Working to End the Cycle of Violence in the Tribal Lands of Eastern Africa

UNIVERSITIES IN TEXAS USA, AND SHALOM (SCCRR) BEGIN A SUBSTANTIAL ENGAGEMENT TOWARDS PARTNERSHIP; Lectures by Rev. Dr. Patrick Devine SCCRR

  University of Texas, in Austin (College of Liberal Arts)

 

Professor Michael G. Findley

Michael Findley is Professor of Government in the Department of Government and the LBJ School of Public affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also the co-director of innovations for Peace and Development (IPD).

Prof. Findley has conducted various research on civil wars, terrorism, and international development. He currently conducts fieldwork in Colombia, Kenya, DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, and Uganda.

Findley’s policy work includes collaborations with the World Bank, USAID, African Development Bank, UNICEF, UN Peacebuilding Fund, UN Development Program, International Aid Transparency Initiative, and many aid recipient country governments.

 

Professor Catherine Weaver

Catherine Weaver is an associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She has conducted research that focuses on the culture, behavior and reform of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as issues of transparency and accountability in international development aid.

Currently, she is working on developing and testing methodologies to track and dynamically geomap international development aid and climate adaptation resources using GIS technology and fieldwork in Africa and Asia. Dr. Weaver also writes on the shifting power, players and paradigms in global economic governance, including the rise of China. She is currently co-director (with Dr. Findley) of Innovations for Peace and Development at UT.

 

Prof. Findley and Prof. Weaver wrote to Shalom-SCCRR regarding the lecture by Fr. Patrick Devine, PhD at the University of Texas, in Austin.  We are very grateful to them for their meticulous planning in organizing this occasion.  Our appreciation is also extended to Dr. Randy L. Diehl, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and to Dr. Kathleen Aronson and her husband Tim, for their magnanimous input towards the facilitation of this event.   We value and recognize the presence and feedback of Jean Louis Sarbib and Dr. Suzanna Campbell to Fr. Devine’s presentation, both by their honoring of the occasion and endorsing the significant importance of SHALOM-SCCRR’s methodology for peacebuilding and sustainable development, in terms of theory and practice. Our sincere thanks and good wishes reach out to them, and to all the participants and honored guests present for the lecture.  On behalf of Shalom (SCCRR) in Eastern Africa, and its affiliate organization in the USA, the Shalom Center of Africa (SCOA-501c3) we look forward to the ongoing consultation concerning the substantial partnership between the two institutes.

Dr. Patrick’s presentation to Dr. Randy L. Diel, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin.
O
n the left, Prof. Catherine Weaver and on the right, Prof. Michael Findley

Prof. Findley and Prof. Weaver, wrote,On October 6, 2017, Father Patrick Devine visited Innovations for Peace and Development (IPD), a research lab at the University of Texas at Austin, to give a talk about achieving Peace and Reconciliation in Eastern Africa. Fr. Devine is the founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation, a non-governmental organization working to end the cycle of violence in Eastern Africa. Fr. Devine’s talk was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. Susanna Campbell, Associate Professor at American University, and Mr. Jean-Louis Sarbib, (Former Vice President, World Bank) CEO of Development Gateway. The discussion highlighted the importance of not only moving from conflict to negative peace (absence of violence), but also from negative to positive peace (reconciliation). Although the road to reconciliation is challenging, Fr. Devine emphasized that it is possible through education, dialogue, and respect for cultural and religious differences. The reactions of Dr. Findley, Dr. Weaver, Mr. Sarbib, and Dr. Campbell to Fr. Devine’s description of the Shalom methodology in terms of theory, practice, and approach in addressing issues of conflict transformation and sustainable development were very positive.

The majority of attendees were IPD research affiliates (both graduate and undergraduate) and graduate research fellows. Also in attendance was Dr. Randy L. Dielh, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin, as well as prominent members of the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council and the College of Liberal Arts Development Council.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS (GRADUATE COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK); LECTURE BY REV. DR. PATRICK DEVINE ON ‘CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION INTERVENTIONS’, PROGRESSES THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE TWO INSTITUTES.

In a recent letter Prof Aabha expressed her gratitude and is “looking forward to continuing the conversation about a possible (SHALOM-SCCRR, Eastern Africa) alliance with the college”.  Prof. Aabha Brown is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Graduate College of Social Work in the University of Houston. Her passion is to build the capacity of students to successfully navigate cultural dynamics, improve structural equity and design sustainable change focusing on professional skill development, self-awareness and competent practice.

 

She continued,

“It was enlightening to learn from Father Devine about the conflict resolution process implemented by the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation.  My students are studying Issues in Global Justice, among which conflict is most prevalent.  As social work students, hearing first-hand about the challenges and effectiveness of culturally humble strategies for conflict resolution was encouraging and inspiring.  It was particularly edifying to learn about the Shalom Center’s focus on inter-ethnic education as a tool for sustainable positive peace. This exchange of ideas and experience was so valuable to my students and myself and is critically necessary to advancing the hard work of peace making around the world.”

 

Professor Aabha Brown
Clinical Assistant Professor
Graduate College of Social Work
Universit
y of Houston

 

Once again, from all the SCCRR team in the conflict environments of Eastern Africa, sincere good wishes to all at the University of Texas in Austin, and in the University of Houston. We look forward to the ongoing consultation, and perhaps your presence here with us in the coming year.  May you all have a great year ahead!

Shalom, Salaam, Salem!

 

Mary Koech MA
Communications-SCCRR
Nairobi

 

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