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Local peace scholars and students unite at Cascade Campus

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Peace and conflict resolution scholars and graduate students from Portland Community College, Portland State University and George Fox University came together for the daylong symposium, “New Beginnings: Rebuilding Relationships,” on April 23.

Tom Hastings, sociology instructor at the Sylvania Campus and Portland State University, jots down ideas for possible community partners. Hastings participated in the daylong peace symposium sponsored by the regional Peace and Conflict Studies Consortium that included representation from PCC, PSU and George Fox.

The event took place at the Cascade Campus and was sponsored by the regional Peace and Conflict Studies Consortium. Over the course of the day, attendees discussed existing peace and conflict programs at local institutions, curriculum development, research under way, challenges and opportunities, and next steps for the consortium to take – one of which is to host a second, larger symposium in November 2011.

“This effort was a wonderful first step at reconvening the group,” said Michael Sonnleitner, who leads PCC’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program. “We have some new members in the consortium who bring a tremendous amount of energy with them, and several of the institutions represented have exciting work under way or plans in the making. Our goal is to harness this energy, work together, learn from each other, and bolster our programs so that they’re complementary – for the benefit of our students.”