• 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 related to peace and violence, intercultural exchange, identity formation, conflict transformation, reconciliation processes, restorative practice, and non-violent social action.
  • Skills in areas such as dialog, mediation, negotiation, training and facilitation for peace education, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Awareness of how personal and social identities impact conflicts and peacebuilding practice
  • Attitudes of courage, curiosity, rehumanization, intercultural understanding, and inclusion


Week One

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. 2020 electives will be announced in March of 2020. Previous choices have included:

Strategies for Change Agents

This hands-on elective introduces participants 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 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

This elective focuses on the basic components of training design using experiential and adult learning modalities. Methodologies and techniques for training in the context of conflict and violence is highlighted.

Negotiation, Mediation, and Dialoged

This elective focuses of three core skills required for effective leadership in conflict situations: mediation, negotiation, and dialogue. Participants learn about principles of interest-based problem-solving, workshop design and facilitation, and applied negotiation practice. Scenarios and simulations are used in order to give participants a chance to practice their skills around simulated conflict situations.

Musicians without Borders Training of Workshop Leaders

This elective is open to musicians with interest or experience in leading community music workshops to advance intercultural understanding and peace 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. 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.

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.