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viewpoint

Members of the mosaic

| Thursday, March 31, 2016

The annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference will be held this year on April 8 and 9 in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. This forum, organized by students, for students, will be an opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to participate in fruitful, engaging discussions and showcase their work on topics related to peace-building, social justice and global issues. It will also include a keynote address by Timothy Phillips, co-founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict, a global non-profit dedicated to building peace and reconciliation around the world by connecting, inspiring and empowering diverse communities and leaders.

Last year, the conference theme “Persisting Challenges, New Frontiers” brought us together to contemplate the ways in which scholars, peace practitioners and community leaders can engage effectively and directly in issues of peace and conflict, despite their vast complexity. This year, our theme is “Members of the Mosaic” and reflects how each individual brings to the table a powerful uniqueness — when the multiple talents, diverse experiences and personal distinctiveness of these individuals exist in relationship to one another, something greater emerges. This “something greater” is a broader image, a bigger picture that encompasses new horizons and innovative solutions to challenges that threaten the peace and security of our world.

What exactly does our mosaic look like? What image does its kaleidoscopic puzzle pieces portray? It is the image of students from various academic and professional disciplines making significant contributions to their fields while integrating talents and collective capabilities across multiple areas of study. It is the image of productive dialogue regarding some of the most pressing international issues of our time. It is the image of an enhanced coalition of peace builders, responsible citizens, and decision makers present and future. It is an image of peace more tangible and potent than any disheartening image of violence and strife so frequently portrayed on the news. Most importantly, it is an inclusive image, one that invites us all to share our talents, to become a member of the mosaic. To join us, register by April 1 for free on our website: http://www3.nd.edu/~peacecon/

Tess Rinaldo

March 29

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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