Peace and Conflict Studies Program Receives Two Grants from the United States Institute of Peace

Only 7 Schools Received Multiple Awards

Peace and Conflict Studies at UMass Lowell was awarded two prestigious grants from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative. Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a new initiative of USIP, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which seeks to support American colleges, universities and public libraries in advancing public education on international peace and conflict resolution.

The Peace and Conflict Studies program was part of less than 10 percent of applicants to receive a grant and part of less than 1 percent of applicants to be awarded multiple grants. Out of almost 1000 applications, 76 institutions from 24 states including Washington, DC were selected to receive a total of 84 grants. Of the 76 institutions, only seven received multiple awards, including UMass Lowell. In only its second year, Peace and Conflict Studies is honored to receive these two important grants.

USIP is the government’s only national security and foreign affairs institution created by the U.S. Congress to professionalize the field of international conflict management and peacebuilding, implement conflict management operations abroad, and generate new tools for conflict management and prevention. As part of its congressional mandate, USIP makes awards to organizations that will advance its mission of supporting national security by funding alternatives to violence around the world.

The first award from USIP will enable UMass Lowell to host a panel discussion at the upcoming Women in Public Service Conference, exploring the role of women in post-conflict reconciliation. The panelists will be experts on Liberia and Northern Ireland and will explore key questions such as, "What is the role of women in facilitating post-conflict transitions?"; "What macro-level social and economic changes are needed to promote women's welfare and involvement in public service?"; and "What can we learn from the successes and failures of post-conflict transition in these countries?" The grant was co-written by Victoria Denoon, Senior Assistant to the Chancellor and Executive Director of the Women in Public Service Project at UMass Lowell, and Seth Izen, Project Manager for the Middle East Center and Peace and Conflict Studies.

During March 4-6, 2013, UMass Lowell will host a conference on Conflict Transformation through Economic Development and Innovation as part of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP). Originally founded by a partnership with the State Department and the seven-sister colleges, WPSP is expanding with UMass Lowell serving as the public university hub. The conference will bring emerging international women leaders together with leaders from public universities to build a foundation for promoting women's leadership in public service.

The second USIP grant was awarded to UMass Lowell to host an online forum on “Careers in International Peacebuilding”. In April, UMass Lowell will welcome Professor George Lopez, Chair of Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, as the Brad Morse Distinguished Lecturer. Professor Lopez served as an external reviewer for the Peace and Conflict Studies academic program. During his visit, Professor Lopez will lead a discussion with students on careers in international peace-building. Through the use of videoconferencing, Professor Lopez will speak both with UMass Lowell students and with students from partner high schools, community colleges, and universities who are interested in working in the field of peace and conflict. Professor Lopez is deeply connected to the world of international peace-building through his connections with numerous organizations and his research experience on the problems of state violence, economic sanctions, human rights, and ethics and the use of force. He will provide recommendations on how to become involved in a difference-making career through working in an international organization, NGO, or government position relating to international peace and conflict resolution. The grant was co-written by Paula Rayman, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies at UMass Lowell, and Seth Izen, Project Manager for the Middle East Center and Peace and Conflict Studies.

UMass Lowell greatly appreciates the federal support provided by USIP for its important work.