The demand for well-trained conflict transformation practitioners has never been greater. Career opportunities in the field are numerous, especially for conflict transformation practitioners who can become pioneers in expanding the scope of conflict transformation practices that society can recognize and value.
The program prepares students to:
- Design and lead conflict transformation programs
- Develop peacebuilding and conflict sensitive interventions
- Create and manage projects that address the causes and consequences of complex and multilayered conflicts
- Introduce and advocate for conflict consciousness and sensitivity within organizations and communities
- Gain awareness of a student’s own power and existing limitations in transforming or mitigating conflict at home and abroad
Graduates go on to work for NGOs, education institutions, the media, the private sector, the government, international organizations, and in other professional venues.
Alumni develop their own distinct and diverse paths—paths that may be collectively described as integrated peacebuilding, a wide spectrum of sustained group-based processes, which seek to bring members of divided groups and communities together to meet their shared needs and purposes that can transcend the underlying reasons for their divisions.
This work may include:
- Leading youth camps
- Organizing community-based arts and sports events
- Developing inclusive educational curricula
- Teaching languages through means that promote intercultural harmony
- Working as human rights and gender sensitivity advocates and defenders of marginalized people
- Supporting political and social change campaigns
- Working in government agencies and international organizations with conflict awareness
- Working as socially responsible media professionals
- Providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, immigrants, and internally displaced persons
- Providing disaster relief
- Creating socially and environmentally responsible business practices
- Advocating community-based inclusive health services
- Creating religious services that promote social harmony
- Using monitoring and evaluation skills to facilitate social change initiatives
Past positions held by alumni of the peacebuilding and conflict transformation program include:
- Executive Director, Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
- Trainer, Somali Refugee Association, Silver Spring, MD
- Founder, Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women, Washington, DC
- Community Organizer, Vermont Interfaith Action Group, Vermont
- International Human Resources Systems Manager, Nonviolent Peace Force, San Francisco, CA
- Libya representative, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, DC and Libya
- Consultant, Refugee Youth Program Director and Teambuilding, Burlington, VT
- CEO/Director, Red Kite Project, Philadelphia, PA
- Director of Programming, Encounter Program, Boston, MA, Israel, and Palestine
- Youth Adjustment Counselor, RefugeeOne, Chicago, IL
- Community Educator, Silicon Valley Faces, San Jose, CA
- Education Consultant, UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Uganda
- Political Specialist, National Reconciliation & Humanitarian Mine Action, Rangoon, Burma
- Program Director, Global Kids, Washington, DC
- Community Organizer, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Washington, DC
- Program Manager, British Council, Azerbaijan
- Health Technical Specialist, Save the Children International, Liberia
- Assistant Director, RAMP Youth Services, Putney, VT
- Founder & President, Daya Center for Peace, Hyderabad, India
- Director, Prison Theater Program, SingSing, New York
- Outreach & Dialog Facilitation Associate, Unity Productions Foundation, California and Washington, DC
- Associate Director for Diversity Services, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
- Program Officer, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Sudan
- Peace Journalist, TRANSCEND Media Services, Springfield, MA
While the career paths taken by alumni of this program are truly diverse, the common threads that connect them are as follows:
- Dialogue facilitation and mediation. This involves interacting directly with conflict parties to promote relationship-building and problem-solving. Mediation in particular is a form of conflict transformation dialogue in which an intermediary actively supports conflict parties’ voluntary and self-motivated efforts to understand the roots of their conflict and explore mutually satisfactory solutions.
- Reconciliation and psychosocial healing. This requires understanding the roots and dynamics of traumas and other psychosocial challenges that result from violence and crises. These forms of practice seek to develop a broad range of holistic, inclusive, and culturally appropriate means by which to enable affected individuals and groups to process their traumas and make sense of their histories and identities in a constructive manner.
- Active nonviolence. This aims to create a sustained, inclusive, and integrated platform of social engagement and mobilization that proactively seeks to achieve a well-defined goal of social change. It utilizes a broad range of creative nonviolent means by which to transform deeply-entrenched historical undercurrents and a structural basis of power imbalance that perpetuates political repression, economic exploitation, and cultural alienation.
- Training and coaching. This facilitate capacity-building that enables conflict parties, intermediaries, and other stakeholders to address their conflict-related challenges on their own. These activities include trainings of trainers and peace education. While coaching is part of training, coaching tends to focus more on supporting groups and individuals in such a way as to enable them to pursue their goals of conflict transformation in their own self-guided ways.