Far too much attention has been directed in recent decades to the pursuit of short-term solutions to pressing global challenges such as violent extremism and the use of violence to achieve political objectives. Too little attention -- and far too few resources -- have been directed toward genuine long-term peacebuilding, perhaps the only truly effective method of undermining the phenomenon of violence. The Peace Research and Education Program (PREP) seeks to help reverse that imbalance and to equip this and future generations with skills and knowledge that will sustain such a change.
PREP engages in field-based action research linked with formal and informal educational initiatives that aim to build resilience to violence. PREP works closely with local and international affiliates who are dedicated to understanding the delicate balance between peacefulness and violence, and the everyday actions that contribute to both phenomena. Research increasingly shows that massive problems, such as the worldwide population displacement crisis, can only be addressed meaningfully by engaging with the displaced on a local level and helping them to draw upon existing resources to build more sustainably peaceful societies while also engaging with political, economic and social systems that have caused mass displacement to occur. PREP develops meaningful relationships with local populations and leverages its position at the NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs to give a global voice to local actors.
Connecting the local to the global—and the global to the local—is a central objective of PREP. Only when actors at all levels truly understand and accept the importance of pursuing constructive and mutually beneficial relationships will we begin to see the emergence of peaceful processes of political, economic and social change as a global norm.
Please follow our efforts, take part in our events and feel free to share your ideas with us. The more people and organizations we engage in this work—and in the conversation that surrounds it—the closer we will come to achieving our goals.
Thomas Hill, MIA, PhD
Director, Peace Research and Education Program
NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs