• 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 two of five mini-electives, which will be taught across 2.5-day periods. Choices include:

An Introduction to Musicians without Borders’ Principles and Methodology
Instructor: Musicians without Borders Staff: Kirindongo, Tinari, Smith

This elective offers an introduction to the five principles of Musicians without Borders’ community music training methodology: Safety, Inclusion, Equality, Creativity, and Quality. You will learn diverse approaches to community music making, including body percussion, drumming, singing, movement, and songwriting. No musical background/experience required.

Dialogue, Mediation, and Negotiation
Instructor: Bruce W. Dayton

This elective focuses on three critical skills for peacebuilding, conflict management, and organizational change: dialogue, negotiation, and mediation. You will learn the theory and practice of each of these skills and how and when they are best applied. Significant portions of the elective will be devoted to practicing each skill presented.

Personal and Cultural Trauma: Compassionate and Strength-based Approaches to Healing
Instructor: Miriam Dror and Cara Silverberg

This elective will look at some basics of human development toward an understanding of personal, cultural, and historical trauma. You will explore best practices for approaching trauma in different situations. An emphasis will be on resilience and individual and cultural peacebuilding and liberation. Your own experiences and understanding will be valued in the learning process.

Post-Conflict Reconciliation
Instructor: Joseph Sebarenzi

This elective will focus on the possibilities and challenges of reconciliation and post-conflict recovery in areas of the world that have been deeply affected by mass violence. The instructor will share his own experiences living through the Rwandan genocide and the emotional, social, and political challenges that are unavoidable when dealing with mass violence. Techniques and policies for reconciliation will be explored.

Musicians without Borders’ Training of Workshop Leaders
Instructor: Musicians without Borders Staff: Kirindongo, Tinari, Smith

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 Musicians without Borders’ approach of nonviolence in their work. The course offers hands-on experience in leading activities, including body percussion, drumming, singing, movement, and songwriting and their applications with diverse target groups.

Week Three

During week three, you will have a choice of taking one of three 4.5-day electives. Electives include:

Conflict and Development
Instructor: Tatsushi Arai

This elective links the field of development aid to international conflict transformation. It reviews prominent theories of resource-based conflict, the role of development aid in conflict transformation, players in the field, funding sources, project cycles, and, through case studies and critiques, different types of intervention. You will examine case studies involving your own country and related prospects for “conflict-sensitive” development.

Experiential Design and Social Action Training
Instructor: 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.

Strategies for Change Agents
Instructor: 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 participant will work on a particular problem/challenge that they are concerned with and present and defend a change initiative, which they will design with the help of the instructor.

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.