Call for Applications: WPS Peace and Social Change Workshop this May — Deadline: April 11, noon (EST)

Women, Peace and Security Program
Earth Institute, Columbia University

Peace and Social Change Workshop
May 21-22, 2018
Application Deadline: 12 pm (EST) on April 11, 2018

All costs are covered for selected participants.

We are pleased to announce the upcoming Columbia University Peace and Social Change Workshop designed to generate knowledge, build skills, strengthen relationships and exchange strategies amongst front-line advocates and organizers working within the United States on issues of racial and gender justice, social change, and more broadly, genuine security for all people.

The two-day intensive workshop will bring together activists, practitioners, and academics from around the country to build relationships, exchange ideas and learn from each other. The workshop will take place May 21-22, 2018 at Columbia University in New York City. Participants will be selected through application process and will also have opportunities to participate in additional online and in-person activities throughout the year. Participation is free. The WPS program will cover all costs related to travel, lodging, and meals throughout the May workshop.

Given the current global social and political climate, there is an urgent need to deepen our understanding of “security.” Solidarity and social change movements in the US and beyond—ranging from anti-violence against women (e.g. #metoo, Billion Women Rising, and Ni Una Menos) to Movement for Black Lives, and poor people’s movements— are sending clear messages on the importance of understanding peace and security beyond contexts of armed conflict and war. Fundamentally, we must expand notions of security to include struggles for sustainable collective and individual livelihoods, dignity and respect for all persons and social groups, and protection from avoidable harm to people and the environment. Therefore, one of the aims of the WPS workshop more broadly is to support and convene grassroots and social change practitioners working on issues less commonly associated with a peace and security agenda: racial justice, economic rights, sexual and reproductive rights, and environmental sustainability, to name a few.

In the context of heightened attacks on women, immigrants, communities of color and the LGBTQIA community, the organizing questions for the workshop are:

  • How can relationships among front-line activists and organizers be strengthened?
  • What strategies and tactics create more just and secure communities? What are the strengths and challenges of these strategies and tactics?
  • What can be learned about gender and racial justice and about safety and security from existing community organizing and social movement work?

We encourage applications from activists and practitioners working on the front lines of racial and gender justice, such as reproductive justice, sexual violence, domestic abuse, sexual and racial harassment, gun violence, police brutality, and mass incarceration.

Our hope is that participants will share their experiences and insights and leave with new ones through:

  • Knowledge exchange and creation with fellow activists and practitioners from across the U.S.
  • Tailored skill-building workshops based on participants’ feedback and requests.
  • Opportunity to learn and develop relationships with one another and with a range of faculty and WPS Program staff, including Nobel Laureate Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.

The workshop will be highly participatory and collaborative. Request for feedback and input on workshop design, details of the agenda, and expectations for participation will be circulated to those accepted to the workshop. The workshop is designed for people who:

  • Currently work as a grassroots practitioner in the area of social justice and social change in the United States
  • Have a history of movement or change making in their community
  • Are available to travel to New York City on May 21-22, 2018
  • Are 18 years or older
  • All life experiences and educational backgrounds welcome!

To apply:

Complete online application form by noon (EST) on APRIL 11, 2018.

If you have questions or would like further information, please contact:

About the WPS Program

The mission of the Earth Institute’s new Women, Peace and Security (WPS) program, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee and housed at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), is to enhance capacity of grassroots women peacekeepers and practitioners – domestically and internationally – and to magnify the impact of their work toward realizing sustainable peace, security and development. Through education, public service, outreach and research, the WPS program convenes grassroots women peace activists in order to co-create and disseminate lessons learned from their experiences and knowledge. This ultimately contributes to a greater understanding of the conditions and tactics for impact, and the diverse roles women play in successfully influencing sustainable peace and human security through everyday activism.

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