- Two graduate-level courses taught by CONTACT’s international faculty
- 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
Peacebuilding I: Conflict Transformation and Global Relations (2 credits)
This two-week core course serves as a learning laboratory for multicultural community building, self-reflection, and the deepening of relationships with others across differences of experience, culture, and history. Course content focuses on the complex and interrelated causes and dimensions of protracted violent conflict, the recurrent cycles of conflicts, and the steps that lead to healing and reconciliation. This course introduces micro-skills such as the fundamentals of mediation, negotiation, facilitation, and training, as well as strategies for change in places of communal conflict.
Peacebuilding II: Professional Practices in Peacebuilding (1 credit)
This course provides opportunities for students to build on the awareness and skills developed in Peacebuilding I: Conflict Transformation and Global Relations through more intense training in a particular skill-set. Participants choose one elective. Recently offered sections include:
- Peacebuilding and Development
Peacebuilding and Development explores the effects of war economies, trade, and globalization on peacebuilding, and provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on and share practical approaches to development and peacebuilding. It examines the interests and needs of various actors in development, as well as the complex web of relationships that need to be developed and sustained if the century ahead is ultimately going to be the start of a Millennium of Peace.
- Strategies for Change Agents
The Strategies for Change Agents course considers the multiple options available to individuals doing change work in conflict settings. Interactive discussions will focus on the limits and possibilities of specific change strategies, the circumstances that may make one pathway to achieving change more viable than others, and the mechanics of designing and launching a change initiative. Each participant will select one specific conflict to work on throughout the elective. With that conflict in mind, each will design a conflict transformation and change project based on the following sequence of steps: analysis, theory of change, project design, project implementation, and project monitoring and evaluation.
Some examples of recent activities and workshops offered during the CONTACT experience include:
- God Sleeps in Rwanda, presentation and book signing
- Introduction to Drama Therapy training
- Activism for Social Change workshop
- Restorative Justice in Vermont workshop
- Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, film and discussion
Some examples of recent cultural events offered to CONTACT participants include:
- Brattleboro’s annual “Strolling of the Heifers” parade
- Day trip to Boston
- Brattleboro Farmers’ Market and Gallery Walk
- International Festival and variety show