• Professional trainings and workshops to develop knowledge, skills, and awareness around key concepts in peacebuilding and community development
  • Cultural events to share CONTACT’s diverse participant experiences with the community

Learning Goals

  • Knowledge of foundational theories of intercultural community, identity development, conflict transformation, reconciliation processes, restorative practice, peacebuilding and development, non-violent social action, and trauma and resilience
  • Skills in areas such as dialog, mediation, negotiation, training and facilitation for peace education, and arts-based program design
  • Awareness of how personal and social identities impact conflicts and peacebuilding practice
  • Attitudes of courage, curiosity, rehumanization, intercultural understanding, and inclusion


Week One

During the first week of CONTACT, you will explore, with faculty, a range of themes and ideas in conflict transformation and peacebuilding, including:

  • conflict analysis and conflict transformation
  • peacebuilding through the arts
  • gender and peacebuilding
  • global trends in violence and conflict
  • nonviolent communication
  • intercultural communication
  • identity and conflict
  • activism and social movements
  • stereotyping, dehumanization, and discrimination
  • peace education

All content is presented using experiential education methodologies by which you will engage in direct experience and reflection through small group discussions, innovative exercises, and peer-to-peer sharing.

Week Two

During the second week of CONTACT, you will have a choice of participating in one of three electives. Choices include:

Musicians without Borders’ Training of Workshop Leaders
Instructor: Musicians without Borders staff

This elective is open to musicians with interest or experience in leading community music workshops. The course covers pedagogical, didactic, and musical skills related to the five principles of Musicians without Borders’ community music training methodology: safety, inclusion, equality, creativity, and quality. You will also learn their approach to nonviolence in their work. The course offers hands-on experience in leading activities, including body percussion, drumming, singing, movement, and songwriting, as well as the opportunity to facilitate a group workshop at the end of the week.

Strategies for Change Agents
Instructor: Dr. Bruce W. Dayton

This hands-on elective will introduce you to a method for diagnosing the causes of conflicts of all types and a framework for designing effective change projects to address them. Each student will work on a particular problem / challenge that they are concerned with and present and defend a change initiative, which they design with the help of the instructor.

Experiential Design and Social Action Training
Instructor: Dr. Ryland White

This elective focuses on the basic components of training design as applicable to experiential and adult learning. Design work will be grounded in the context of social action training and cultural relevancy. The components of training design, including methodologies and techniques, will be highlighted. Experienced trainers are welcome, as well as those new to the field of training. The elective is appropriate for anyone interested in building their skills in training as part of peacebuilding and other related fields.

Week Three

During an optional third week of CONTACT, you may travel with the group to Washington, DC, for a traveling field seminar. You will stay in a dorm at George Washington University and spend your days interacting with and getting training from conflict, peace, and justice experts at three institutions: The United States Institute of Peace, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and World Learning. Topics will include intergroup dialogue, working with peace organizations, and policy advocacy.

For-Credit Option

You may, for an additional cost, take the CONTACT program for credit. If you choose this option, you will complete additional work such as a journal or research paper.