Upcoming Events

This section provides a partial listing of upcoming events on religions and the practice of peace at Harvard University and beyond.

To submit information on an upcoming event, email rpp@hds.harvard.edu and include the link to the webpage on which the event announcement appears.

Religions and the Practice of Peace Events

RPP Colloquium: Indigenous Perspectives on Peacemaking in the Face of Racism, Religious Exodus, Oppression, and Unfair Exposure to Trauma and Disaster
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Reimagine the very definition of peace as we explore the intersection of racism, oppression, urban trauma, disaster, and other social realities faced by those desperately in need of peace. More than the absence of violence and war, we need the aggressive and proactive generation of peace, healing, and bliss under a continuing barrage of compromises to health and well-being. What is peace? How do we create it when there is little? Who deserves peacemaking?

This event will feature speaker Zumbi, founder, Kilombo Novo; director, Trauma Response and Recovery at Boston Public Health Commission, moderator Emily Click, assistant dean for Ministry Studies and Field Education and Lecturer on Ministry at Harvard Divinity School, and discussant David Harris, managing director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

RPP Special Interactive Workshop: The Kilombo: Lessons Learned from the (First) Democratic Multicultural Multi-Faith Republics in the Americas
Friday, February 15, 2019

In this session, learn about Afro/Indigenous practices inspired by the countless African and AfroBrazilian Kilombos such as Capoeira Angola. These were considered the first Democratic Multicultural Multi-Faith Republics in the Americas, formed by Africans transported to Brazil in the Middle Passage with Aboriginal Natives, and White Portuguese dissenters from the slave trade. There will be optional low intensity movements. Please consider wearing loose clothing and comfortable footwear you can move in. Black pants and yellow shirt if you can.

Zumbi (Courtney Grey) is initiated in multiple indigenous cultures and co-founded the group—Kilombo Novo “New Roaming Community.” He strives to reconstruct Bantu principles on peacemaking, conflict resolution and serving those most impacted by oppression, trauma, terrorism, and disaster. He has taught internationally, and has served Lakota/Sioux, Cambodian, Bosnian, Cape Verdean, Haitian and several other populations after trauma and disaster including the Marathon Bombing and Parkland, FL. He is published and graduated from MIT.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Sustainable Peace Café: Nourishment for the Body and Soul
Thursday, February 21, 2019

What forms of nourishment bring you inner peace and comfort? How can we cultivate peace through sharing recipes or stories of foods and beverages or particular diets that have brought us comfort, love, joy, and connection with ourselves and people around us? Is there a particular food or drink that brings you closer to the people around you, your home, your community, or your identity?

Join us to share food and stories by the fireplace surrounded by peers and companions. You are welcome to bring a recipe or a food-story to share.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

RPP Special Event: The Role of Reconciliation, Memory, and Theology in Shaping the Public Stage
Wednesday, February 27

Much has been written about the Northern Ireland peace process, particularly on securing the peace. However, as Senator George Mitchell commented in relation to the Good Friday agreement, "If you think getting this agreement was difficult, implementing it will be even more difficult." Twenty-one years after the signing of the Good Friday agreement, those have proven to be prophetic words. Rev. Dr. Gary Mason will explore what reconciliation looks like in a contested space, the power of memory and story in keeping the pain of the past alive, and how theology can move into that contested narrative in a way that brings about dialogue, honesty, and healing. He will also address the current Brexit situation, exploring how Brexit has been a very difficult experience for these two islands.

This event will feature speaker Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, director of Rethinking Conflict; senior research fellow at the Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University in Ireland; Adjunct Professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University; faculty advisor and partner to the Negotiation Strategies Institute, a Harvard University program on negotiation, and moderator and discussant David N. Hempton, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. 

Cosponsored with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Space is limited. RSVP is required.

Videos of RPP Colloquium Series in 2017-18 are available online. Visit the RPP Video Archive to view videos and full descriptions of past RPP Colloquium sessions.

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Other Events of Interest 

Reparations for Slavery: The Role of Repentance in Politics
Feb 19, 2019

United States Presidential Candidate, Spiritual Lecturer, and #1 New York Times best selling author of A Return to Love will offer a lecture at Harvard Divinity School titled "Reparations for Slavery: The Role of Repentance in Politics". With and opening talk by HDS student Kassi Underwood, MDiv '19.

