A Space to Explore Concepts

“So peace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty.”

— Aung San Suu Kyi

People often use the words peace and nonviolence interchangeably. Though related, the two have different meanings. Peace may refer to a tranquil state of being; a quality of life characterized by equity and fairness; or the absence of war and other violent behavior. Nonviolence may refer to a lifestyle, a philosophy, or a strategy for promoting and achieving peace.

Throughout history, men and women who care about their fellow human beings—and the environments they share—have used nonviolent strategies to achieve equity and fairness and to prevent or end war. The Dayton International Peace Museum calls these men and women peace heroes. The Museum defines a peace hero as a person who cares about the world and its inhabitants and strives for positive change through nonviolence.

Through its activities, exhibits, and events, the Museum offers nonthreatening opportunities to examine peace, nonviolence, and heroism in historic and contemporary contexts. Consistent with its nonpartisan spirit of inclusiveness, the Museum welcomes and respects different points of view while encouraging the practice of finding common ground, creating a sense of unity, and building consensus.

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