Understanding Peace Strategies for Community Development, According to Dr. Andrew H Campbell

Redeeming nations from their violent state involves careful work among the smaller groups within that nation. Each of these groups lean into angry and even violent solutions in response to prejudice, fear, and conflicting interests. Dr. Andrew H Campbell of Omaha, NE is an expert in peace leadership and research, and he sheds some light on peace strategies for individual communities.

What is Community Peacebuilding?

Community peacebuilding takes conflict resolution to the small group level within a people group or nation. Conflict arises between competing groups, and each of those groups must develop peace leaders and the capacity to collaborate with other people groups that differ in culture and perspective.

Components of Peace Strategies for Community Development

Where humanity has seen incredible strides in national healing from sectarian violence, a number of key components rise to the surface. This allows peace researchers to identify where to begin in peace strategy and thereby train new peace leaders.

Resolution Over Violence

Often, there is a violent, rash, reactionary mindset among members of competing people groups. Violence only deepens the division and begets more violence between (or even among) those people groups. The first step toward reconciliation between those groups is for each side to police their own and cease the violent responses altogether.

Eliminating Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Often within violent cultures, there is a high amount of domestic and child abuse. When “weaker” members of a society are oppressed, the abusers feel justified in their violence. The next step, then, is teaching these people groups to honor “the weak” and validate their point of view. People groups that develop a stewardship mentality (rather than an oppressive one) toward weaker members are well on their way to community cohesion.

Community Cohesion

There must be an overall sense of collaboration. Andrew H Campbell of Omaha, NE explains that members see misunderstanding as a problem rather than a threat. Most importantly, members work together on problems rather than react to them and blame one another.

Resilience to Solve Problems Together

That community cohesion only gets stronger as new problems arise. In time, internal and external problems do not cause the people groups to relapse back into their former reactive state.

Accepting Former Refugees

In response to increasing violence, members of people groups often choose to escape the violence. As violence subsides, many of these former refuges return and are able to contribute to the community cohesion.

Making Civil Rights an Ongoing Process of Improvement

The job of making every member feel valued equally will never be over. However, communities can begin to see civil rights issues as a process of ongoing improvement, much like the Six Sigma Approach to project management.

Andrew H. Campbell of Omaha, Nebraska is the Director of the International Peace and Leadership Institute. He provides training through public speaking.

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