Amanda Munroe, Director of Restorative Practices & Engaged Pluralism

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NameAmanda Munroe, Director of Restorative Practices & Engaged Pluralism
Affiliated Organizations
Country of origin / País de origenUnited States
Country where you do your workUnited States
Please tell us about your work in peace education. / Cuéntenos sobre su trabajo en la educación para la paz.

A great deal of my experience in peace education has involved working on college campuses in the United States. Campuses are energizing environments for peace education - students bring momentum, fresh perspectives, and are good at holding administrators and faculty accountable in advocating for positive change. It is a place where curiosity and creativity flourish. One of the things I treasure most about peace work on a college campus is that the campus is a place where issues in the larger society might be addressed at a more manageable scale.

My work at Vassar College involves empowering all members of the campus community with skills and resources to constructively address conflict and peacefully repair harm. Addressing conflict constructively ranges from working with interpersonal struggles (for example in a classroom, club, or team) to engaging societal struggles, like responding meaningfully to the climate emergency, exploring campus connections to the struggle in Israel/Palestine, or effectively organizing to counter gun violence in the United States.

I appreciate that this website employs the word "hope" - in my work, I understand hope as a discipline: it's something we practice, as much as it is a feeling that uplifts and encourages us. Hope is not limited by whether or not you can feel optimistic about reaching your goal. It is the practice of creatively imagining the future you want to belong to and making your way there.

Start in the field & motivations / Inicio en este campo y motivaciones

Growing up in a faith-based community, I have always been drawn to healing and sustainable social change. I was driven by a strong desire to think critically and act meaningfully to pursue justice, truth, and loving care in the world. In my undergraduate studies at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, I was introduced to the fields of Critical Pedagogy and Conflict Transformation. Soon after, I began graduate studies in the field of Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University. There I met Dr. Andria K. Wisler, who had studied Peace Education with Betty Reardon, and she mentored my graduate research in Sports & Peace Education. From that point on I kept engaging the question of what it meant to learn peace through experiences, and developed skills in dialogue, facilitation, nonviolent communication, and strategic nonviolent action.

I continue to be inspired by activists and community organizers who who agitate locally and globally for significant change.

Significant Career Moments & Success Stories / Momentos significativos de tu carrera y historias de éxito

For over 7 years I directed Community-Based Learning and Mission Integration and Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service. Georgetown is a Jesuit and Catholic university in Washington, D.C., and is part of a network of Jesuit colleges and universities around the globe. During my time there, I supported the development of a partnership with the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, a Jesuit university in Lima, Peru. Through visits to each other's campuses and collaborative learning opportunities among our students, we exchanged ideas and motivated one another to honor social justice values in education: we collaborated on themes like centering reflection and learning, how to learn for the common good, supporting students from low income, indigenous, and migrant backgrounds, reparations for institutional involvement in colonialism and enslavement, and other forms of pursuing peace. The partnership was one way we experienced thinking globally while acting locally.

What keeps you going? / ¿Qué te hace seguir?

I am a huge fan of working in community. I much prefer to work collaboratively than to work individually. My theological understanding of universal interdependence, and my contemplative and spiritual practices (like prayer, reflection, yoga, meditation, service, and singing) are always enriched by practice in community. I deepen my own sense of who I am and what I am up to by balancing self and community care. Taking time to feel gratitude for our interdependence by being outdoors (getting to know the trees and plants in my local environment, spending time at nearby bodies of water) and learning about my role in my local ecosystem helps sustain me, as well. Ella Baker's idea that "we keep us safe" inspires me to stay deeply connected, committed, and in collaboration. This includes learning to ask for help from my community when I need it.

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