What would it mean to be a creator of peace in your own life, family, community, country and world?
This year, the GHFP will be hosting two Women’s Peace Circles at our Brighton premises, in collaboration with Creators of Peace (CofP). We invite friends and colleagues (and those who are new to our work!) to join us during the weekends of 20th-22nd March or 2nd-4th October 2020.
For nearly 30 years, Creators of Peace has been bringing together women across the globe, from all backgrounds, ages and cultures who seek empowerment, inspiration and hope in our current global contexts.
Come and participate, learn, discuss, grow, share stories and explore how you can be a creator of peace.
Colleagues from CofP facilitate a ‘talking circle’, where all voices are respectfully heard, establishing shared values which will allow the group to explore diverse perspectives on topics such as:
- What is peace?
- Circles of concern and hope
- What builds and destroys peace?
- Qualities and strategies of a peacemaker
- Inner Peace
- Inner Listening
- Listening to others
- The power of forgiveness
- Putting peace into action
- Friday: 6.30pm – 9.30pm: Peace Circle Session I (includes supper)
- Saturday: 9.30am – 6.30pm: Peace Circle Session II (includes lunch)
- Sunday: 9.30am – 3.30pm: Peace Circle Session III (includes lunch)
Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace (GHFP),
199 Preston Road, Brighton, East Sussex,
BN1 6SA United Kingdom
This programme is offered free of charge, sponsored by the GHFP and Creators of Peace volunteers.
Spaces are limited, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a booking form, indicating which peace circle (March or October) you are interested to attend.
The following 5-step towards peace process has been developed by the GHFP’s trustee Alexandra Asseily.
Step One: Taking Responsibility
The first step is to take responsibility for one’s own part in any conflict, imbalance, tension, grievance or problem with courage, honesty, and humility, even if one does not feel personally involved in conflict.
Step Two: Asking and Reflecting
The second step is to ask a number of questions, examples are given in ‘my responsibility for peace’.
Step Three: Releasing, surrendering and forgiving
The third step is to understand the power of forgiveness and compassion. By understanding and allowing for forgiveness of oneself and others, including our ancestors and our collective past, we can let go of guilt, shame and fear. We then no longer need to uphold the same grievances from one generation to another. As we forgive others, we forgive ourselves and vice-versa.
Step Four: To understand our authentic selves
The fourth step is to understand the changes we can make in order and speak with our ‘inner’ cohesive authority and thereby helping us to promote harmony and peace in the world.
Step Five: Sharing
The fifth step is to go out and share this healing process with others.
Practising this process can transform ourselves, others and our communities.
Read more on our work in forgiveness, reconciliation, peace
The GHFP has been a long-term sponsor of the YES Quest, a youth-centred project that aims to offer young people time, space and nurturing to enable them to embark on an inner and an outer journey of transformation.
The inner journey takes a young person into a deep personal development experience. With skilled support, they will face their past, fears and explore the treasures and talents within and develop the confidence and commitment to fully express them in life and work. The outer journey gives the young person the opportunity to activate this new awareness, honour the inner change and take that first step!
In a time when there are many pressures from the media, parents, teachers, music, friends, religion, the YES Quest can help create young people seek clarity in terms of how they should be to live a good life in the world and what they could do to make their life meaningful.
In 2015-2016, the GHFP and partners launched a three-part dialogue series in order to explore the nature of peace and how to apply this understanding in the process of creating a global culture of peacefulness.
The first dialogue was hosted by the GHFP in December 2015 in East Sussex, England. This dialogue was specifically concerned with building structural peace and took our innate peacefulness as a given. Therefore the focus was on the structures, systems and institutional cultures required to bring about a common political vision of peace as well as on identifying particular practices of peace and peacefulness which could lead to the transformation of individuals and communities internationally and globally.
The second dialogue, held at the Fetzer Institute in June 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, explored the nature of peacefulness from its spiritual dimension and consider the realities within a given local context, such as communities, that might support the practice of peacefulness. A distinct theme is transformation through a spiritual pathway and how it might inspire us to live our lives from the inside out in more peaceful ways and towards a global transition from separation and fear to interconnection, oneness and love.
The third dialogue took place in October 2016 in Reykjavik as part of the inaugural seminar of Reykjavik Centre for Peace and the celebration of 30th anniversary of Regan and Gorbachev meeting in Reykjavik. It sought to investigate features of peaceful governance and international policies of a peaceful state. Important questions, such as ‘How might we express the spiritual depths of peacefulness within a systemic context, such as a city or a nation?’ and ‘What are the criteria for a city or a nation and its institutions to be deservedly counted as peaceful?’ were posed in this dialogue to understand political processes, including the responsibilities of individuals, institutions and communities, that contribute to the collective intention of peace.
