Are We Too Violent?
Students will research causes of violence and learn strategies to overcome violence. Teams will interviewing individuals in the US and developing countries affected by wars and violence. You will work to plan and create a public education event with a local program working to end crimes against humanity.
We are surrounded by violence in many areas of our lives – crime, TV, wars, domestic violence and much more. The class seeks to understand why our culture is violent. We will interview leaders working to overcome violence in the US and other countries to learn how change is possible. The interconnections between violence and poverty will be explored and analyzed in order to learn new strategies to combat violence in the US and globally.
We will work the Never Again Coalition to plan and present an event educating the public about the effects of genocide and other crimes against humanity.
Topics include: Why are we violent? Violence in Sudan, in Haiti; Factors leading to violence in cities in the US; Effects of violence on soldiers; Relationships between poverty and violence; Comparing strategies to overcome violence in the US and the developing world.
Students will interview leaders from developing countries and in the US who have created projects to reduce violence. Teams of students will research political and cultural background of conflicts in the country of the interviewee. You will contact and set up interviews with peacebuilders identified through the International Fellowship of Reconciliation Women Peacemakers Program, American Friends Service Committee and others working with community based organizations to build peace in their regions or locally. The basic focus of the interviews will be techniques and strategies field workers have found helpful in overcoming violence in their situations.
The class will work with the Never Again Coalition to plan and produce an event educating the public about genocides and other crimes against humanity.
Canada, Geoffrey , Fist Stick Knife Gun, Beacon Press, 1995
Eggers, Dave, What is the What? Vintage Books, 2006
Gilligan, James, M.D., Violence, Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, G.F. Putnam’s Sons, 1996
Roy, Jody M., Love to Hate, America’s Obsession with Hatred and Violence, Columbia University Press, 2002
Ury, William, The Third Side, Penguin Books, 1999
Waleed, DeEtte Beghtol, Messengers of Peace, Inspiring Stories of Africans Creating Peace, Create Space, 2011.
Main Learning Objectives
By the end of the course students will:
Ø recognize psychological and sociological theories on the causes of violence
Ø develop strategies to decrease violence among youth
Ø acquire and apply interview and data analysis skills
Ø identify the reasons behind violence in cultures
Ø apply theories to real life situations of violence occurring in the local community and in the world.
Ø analyze situations of violence in order to explore more peaceful resolutions
Ø synthesize information and analysis into a final presentation
Ø compare strategies used in other cultures to violent situations in the US and evaluate their applicability
The Never Again Coalition is Portland, Oregon’s response to genocide and other crimes against humanity. Joining together from different organizations and backgrounds, they stand together and work towards revitalizing the phrase “Never Again.” The Coalition uses various activities to educate the public about crimes against humanity and methods to reduce violence in the world.