which have not only been arguably minimally effective at best, but also have contributed to collateral damage on Muslim communities and those perceived to be Muslim.   

In this panel, we will hear from two experts about how Global War on Terror infrastructure has been adopted in the U.S. and abroad, its problematic impacts on minoritized and securitized communities including Muslims, and suggestions for conflict resolution and peacebuilding practitioners and scholars on how to shift their analyses twenty years on. 

Facilitator: Claire Downing, PhD candidate, Carter School 

Hosted by: Carter School Reconciling Conflict and Intergroup Divisions Peace Lab 


  • Dr. Maha Hilal is a researcher and writer on institutionalized Islamophobia and author of the forthcoming book Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11. Her writings have appeared in Vox, Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, Newsweek, Business Insider, and Truthout, She is also Co-Director of Justice for Muslims Collective where she focuses on political consciousness and narrative shifting programming.  
  • Audrey Williams is a PhD student and Presidential Scholar at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. She received her M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the Carter School and her B.A. in Political Science and French from the University of Iowa. She was a Fall 2013 Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C., and a 2015–2016 U.S. Fulbright Research Fellow at Ankara University in Ankara, Turkey. Her current research focuses on narrative approaches to social justice within minoritized and securitized communities. 
  • (Moderator) Claire Downing is a PhD candidate exploring community perceptions of and experiences with countering violent extremism (CVE) programming. Claire’s dissertation research applies a critical lens to understanding how the wider infrastructure of counterterrorism and national security policy has had deleterious impacts on community relations, particularly concerning identity. Claire currently serves as a Program Officer at the RISE Together Fund, a Proteus Fund initiative, where she helps support a diverse field of organizations working to address profiling, discrimination, hate crimes, anti-Muslim bigotry and xenophobia. Claire was also the 2019 Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Human Rights Fellow and published op-eds on global human rights issues. Claire has a bachelor of arts in Global Affairs (summa cum laude) from George Mason University, and a master of arts in International Affairs, concentration in Conflict and Conflict Resolution from the George Washington University. 

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Ambassador John W. McDonald Award Ceremony Honoring Mr. Daniel A. Whalen

The Ambassador John W. McDonald Award was established by the Advisory Board in 2017 and has been awarded since in a special ceremony, last during the Carter School Peace Week in September 2020.  The McDonald Award is designed to recognize a deserving person who has demonstrated commitment to peace building and the non-violent resolution of conflicts anywhere. 

Hosted by: Carter School Advisory Board


  • Alpaslan Özerdem, Dean, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution 
  • Mr. Michael Shank, Carter School Advisory Board Member 
  • Dr. George Dwyer, Carter School Advisory Board Member 

Thursday, September 23rd

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Roundtable: Education for Sustainable Peacebuilding in Conflict-affected Countries

This roundtable discussion will bring together representatives of local academia from conflict-affected countries in South Caucasus and Eastern Europe. The focus of the discussion will be how academia supports conflict and relationship transformation in conflict-divided societies and major challenges it faces. 

Facilitator: Natia Chankvetadze 

Hosted by: Reconciling Conflicts and Intergroup Divisions Lab  


  • Karina Korostelina, Professor, Carter School 
  • Ketevan Murusidze, Lecturer, Tbilisi State University (Georgia) 
  • Davit Jishkariani, Historian, Center for Contemporary Studies (Phronesis) 
  • Arpi Bekaryan, Journalist, Student at Rondine Citadella della Pace (Armenia) 
  • Tural Ismayilzada, PhD student of International Relations, Middle East Technical University Ankara (Azerbaijan) 
  • Olga Filippova, Professor, Kharkiv University, Ukraine 
  • Ingrid Landes, GIZ UA, Director of the project on History education in Ukraine 

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Approaching Complex Conflicts through Community Engagement and Peace Technology

The Peace Engineering Fellows at the Carter School Peace Engineering Lab have taken a multi-faceted approach to exploring the emerging and evolving field of peace engineering, particularly as it applies to the intersection of SDG Goals 4 and 16. The panel will be a conversation between three Peace Engineering Fellows - with expertise in complexity-informed conflict resolution and SenseMaker, urban planning and community engagement, and digital diplomacy, smart city development, and data trust fiduciaries - around a set of questions focusing on ways to work within complex systems and how emerging technologies can be used for community engagement. Each Peace Engineering Fellow will share how their area of expertise approaches supports conflict resolution through engagement with citizens and innovative peace data and how this supports SDG 16. 

