Park University Co-Hosting Peacebuilding Conference

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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Park University and two other Kansas City area colleges are co-hosting a conference that will explore the role of nonviolence in building and maintaining a lasting peace. “Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Beyond the Clichés” is the theme for the Greater Kansas City Peacebuilding Conference, Thursday, Nov. 2, through Saturday, Nov. 4. Admission to the conference, which is open to the public, is free.

The conference opens on Nov. 2 at Avila University’s Thornhill Gallery with a screening of the Spike Lee directed and produced 2015 movie “Chi-Raq” at 4 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with film co-writer Kevin Willmott at 6:30 p.m.

On Friday, Nov. 3, the conference moves to Park University’s Park Distance Learning Conference Center (within the Parkville Commercial Underground), from 1 to 4 p.m. The day will include poster presentations by students and faculty from the participating schools on topics including “Democracy, Pluralization and Peacebuilding,” “Framing Theory and Nonviolence,” and “Violence and Nonviolence in Guatemala.” At the end of the day, Danielle Taylor, a senior human rights associate with The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will provide a reflection and summary of the day.

The conference concludes on Nov. 4 at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College’s Regnier Center with a full day of presentations from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., including “What is Peacebuilding?” by Steve Youngblood, director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism and associate professor of communication arts, a panel discussion on “Faces of Nonviolence” and various breakout sessions. In addition, Taylor will present a keynote address on “Women as Essential Nonviolent Peacebuilding Leaders: Lessons from West Africa.” A complimentary lunch will be provided, but registration is required.

For more information about the conference and to register for the lunch on Nov. 4, visit