Thank you to Alex for commenting on the last post pointing to the new “Classroom” section on this blog! Alex says it precisely – “It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me.” This is exactly the challenge of Peace and Power. It seems so simple, but in fact it is very vast and very complicated. I attribute this paradox in part to the fact that all of us know, at a deep level, the meaning of being in the world where “Peace and Power” prevails – we actually have all experienced times when this is our experience, and it truly feels so wonderful. The times may be rare, but they tend to occur in our relationships with people we love deeply and who are close to us in our daily lives – the relationships that give us comfort and that make us feel good. But when we begin to think that the ways of being in those relatively private spaces might also be brought into the public realm, where there are very different “norms” of behavior – it just feels too good to be true!
But I know, from experience, that keeping the ideals alive, and striving to live by them in all interactions – this makes a huge difference. To be sure, it is not always possible, and the ideal still is all too rare. But even the slightest shift in my own intentions, in being always aware of my own “peace and power” words and actions – this does shift almost every interaction and situation in some significant way. It is a way of living and of being.
For those interested in Peace and Power in the classroom, you might want to check out the “Nurse Educator Praxis” blog – we post ideas about using peace and power in the classroom on that blog. Even if you aren’t connected to a classroom – the illustrations of the making possible the vastness of peace and power in everyday life might be helpful!
The book “Peace & Power” has always included a chapter addressing ways to integrate this process in traditional groups like classrooms and institutional committees, and now this challenging process has a focus on the website – a “Classrooms and Committees” page! The new page includes basic explanations included in the book, but in addition, offers some ideas for implementing three values that are particularly important in classrooms:
Empowerment for all
Demystification of content and processes (especially processes for grades), and
I am delighted to announce that the 2018 Condensed version of “Peace and Power” is available for download! You can download the complete PDF (75 pages) or individual chapters that relate to a specific part of the process. Link for downloading are available from the right sidebar of all “Peace and Power” pages of the website!
Many of the pages of the website have been updated – and your comments, stories, questions and ideas are always welcome on this blog! So I invite you to take a little while to browse what is here. I know that many groups – formal and informal, volunteer and worksite groups – are turning to ideas like “Peace and Power,” seeking ways to overcome the cultures of hostility and violence that prevail in may public spaces. Share your ideas here, and we will integrate them into our discussions!
Writtten by Adeline Falk-Rafael, PhD, FAAN, Professor, York University
For the past 4 years, I have taught a 4th year leadership course to Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs), who are in our RN-BScN program at York University in Toronto, Canada. The course is designed to support students to meet professional standards of leadership in whatever position they practice and to provide them with beginning knowledge and skills required for nursing leadership, particularly at the bedside, but applicable in positions of
leadership as well. The course reading materials include 2 “textbooks” – one that focuses on leadership (not management) and Peace and Power. My use of Peace and Power began simply as a process to use in the classroom, as I had in other courses for years. In reading it simultaneously with leadership literature, however, I began to see the strong relationship of its tenets with relational leadership approaches and the usefulness of its processes in helping students develop various leadership/followership skills.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of serving as an outside advisor for Maureen Flaherty’s dissertation. Her dissertation titled “Narrating the past to vision the future: Constructing civil society with women in Ukraine” was completed at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. She used Peace and Power processes in her work with the women. It is now published in a book – an amazing story of her work with women in the eastern and the western portions of the country to explore their visions of peace for their country. When the recent conflict erupted in Ukraine, I contacted Maureen to let her know that my thoughts are with the women whose stories were told in her dissertation, now book. She shared this message about her ongoing connections with the women she worked with:
I have had the great privilege of hearing from women in Ukraine – women whose stories contest what is being shared in the mainstream media. Peggy, as you know, at the time of the last presidential election in Ukraine (2010) I did a participatory study with a group of eighteen from the two reportedly most diverse areas of Ukraine. Eleven of the women were in Lviv in the west, and seven came from Simferopol in Crimea; all were born and raised in Soviet times. The study began as each woman met with my wonderful, interpreter/friend Sonya Stavkova and me to share their life stories, hopes, and dreams for Ukraine. The women then gathered in regional groups Continue reading “Women working for peace in Ukraine”