Facilitator: Keil Eggers 

Hosted by: Peace Engineering Lab 


  • Keil Eggers, Peace Engineering Fellow and PhD student Conflict Analysis and Resolution  
  • Ashton Rohmer, Peace Engineering Fellow and PhD student Conflict Analysis and Resolution  
  • Elana Sokol, Peace Engineering Fellow and PhD student Conflict Analysis and Resolution 

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: The Promise of Local Justice: A Panel Discussion

Local justice, although hard to define, holds great promise as a means of addressing harm and conflict. Similar to local peacebuilding initiatives, local approaches to justice appear to provide culturally relevant options that might resonate more strongly with local communities than state or international justice, which can be remote of threatening to communities seeking remedy after harm. Yet the turn to local justice prompts questions for the peace and conflict field: What makes local justice “local”, given the power of state and international systems? What makes it “justice” given the multiple meanings of that term? How, if at all, are key elements of justice (e.g., accountability, recognition for victims, fair hearing) achieved through local justice? Or is the aim to achieve other ends, such as restoring relationships or preventing conflict? This panel will begin with an introduction that poses these and related questions to frame the discussion. Then four panelists will each speak for ten minutes about a specific example of local justice (US and elsewhere) in relation to the framing questions. The event will end with a 15-minute Q&A either as a full group or in break out rooms. 

Facilitator: Susan Hirsch, Professor, Carter School 

Hosted by: Transitioning Justice Peace Lab  


  • Alison Castel, Assistant Professor, Regis University  
  • Leslie Dwyer, Associate Professor, Carter School  
  • Mathieu Bere, Doctoral Candidate, Carter School  
  • Chloe Herl, Masters Student, Carter School  
  • Emily Warner, Masters Student, Carter School  
  • Susan Hirsch, Professor, Carter School  

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: The Emergence of "Illiberal" Peace: Concept and Cases

A virtual panel discussion followed by Q and A on recent examples of Victor's or authoritarian peacemaking 

Facilitator: Christopher Mitchell 

Hosted by: South West Asia Group and Carter School Center for Peacemaking Practice 


  • Dr. Anna Ohanyan (Stonehill College and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and Bahruz Samadov, Charles University - "The Promises and Perils of "Illiberal Peace" Within a Multipolar World (Dis)order" 
  • Dr. Tatsushi Arai, Kent State University - "Functional Coexistence in Intractable Conflicts; A Decade-long View of Conflict Transformation."                                                          " 
  • Dr. Phil Gamaghelyan, Joan Kroc School, University of San Diego - "The Changing Roles of Non-State Actors in the Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia-Turkey Conflict Contexts; Prospects on Non-Liberal Peacebuilding"? 
  • Dr. Esra Dilek, Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Carter School - "Between Liberal Norms and Illiberal Peace; Turkey's Experience in Peacebuilding." 
  • Dr. Chris Mitchell, CPP, Carter School - "Victors, Peace in History; The End of Nigeria's Civil War." 

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Circles for Justice

In keeping with this year’s Peace Week Theme, Circles for Justice focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16, specifically access to justice. In this student-led interactive event, participants will reimagine the meaning of justice and what this means for the peace and conflict world and the implementation of restorative justice. The virtual event begins with a restorative circle designed to encourage participants to consider an image prompt of lady justice and reflect on the following questions: What is justice? Is justice blind? How can we practice restorative justice without a universal definition of justice/ do we need one? A second element of the event allows participants to take part in a role play activity titled Implementing Restorative Frameworks and asks participants consider their own experiences, or lack of, with restorative justice. The activity will take place in facilitated break out rooms. Finally, the event concludes with a debrief involving all participants in the main room. Debrief questions include:  How has this activity focused on justice changed the way you or not changed the way you view RJ? What is the potential of RJ for the peace and conflict world? Where can you see yourself implementing restorative practices in your life?

Hosted by: Transitioning Justice Peace Lab


Rebecca Boyd, MS Student, Carter School  

Lena Anderson, Undergraduate Student, Carter School 

Friday, September 24th

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Building the International Law of Peace Negotiation

This will be an interactive session among experts, academics, students, practitioners and policy makers in the Carter School community in which participants will 1) learn first-hand about the origins and concepts underlying the Peace Treaty Initiative and 2) have the opportunity to review and comment on the indicative text of the proposed treaty. The session will consist of four parts: a) a 30-minute presentation by the speakers on the general idea behind the Peace Treaty Initiative; b) a 30-minute roundtable discussion and Q&A session on the big ideas underlying the Peace Treaty Initiative and the ongoing global consultation process; c) a 45-minute discussion in sub-groups on challenges, opportunities and areas for improvement of the indicative text of the proposed treaty; and d) a 15-minute round table conversation on any key ideas or areas of consensus identified in the sub-group discussions. 

