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U.S. Institute of Peace awards $2,000 to Augustana

September  11, 2013

Dr. Heidi Storl

Augustana College’s Freistat Center for Studies in World Peace has received $2,000 in funding support from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

“As Director of the Freistat Center for Studies in World Peace, I have been given the opportunity to frame new ways of thinking about peace-building” said Dr. Heidi Storl, professor in philosophy. “Given my previous experiences with philosophical issues related to public health and racial and ethnic disparities, I believe that this grant will enable us to share the nuts and bolts of innovative projects and experiences that address these disparities. The idea here is to expose and assess the effectiveness of humanitarian rather than political solutions to heal conflicts that disturb peace.”

Dr. Storl notes the funds will be used for a two-day conference featuring speakers from nationally recognized programs that build peace via humanitarian forms of intervention. Dates and times are still being worked out, but she anticipates it will be later this fall.

Augustana’s grant will enable faculty, staff and students interested in social justice issues to witness successful peacebuilding programs on Augustana’s campus through formal presentations and active discussions, plus it also will expose the wider community to stories of success in addressing issues of racial and ethnic disparities. “Participants in the conference will witness first-hand the effectiveness of building peace in conflict-ridden communities by learning from the experiences of those who have served in such areas,” said Dr. Storl.

USIP President Jim Marshall said, “USIP is pleased to support organizations like Augustana and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict – and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently,” commented USIP President Jim Marshall.

The United States Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by the U.S. Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul, Afghanistan.

As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a portion of its budget to support organizations that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices, and professionalizing the field through education and training. The Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a program of USIP administered by the Institute of International Education.

“This is an important aspect of public education because it makes clear that one doesn't need to be a diplomat or highly trained professional to make a difference in the lives of others” said Dr. Storl.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833