Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore (PCMDCB) works in various ways to educate Catholics and others in our region and beyond about just peace and Gospel nonviolence. This website is one facet of our educational effort. Our Facebook presence is another.
At regional council meetings, held on the first Saturday of every month, we educate ourselves about upcoming peace and justice events, opportunities for witness, and critical issues. Meetings are open to all. Though only official members of the council vote on policy decisions, the agenda for each meeting is shared with interested members of the region, who are welcome to take part in discussion.
Each year we sponsor two major outreach events, one in the spring and one in late fall. Since 2008, the fall event has been a Peacemaker of the Year Award dinner. (Click here for details on our award recipients.) The spring event may be a retreat, focused on community building and spiritual enrichment, or it may be a forum with the intent to educate. Recent forum topics have included Nonviolent Communication, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, and Laudato Si' - peace with the earth.
Our witnessing and vigiling also serve an educational function. Because this region is centered in the nation's capital, members often participate in public witness and issues advocacy. This may entail a few people visiting a Congressional office, attending a hearing, or participating in a national gathering like the annual March for Life, focused on abortion, or March for Our Lives events, focused on gun violence.
Many of our active members are peace educators, either formally or informally. MJ and Jerry Park are nationally recognized pioneers in peace and justice education. Co-founders and co-directors of Little Friends for Peace (LFFP), they were honored as Pax Christi USA Teachers of Peace in 2008.
LFFP counters violence and contributes to a worldwide culture of peace by sharing skills for personal well-being, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution with individuals, families, teams and communities. Its vision is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's "Beloved Community," where relationships are based on respect and acceptance, conflicts end in reconciliation, and everyone is safe, cared for, and able to realize their unique potential. Core values are community, respect, active nonviolence, empathy, empowerment, transformation, and joyful creativity.
LFFP works in public and parochial schools around the area and engages scores of students from area universities in its volunteer program. The national capitol region also boasts significant peace programs at high schools and universities.
Other educational opportunities in our area include the following:
- American University in DC offers a Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution within its school of International Service.
- George Mason University has a highly rated School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. One of its programs is The Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution.
- Georgetown University has a trans-disciplinary Program on Justice and Peace. Since 2006 the university has also hosted the research-focused Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs.
- George Washington University's Peace Studies Program is housed within the Department of Religion.
- The University of Maryland has a 16-credit undergraduate minor in International Development and Conflict Management and a Center for International Development and Conflict Management founded in 1987.
- The University of Virginia offers a Master's degree program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies and also a Master's in Religion, Politics, and Conflict.
- Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA, has a Peace Studies Minor and a Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, opened in 2007 after a mass shooting on campus.
The US Institute of Peace has a Research Assistant program open to students in all area universities through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
The DC Peace Team offers trainings and workshops throughout the year on restorative justice, nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and related topics.