This dialogue series led to a book entitled ‘Peacefulness: Being Peace and Making Peace’, published by the Spirit of Humanity Press in 2018.
Recognising the urgency of the fact that that unless historical traumas are processed and healed by one generation, they are passed on to the next, and realising that 20th century ideologies in Hungary have shaped individuals’ life paths and that political conflicts have prepared the ground for continuing violence by representing the ‘other’ as less than human, the GHFP has embarked on a research project that aims to get behind the ideological masks of people and restore their human faces.
Overseen by the GHFP’s Vice Chairman, Sharif Istvan Horthy, the research seeks to construct a space for telling and listening to life stories of ordinary Hungarian people who come from different backgrounds and generations. This life history and narrative process is intended to help unfold how Hungarians see themselves and their recent collective past, and what being Hungarian means to them in the 21st Century.
This life history project is itself an action research. It aims to reflect on the narrative processes and the participants’ experiences of change in their perception of self-identity, their stories and the ways they see others and the socio-economic and political situations in Hungary. In this way, the research methodology, especially through non-judgmental and open listening, seems to have enabled the participants to discover the underlying causes of current (social and political) attitudes. Whilst encouraging the participants to narrate their own lives and listen and attend to the stories of others, this action research is offering an opportunity for the community to re-vision Hungary’s social future. Those individuals who took part in the research project have acknowledged being able to see a close connection between retelling and sharing personal experiences and perspectives, and reconciling these with past traumas and the ways in which they can move forward in life and work.
Deep Dialogue is one of the concepts that the GHFP has been developing. It features the following:
- Deep Dialogue is valuable in itself which means that it is not instrumental.
- Deep Dialogue contains an implicit commitment to the equal value (and reality) of all persons.
- Deep Dialogue requires being willing to enter this space of the other.
- Deep Dialogue processes are aimed at transforming the basic self-identifications that would otherwise permit the formation of antagonistic social identities. It can enable the person to self-identify non-derivatively in more spiritual ways, that is as human.
- Deep Dialogue consists in transformative sharing, and the aim of such listening and sharing is that people can transcend the victim and aggressor dichotomy as part of a healing process. If it is successful, this may express itself as some form of forgiveness, but it need not. Entering a deep dialogue doesn’t require the powerless to deny these injustices nor to forgive them.
- Deep Dialogue makes spiritual ‘we’-ness possible which can engender a deep connection with one’s own and the others’ common humanity.
- Deep Dialogue processes can enable people to explore together the roots of violence at micro and macro levels.
- Deep Dialogue can encourage people who were formerly in antagonistic relations to explore violence as symptoms of deeper systemic causes, and imagine institutional, cultural and even structural shifts toward positive peacefulness.
Under the leadership of UNESCO’s Slave Routes Project, the GHFP is working with Georgetown University to launch a research project with an aim to map out the diverse conceptions and methodologies of healing (mass trauma such as genocide and slavery). This research locates the inquiry around the contextualised question: “What might constitute healing (in the context of the wounds of trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery)?”
This commitment highlights the necessity for such an inquiry especially given the kinds of harm and woundedness that need to be attended and addressed through healing processes. It argues why a mapping research should be designed as a mixed-methods investigation, and outlines the details of the intended research processes.
It is hoped that the research can help identify pointers towards a conceptual and methodological framework for understanding healing of the wounds from mass trauma of trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery.
Further to this please refer to https://healingthewoundsofslavery.org/
Healing the Wounds of Slavery aims at healing and addressing the wounds and psycho-social, economic and political consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slave history. The hope is to create pathways towards personal, cultural, relational and institutional transformation.
On Wednesday 20th March, the GHFP’s Human-Centred Education team will welcome local secondary school’s Well-Being Leaders and Coordinators from across Brighton and Hove to join us for a twilight seminar on “A Whole School Approach to Well-Being in Secondary Schools“.
The seminar offers an opportunity to explore and share good practices on well-being and inclusion and to make links with local colleagues. It will begin with an inspiring keynote from Professor Colleen McLaughlin, Director of Education Innovation at the University of Cambridge, to spark discussion and raise pertinent questions. This will be followed by facilitated open dialogue and sharing, through which participants will be encouraged to develop a rich understanding and awareness of critical issues relating to student (and staff) well-being in secondary schools.
InterFaith.Directory featuring an embed-enabled interactive cartographic geographic distribution of 91 larger and medium scale interfaith and inter-religious organizations.