Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Karuna Center for Peacebuilding

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Founded  1994
Area served  Global
Location  Amherst, Massachusetts
Type  Non-profit organization exemption status: 501(c)(3)

Karuna Center for Peacebuilding (KCP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Amherst, Massachusetts. The stated mission of KCP is to promote cultures of peace through the transformation of violent conflict.


History and purpose

KCP provides educational training programs in conflict transformation and inter-communal dialogue in communities experiencing deeply rooted conflict. With a focus on relational peacebuilding, KCP facilitators aim to create a context in which shattered communal relations can be healed and programs fostering coexistence can be established and tested.

KCP was founded in 1994 by Dr. Paula Green, who came to the field of peacebuilding with a background in intergroup relations, counseling psychology, Buddhist meditation, and nonviolent activism. Dr. Green was joined in this work in 2002 by Olivia Stokes Dreier, who became Executive Director of KCP on June 1, 2010.

KCP’s first long-term project took place in Bosnia from 1997-2002, first working with women community leaders and then with educators from Sanski Most and Prijedor in Northern Bosnia. The program was called Project DIACOM, to signify dialogues and community building in which erstwhile antagonists are led to mend their mutual suspicions and to begin working together. Alumni of this project later developed their own training programs for expanding understanding, trust, and reconciliation between Bosnian Muslims and Serbs, leading to the start of the Center for Peacebuilding in Sanski Most, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

KCP works internationally with in-country partners to lead peacebuilding trainings and dialogue workshops. Since 1994, KCP staff has led programs in conflict transformation in 26 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Past areas of work have included training members of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly in collaboration and negotiation skills and engaging community-based peace committees in the Casamance region of Senegal. Current areas of work include workshops for women leaders in Sudan and South Sudan in partnership with the Hunt Alternatives Fund, and a multi-year program in Northeast Sri Lanka, in partnership with the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, that engages 80 Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Christian leaders in joint community projects and reconciliation following the Sri Lankan Civil War.


Karuna Center for Peacebuilding collaborates with the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont to teach courses in CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures), a program that Dr. Paula Green founded in 1997 to provide intensive training and graduate certification in peacebuilding. Karuna Center for Peacebuilding is a member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).


Karuna Center for Peacebuilding Wikipedia

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