News

Ben Ferencz and Federica D'Alessandra

Sustaining Peace: The Role of Ethics, Law, and Policy

April 24, 2018

On May 3, the RPP Colloquium dinner series hosted by Religions and the Practice of Peace (RPP) will feature lifelong peace advocate Benjamin B. Ferencz, JD '43 Harvard Law School (HLS), the lead prosecutor and last living prosecutor of the Nüremberg Military Trials. Ahead of this special event, Federica D'Alessandra, Harvard Divinity School (HDS) fellow and RPP adviser, discussed her work with Ferencz and the urgent need to uphold international law and human rights norms in our era.

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Fania and sujatha headshots

Restorative Justice: Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Peace in Communities

October 10, 2017

Religions and the Practice of Peace kicked off its 2017-18 colloquium dinner series October 5 with a talk focusing on the restorative justice approach. It explored restorative justice, its spiritual dimensions, and the potential contributions of its approach to advancing sustainable peace in communities and the world.

The session featured presentations by Fania Davis... Read more about Restorative Justice: Spiritual Resources for Sustainable Peace in Communities

Darren Kew, right, observing the presidential elections in Nigeria in 2015

To Help Build Peace, Be Vulnerable

June 21, 2017

“Democracy and conflict resolution are linked concepts,” says Darren Kew, a visiting scholar of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. “If you take a conflict resolution workshop and institutionalize it, you get something that ultimately looks a lot like democracy. Democratization is, in essence, conflict resolution at the national level—a nation trying to work out its problems and make decisions about what it is going to do next.”  

Darren Kew is a professor of conflict resolution and the executive director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at UMASS Boston... Read more about To Help Build Peace, Be Vulnerable

Jennifer Schirmer Headshot

Examining the Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America

February 9, 2017

In 2002, two dozen Colombian army officers and former guerrilla fighters gathered at a hotel outside of Bogota.

These leaders—representing the opposing sides of a conflict that has lasted 53 years and killed over 220,000 Colombians—arrived on the same airplane and together rode the same bus to the same hotel. Here, they were asked to change out of their respective uniforms before eating dinner in the cafeteria.

The next morning, they sat beside one another at a large, u-shaped table in the hotel conference room, where they were instructed to refer to one another by their first...

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Tay Johnson, youth organizer for the Center for Teen Empowerment, speaks of his experiences to colloquium attendees.

Healing, Bridge-building, and Empowerment to Address Gun Violence

February 2, 2017

A group of Boston community leaders recently addressed a large audience at Harvard Divinity School’s Religions and the Practice of Peace (RPP) Colloquium, in an event focused on the inspirational work being done in the city’s African American communities to address the effects and sources of gun violence.

For decades the city of Boston has been a national leader in community-based initiatives engaging with this problem, and the event... Read more about Healing, Bridge-building, and Empowerment to Address Gun Violence

RPP Sends Student Delegation to the UN

Report from the RPP Delegation: United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

September 20, 2016

On September 1, 2016, Jenna Alatriste, Tajay Bongsa, Gaby Chavez, Melissa Coles, Nestor Pimienta, and Sana Saeed represented Harvard Divinity School’s Religions and the Practice of Peace (RPP) Initiative at the United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, which was held at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, convened the forum, “recognizing the need for continual support to the further strengthening of the global movement...

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Peace, in Theory and Practice

Peace, in Theory and Practice

September 14, 2016

Earlier this month, I was one of six Harvard Divinity School students sitting in the United Nation’s Security Council chamber listening to delegates from countries around the world talk about how faith and religion were both causes and solutions to peace and violence.

Fellow HDS students Jenna Alatriste, Gaby Chavez, Melissa Coles, Sana Saeed, and I, along with alumnus Tajay Bongsa, MTS ’16, had the humbling opportunity to be a part of a delegation representing the School’s Religions and the Practice of Peace Initiative...

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Fr. Helmick addresses a November 2014 colloquium meeting on peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

RPP Celebrates the Life and Gifts of Peacemaker Fr. Raymond Helmick, S.J.

April 27, 2016

Whether it was engaging the subtleties of conflict resolution, the wisdom of his religious tradition, or the intricacies of art as a woodworker and musician, Fr. Raymond Helmick, S.J. leaves behind a rich legacy of fostering beauty, mutual understanding, and peace. Fr. Helmick, Jesuit, part-time teacher in the Theology Department of Boston College, instructor in the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), and resident of St. Theresa’s Church, passed away on Thursday, April 21 at the age of 84. 

Fr. Helmick leaves behind a lifetime of peacebuilding and interfaith efforts...

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