Women and the Holy City: Gender and Contested Sacred Space in Jerusalem
Feb 21, 2019

Lihi Ben Shitrit will discuss her book manuscript, which explores three contemporary women’s movements in and around Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade: Messianic Jewish Orthodox women’s activism for access to Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif; Pious Muslim Palestinian women’s activism for the defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jewish claims (the Murabitat); and the Women of the Wall’s (WOW) interdenominational Jewish feminist mobilization against restrictive gender regulations at the Western Wall. Using these cases, the book demonstrates how attention to gender and to women’s engagement in conflict over sacred places is essential for understanding the intra-communal processes that make contested sacred sites increasingly “indivisible” for parties in the inter-communal context.

Handling Division in a Conflicted Society:Lessons for the U.S. from the Northern Irish peace process
Feb 25, 2019

Rev. Dr. Gary Mason founded Rethinking Conflict after thirty years of on-the-ground peace building in a conflicted society in Northern Ireland. Throughout his career, he has been based about 200 meters from the peace walls that divided Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast. He played a leading role in establishing the Skainos project in inner city Belfast, a world class urban social justice center, developed in a post-conflict society as a model of coexistence and shared space.

Lessons from a Life in Peace Building: a public lecture by Rev. Dr. Gary Mason
Feb 28, 2019

Rev. Dr. Gary Mason is a Methodist minister and directs a conflict transformation organisation based in Belfast called ‘Rethinking Conflict’. Prior to this, he spent 27 years as a Methodist clergy person in parish ministry in Belfast and has played an integral role in the Northern Irish peace process, particularly through his work with loyalist paramilitary groups. In this edition of the Consulate’s ‘Lunch and Learn’ series, Mason will touch on his work with ‘Rethinking Conflict’, his experience in Northern Ireland, and the lessons learned from the Peace Process.

Third Annual Black Religion, Spirituality, and Culture Conference
Feb 28-Mar 1, 2019

The Third Annual Black Religion, Spirituality, and Culture Conference is hosted by Harvard Divinity School's Harambee: Students of African Descent. This year's theme is "Blackness at the Margins." They write: “We recognize the depth and multiplicity within which Blackness exists and moves through this world, and as a consequence we seek to understand, to bring to light, as many voices and representations black religions, cultures, and spiritualities hold. We want to harness and cultivate cross movement dialogue, to sit in conversation with one another across religious and spiritual lines that do not often come together at the intersection of Black identity.”

RSVP is required, please register here.

Buddhism and Race Conference
Mar 2, 2019

The Harvard Buddhist Community at Harvard Divinity School is pleased to offer the third Buddhism and Race Conference on March 2, 2018. During this conference, scholars, activists, sangha leaders, community members, and students will join together to learn from one another and share justice-oriented teachings and training. The speakers will be sharing their experience working in a variety of Buddhist practice settings and service contexts. We welcome all who wish to connect with other leaders and communities committed to addressing racism from a Buddhist perspective.

OxPeace Negotiation Training Workshop
Mar 11, 2019

Led by Valentin Ade (The Negotiation Studio) and Douglas Carpenter (Coordinator for Economy and Natural Resources of the European External Action Service Department for Africa, participating in a personal capacity; his main interest is the link between national resources and security) with added input from Lord Alderdice (Northern Ireland) and Dr Liz Carmichael MBE (South Africa). This three-day course will cover different types of negotiation, setting up the team, structuring the talks, dealing with setbacks, communication etc. with exercises and simulation. Open to students, academic staff, and practitioners.

OxPeace Conference 2019: 'Peace and the Anthropocene: Humanity, Environment, Sustainability'
May 17, 2019

The OxPeace Conference 2019 aims to explore the challenges to peace, and responses to those challenges, that arise from the ascendancy of human beings on planet Earth and the consequent impacts on our environment. The programme is under construction, but could range from climate change and its many consequences including migration and human rights, loss of biodiversity, scarcity of basic resources (water, food), to fossil fuels, energy policy including nuclear energy, the problem of plastics, the roles of IT and social media, conservation, re-forestation, innovative technological solutions, and the roles of women. What level of human population can this planet peacefully sustain? What answers are there to this question? What ethical, political and practical issues arise?

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