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Richard Holbrooke
and the 2005 Dayton Peace Award

Richard Holbrooke
donates 10K to
Dayton Peace Museum

Mikhail Gorbachev












Peace Education  

School Mediation Continuum™, a nonviolent conflict resolution program that promotes a safe and secure school environment.

In the broadest sense, the Dayton International Peace Museum is an educational as well as a cultural institution.  The Museum’s exhibits, events and programs all have a single aim:  to generate greater public awareness and appreciation of non-violent methods and means of dealing with conflict.  It is our mission, through a multi-sensory and multi-pronged approach, to present and inspire a peaceful alternative to the culture of violence so prevalent in our society.

What you are seeing here today is the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to our focus on continual development and improvement of our exhibits, displays, children’s interactive materials and library resources, the Museum is also developing a far-reaching educational strategy for engaging local constituencies in direct learning about the history, potential, and immediate benefits of non-violent approaches to conflict management.  We plan to offer a wide variety of classes, workshops, lecture and film series and forums for public dialogue, working in and with area schools and other interested partnering institutions, as well as here at the Museum itself.

We believe there are three important educational components to creating a culture of peace—personal inner peace and serenity, awareness of peaceful alternatives to violence in our daily interactions with others as well as on the larger social scale, and skill building in the areas of emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion, and conflict management/resolution.  Our educational strategy will address each of these three components in a variety of creative programs, from meditation and centering classes, to lively presentations of the social impact of historical non-violence movements, to classes and workshops teaching the skills of non-violent conflict management…and much more.

We hope to reach and work with a broad base of constituencies, including:

v     Area school children of all ages

v     At-risk youth on the streets and in detention and social service settings

v     Domestic violence victims and their victimizers

v     Youth facing choices about military service

v     Families, Workplace groups and Church groups dealing with conflicts

v     Interested Clubs and Civic Organizations

v     Service-learning students from area high schools and colleges

v     Teachers, Parents and Social Service workers

In addition to classes, workshops, lectures and film series offered at the Museum itself, we will deliver educational programs through:

v     On-site workshops in schools, workplaces and other organizations

v     Addresses to school assemblies and social sciences classrooms

v     Summer camps and Parks programs

v     Sunday school classes

Peace-Abilities ™

We are very fortunate to count among our volunteers, Debbie Wolf, who holds a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies and has many years of experience teaching her own unique curriculum for conflict management skills at all educational levels.  Her Peace-Abilities ™ program centers around a simple, yet powerful “working metaphor” for how feelings not only get us into conflict with one another, but can get us out of conflict if we learn to manage them appropriately.  Using small, soft vinyl balls, Debbie artfully demonstrates for young and old alike, the destructive power unmanaged feelings can have, and the even greater power—for healing and reconciliation—they can have when skillfully managed. The balls provide the basis for an effective program of discussion, learning and skill-building for teachers and students alike.

The Peace-Abilities ™ program has been used with great success in public and private schools from elementary to college level in the Columbus area and in Florida .  The Peace Museum is proud to be able to sponsor its introduction in the Miami Valley , through a pilot program now being negotiated with a Dayton private elementary school.  We hope to be able to extend this vital program into other area schools before long.

The Virtues Project ™

We are also delighted to be able to offer the services of a trained workshop facilitator in the critical area of Virtues Education.  Jackie Hagan, a Montessori teacher, is preparing to offer this unique workshop at the Museum, teaching parents and teachers the skills of using the language of Virtues in working with children instead of the language of power.

Developed by Canadian psychotherapist and educator Linda Kavelin Popov, The Virtues Project ™ has been featured on The Oprah Show and in its own 13 episode TV series, “Virtues: A Family Affair”.  It teaches character-developing activities and practices for all ages, inspiring such virtues as Respect, Cooperation, Compassion and Justice.  Teachers and parents are trained to empower children to make moral choices, deal with problems and resolve conflicts through their own inner strength. Children learn to lift each other up instead of put each other down.  The result is that adults and children alike learn to resolve conflicts with compassion and respect instead of angry words and violence.

Peace through Creative Expression

Dayton’s own Frank Swift, poet and artist, has developed a workshop for children, which encourages them to exercise their own, individual creative expressions as they explore the concepts, emotions and practices of non-violence.  Rather than travel the well-worn path of teaching through a single medium, Frank honors the children’s natural diversity of intelligences and talents by offering them a variety of techniques and media for expressing their ideas and feelings about conflict.  He uses music, movement, poetry, drawing, and other spontaneous modes of creativity to capture the essence of non-violence and help children incorporate it in body, mind and spirit.

This workshop will run simultaneously at the Museum with parent workshops in The Virtues Project ™ so that families can enjoy a morning or afternoon at the Museum together.  The separate workshop groups will come together for a period at the end to share their experiences and responses.

The Spiritual Paths to Peace

In January 2006, we will launch our first lecture/discussion series with monthly presentations by Dayton ’s spiritual leaders discussing the ways peace is expressed and promoted in their various traditions.  This should be an exciting series, with the potential to offer the Dayton community a healing and inspiring opportunity to engage in an ongoing conversation about both religious diversity and the common ground we all share in our wish to live in a peaceful world.

How can you help?

With your interest and participation—We’re just getting started.  So far, we’ve been fortunate in attracting the participation of some very dynamic, experienced and committed educators.  But we can always use new input and feedback, as well as the active participation of those who have experience and expertise to offer as trainers and curriculum developers.  If you have ideas or skills to offer, or a way to help us connect with potential educational partners, please speak to Kate Johnson or email her.

With your financial support—We’re proud of the programs we’ve been able to put together in such a short time. But to develop the Museum’s overall education vision and strategy is going to take time, consistent commitment from volunteers, and a working budget to support our activities, materials and human resources. Please consider making a generous financial pledge to the Museum today! 


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