January Speaker Series

Peacebuilding, Nonviolent Movements and Reconciliation Today

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Despite limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing polarization, and instances of violent disruptions, peacebuilding, nonviolent movements, and reconciliation still continue to take place around the world today. From Afghanistan, to Armenia and Azerbaijan, from the United States, to Belarus, to Thailand, active peace talks and peaceful protest movements continue to facilitate change. While some movements continue to utilize mass gatherings and demonstrations (with the addition of COVID-friendly precautions such as facemasks), others have taken more socially-distanced approaches, such as Facebook Live protests and digital rallies, workers strikes, crowdsourcing emergency relief funds and supplies, and widespread information sharing, as a means of advocating for their cause. However, maintaining peaceful actions and peace talks between opposing parties requires continuous efforts to avoid a turn towards violence, and oftentimes the process is not a smooth one. This fourth installment of the Council’s new Education Speaker Series will explore the peacebuilding and reconciliation process, both within and among countries, along with taking a detailed look at some of the most prominent nonviolent social and political movements taking place around the world today. 

A panel of expert speakers at this virtual program will provide answers to questions such as: What are the essential components for successful peace agreements, effective nonviolent movements, and long-lasting efforts for reconciliation? Where in the world today can we find strong examples of recent peace-driven change? What unique challenges and opportunities has the COVID-19 pandemic posed to creating and sustaining peace around the world? What can we learn from historically successful non-violent protests, like those of the Civil Rights Movement? What are the largest obstacles in maintaining peaceful action and conducting peace talks? Is the world overall becoming more or less peaceful in terms of social and political movements?

The Council believes that, given the violent events that occurred at the United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021, it is more important now than ever for students to examine and think critically about this program topic.

Program Schedule:
4:20 p.m.       Registered Guests Asked to Log-on
4:30 p.m.       Welcome Remarks and Opening Remarks from Panelists
4:55 p.m.       Moderated Discussion
5:15 p.m.       Audience Q&A
5:30 p.m.       Conclusion 


Erin Zamora, Senior Program Assistant, United States Institute of Peace

Dr. Guy Aiken, Assistant Teaching Professor and Faculty Academic Advisor, Augustine & Culture Seminar Program (ACSP) and Office for Undergraduate Students (OUS) at Villanova University

Registration Now Open!

Teachers and students from Council Member High Schools can register for the "Peacebuilding, Nonviolent Movements and Reconciliation Today" speaker series program here. Interested in attending but don't have a membership yet? Visit our membership page to register today!