Colman McCarthy, a former syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and the founder of The Center for Teaching Peace, will address students and the San Diego community at the University of San Diego at 7 tonight in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre.
The Center for Teaching Peace is a Washington D.C. non-profit organization that works with schools to begin or to expand academic programs in peace education. The Joan B. Kroc School brought McCarthy to campus in a joint effort for Peace Studies and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
McCarthy currently teaches at Georgetown University Law Center, American University, the University of Maryland, the Washington Center for Interns and two public high schools. Since 1982 he has taught more than 8,000 students. His books include “All of One Peace,” “Involvements” and “I’d Rather Teach Peace.” He is the editor of “Solutions to Violence” and “Strength Through Peace,” texts that are used in hundreds of universities and high schools.
“Many students come from dysfunctional families where verbal, emotional or physical violence is rampant,” McCarthy said. “To break the pattern for their own future lives, learning the methods of nonviolent conflict resolution is essential. When the leading cause of injury to women is being beaten by a man they know or live with, it can be a case of learning a survival skill.”
Opening tonight’s program, titled, “Peace Education: If Not Now, When?” will be young Chavista drummers using their homemade frame drums. They will perform “rhythms of empowerment, unity and peace.” The spirited musicians are part of the Cesar E. Chavez Service Club at Carmel Del Mar Elementary School, founded by teacher and advisor Paula Intravaia, during her time as an AmeriCorps fellow.
McCarthy will address students from KSPS and SOLES, in addition to interested members of the USD community and the general public. Admission is free. He will speak to the importance of peace education in addressing school violence and in preparing citizens to build a civil, nonviolent global society. He believes that “unless we teach our children peace someone else will teach them violence.”
KSPS student and event organizer Parminder Randhawa said McCarthy’s teachings resonated with her instantly because of her time teaching middle and high school students. “His commitment to peace education and decades of activism in promoting it all over the country are very inspiring. “
Furthermore, USD will also announce that, beginning in 2011, a graduate certificate in peace education will be offered at the university through SOLES and KSPS.
McCarthy urges educators and school administers to include conflict resolution classes as part of the core curriculum in K-12 schools in order to give students relevant life skills and teach them about the works of peacemakers like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, A.J. Muste and Jeannette Rankin.
— Melissa Wagoner
McCarthy will be available to autograph copies of his books following the lecture.