Certificate in
CONTACT: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures

Examine key concepts in peacebuilding and learn how to apply effective conflict transformation practices.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2022



Priority deadline

January 31

After January 31

Rolling thereafter until May 15
for U.S. citizens, residents, and all other students who do not require a visa or already hold a B1/B2 visa

DS-2019 Deadline for J1 Visa

December 15


Less than 1 Month

Instructional Sites

United States

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Attain invaluable, mission-critical skills to tacklurgent issues and build peace, both at home and abroad, in this world-renowned, professional and academic training program. 

The underlying philosophy of this SIT Graduate summer program is that conflict transformation training and peacebuilding is most effective when it combines skills-based academic instruction with personal interaction between peacebuilders across ethnic, national, religious, and cultural divides.  

Begin this two-week workshop by meeting your cohort on SIT’s idyllic campus in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Led by a diverse group of acclaimed faculty members with deep, applied classroom and research experience in peacebuilding and conflict management, you will learn about core ideas and effective practices of conflict transformation. 

Over the course of your training, you and your fellow CONTACT participants will learn from one another and your instructors, following an intensive format based on SIT’s powerful experiential learning model. Typically, peacebuilders from at least a dozen countries will participate in this workshop, which, for an additional fee, can be taken for 2 graduate credits. 

By the end of the program, participants will have gained a mastery of conflict analysissocial identity and conflict; peacebuilding interventions; post-conflict reconciliationintercultural communications; gender and peacebuilding; mediation; negotiationdialoguepolicy advocacy; nonviolent social action; and monitoring and evaluation.  

Program Sites

Summer residency in Brattleboro, Vermont

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.



With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you’ll learn how to put theory into practice. In addition to participating in professional trainings and workshopsyou will focus on core topic areas that will allow you to develop skills to create peace in your own relationships, as well as in your community and beyond. 

In this program, you will: 

  • Develop knowledge, skills, and awareness around key concepts in peacebuilding and community development 
  • Engage in cultural events to share CONTACT’s diverse participant experiences with the community 
  • Gain knowledgeof foundational theories related to peace and violence, intercultural exchange, identity formation, conflict transformation, reconciliation processes, restorative practice, and non-violent social action 
  • Build skillsin areas such as dialogue, mediation, negotiation, training, and facilitation for peace education, as well as monitoring and evaluation 
  • Nurture awareness of how personal and social identities impact conflicts and peacebuilding practices 
  • Foster attitudes of courage, curiosity, rehumanization, intercultural understanding, and inclusion 

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information.

This is SIT

  • We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for building a sustainable community.
  • With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate intercultural understanding and respect for the commonalities and differences between people.
  • We champion social inclusion & justice in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all ofour work.
  • We are committed to human and environmental well-being through sustainability and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.

Program Dates

  • Sunday, June 5 – Residence hall check-in & welcome dinner
  • Monday, June 6 – Program begins 
  • Friday, June 17 – Program concludes (evening)
  • Saturday, June 18 – Residence hall departures 

Week One

During the first week of CONTACT you will explore a range of themes and ideas in conflict 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 to be announced in late March or early April 2022. 

*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 Dialogue  

This elective focuses on 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. 

For-Credit Option

You may, for an additional cost, take the CONTACT program for 2 graduate credits. If you choose this option, you will complete additional work, such as a journal or research paper. 

Faculty & Staff


Bruce W. Dayton, PhD
Executive Director, Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) • Chair, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations • Associate Professor and Chair, MA in Peace and Justice Leadership
Alla Korzh, EdD
Program Chair, Doctorate in Global Education (EdD) • Associate Professor, Global Masters in International Education
Mehlaqa Samdani
Faculty, Graduate Certificate: CONTACT: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures - Peacebuilding Workshop


Brattleboro, Vermont

Vermont is at the forefront of sustainability, education, and regeneration. New England is a haven for start-ups, transition towns, community-owned forests, artisanal food and beverage companies, sustainable farming, eco-architecture, green energy, and many environmental and social-justice organizations. SIT’s idyllic southern Vermont campus offers woodland trails, hiking, running, and cycling, as well as a private library, café, study rooms with mountain views, and an entertainment space where students often gather at the end of the day to socialize. You will also be a few miles from Brattleboro’s downtown, where you will be able to enjoy an array of shops, restaurants, and eateries. 

Discover the Possibilities