Facilitator: Mr. Mark Freeman, Executive Director, IFIT

Hosted by: Institute for Integrated Transitions/Peace Treaty Initiative 


  • Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Peace Treaty Initiative 
  • Juana Acosta, Member of the Brain Trust for the Colombian Transition, IFIT

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Big Peace: How to Change the World

In the Big Peace project I build on the history of these attempts of the Nobel Committee to celebrate and promote peace by examining the words and deeds of the 135 Nobel Peace laurates. Projecting the lessons of these remarkable examples into the future, we discover that if we would fight for peace today, we will have to learn to deal with the internal tensions in the concept that point us to at least three big questions: 1) If you want to change the world, what is your primary objective? Are you trying to build trust between adversaries, tell the truth about past wrongs, repair the damage of abusive power, or bring people together? 2) Whose behavior will you try to change? Peace has to be for everyone, but you have to start somewhere and with somebody. Do you work primarily with leaders and decision makers, moving from the top down?  Do you go straight to the people, building mass movements, change on the ground and shifts in public opinion, moving from the bottom up? Or have you thought of what it would mean to break with both of these metaphors, turning to the creation and support of with networks of professional actors with shared agendas? This would be change from the middle out. 3) What is the root of the problem you are trying to solve? Are you concerned most about stopping the violence, mayhem and physical insecurity that comes from war and social disorganization? Perhaps you would stand against the arbitrary power of oppressive governments and human rights abuses? Are you most concerned about the role of selfish elites and economic exploitation both within the countries of the global north and/or between the rich and poor countries? Or maybe you worry most about hate, racism, and threats to identity and diversity? We all care about all of these things, but they are distinct and overlapping concerns that feed on different institutional networks of social power. If you care about the future of the politics of peace and want to act to bring the world into some kind of moral order, you will have to provide your own answers to these three big questions that generations of scholars and activists have tried to answer, only to leave the questions to us in this increasingly dangerous world. The towering examples of the Nobel laureates provide us at least with models of what form those answers must take. In the Big Peace project, I try to learn from these examples and share the lessons with you.

Speaker: Solon Simmons, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution 

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: What Does It Take to be a Peacemaker? Lessons from the Life and Work of Joe Camplisson

This 90-minute discussion focuses on the lessons to be learned from the work of Joe Camplisson, a great friend of the Carter School and an inspiration to some of its leading practitioners. 

Facilitator: Richard E. Rubenstein, University Professor, Carter School 


  • Christopher S. Mitchell, Prof. Emeritus, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, author of The Nature of Intractable Conflict: Resolution in the 21st Century and other works 
  • Susan Allen, Associate Prof., Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Director of Center for Peacemaking Practice, leading conflict resolution practitioner  
  • Tim Plum, Alumnus of Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Founder of The Network for Transformational Change through Education and Practice, conflict resolution practitioner in Northern Ireland and elsewhere  

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Beginning a Career in Conflict Resolution: Advice from the Experts

A perpetual question for Carter School students is how to build the skills, experience, and networks to open a path to a fulfilling career. This event will feature experts hailing from different corners of the field, including international development, advocacy, non-governmental organizations, and business. They'll discuss the critical skills new graduates looking to resolve conflict and build peace need. 

Moderator:  David Smith, George Mason University and David Smith Consulting (Chair)

Hosted by: Carter School Graduate Programs  


  • John Barkat, International Monetary Fund 
  • Elizabeth Hume, Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • Sara Omar, Kearns & West 

6:00 PM – 8:15 PM: Soldiers without Guns: Documentary Film Screening and Discussion with Award-Winning Filmmaker William Watson

This 2.25-hour session will include first five minutes of introduction from the award-winning film maker William Watson, then 92 minutes of screening the film Soldiers without Guns, and then 38 minutes of Q and A and discussion with film maker William Watson. Discussion will focus on Soldiers without Guns, but also will mention as relevant to SDG16 Watson's other recent award-winning film "Savage" which looks at an individual's life path that leads to violence as an enforcer in New Zealand street gangs. 

View movie trailer

Facilitator: Susan Allen 

Hosted by: Carter School Better Evidence Project at the Center for Peacemaking Practice

Speaker: William Watson, Owner, TMI Films Film Screening: Soldiers without Guns