This course surveys the key issues in the study of non-violence, conflict management, and social justice. It introduces non-violence as a philosophy and promotes skills in conflict resolution and actions for social change. The course draws connections between personal, community, and global aggression and ways to make the cultural shift to peace. These include theoretical models, concrete case studies, and experiential learning. Students will acquire an understanding of practical tools and skills, as well as underlying non-violent principles and theory in order to resolve conflicts, contribute to peacemaking in their own lives, in communities, and on a global scale.
Personal peace and group conflict resolution include: non-violent communication; interpersonal conflict resolution; integrations of spirituality and civic engagement; practices such as meditation, etc. Social Justice topics include: war resistance and self-determination of people and their resources, the Satyagraha movement of India and the Civil Rights Movement of the U.S. and other global examples; stands against racism; labor struggles; the role of women in building peace; creation of alternative economic structures to corporate privatization. This course relies on the active participation of students in designated community service organizations, class discussions and projects, analysis of current global conflicts, and regular reflections.
This course offers an intellectual and experiential way to see how non-violent theory can be applied to social issues such as militarism, racism, ecology, and personal life in our contemporary world. The learning experience includes immersion in the activities of the service learning project, deep and regular reflection, critical analysis, discussions with others. Reflection papers, oral presentations, major paper and 25 hours of service learning are requirements.
1. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of theories regarding origins of violence and non-violence, conflict and conflict management.
2. Students will explore the recent and current political, economic, social and religious conflicts and specific cases for peace management.
3. Students will interpret the material well enough to offer significant contributions in dialogue drawing from the readings and community service experiences, use lessons to solve problems, and critically reflect on the major concepts and practices in the course.
4. Students will examine the nature of power in society at the levels of personal power, community power, national power and global power and begin to understand what role power plays in securing peace and justice.
5) Students will demonstrate integration of their learning by using various reference materials, websites, and community service to present organized presentation of their own thoughts.
6) Students will apply lessons from critical ethical perspectives to contemporary problems.
7) Students will integrate service-learning experiences into their overall understanding of power, peace, conflict resolution, non-violence, and social justice.
8) Students will discover ways to take action more fully to contribute to civic life as conflict resolvers, social justice participants, and as planetary citizens.