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Josef Korbel School of International Studies


University of Denver Hosts Renowned Conflict Resolution Practitioner and Scholar John Paul Lederach

Talk Debuts Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado

DENVER—Sept. 29, 2015—Internationally-renowned peace mediator and conflict resolution scholar John Paul Lederach was a guest lecturer today at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Lederach’s talk, Peacebuilding: The Global Local Challenge,” was sponsored by the School’s Conflict Resolution Institute. The lecture debuted a series of October events at the Korbel School, DU and throughout Colorado during the 11th anniversary of Conflict Resolution Month in the state. 

John Paul Lederach

Lederach is the author of numerous books on peacekeeping including The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace; A Handbook for International Peacekeeping; and Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures. His awards include the Martin Luther King Order of Peace medal, the Reinhold Neibuhr Award from the University of Notre Dame and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association.

“Lederach’s work in developing culturally appropriate approaches to conflict transformation and peacebuilding demonstrates best practices in diplomacy,” said Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School. “An understanding of his approach is important for both students and experts alike in the fields of International Development, International Security, and Human Rights.”

The DU graduate program in Conflict Resolution, founded and directed by Professor Karen Feste in the late 1990s, is part of the newer Conflict Resolution Institute, co-directed by Feste and Professor Tamara Pearson d’Estrée, that offers a curricula in the theory, research, and practice of conflict resolution. Around 200 students—from 38 US states and 13 countries have been enrolled in the program.

“The world is full of turmoil and social tension,” said Feste. “Petulant conditions of bullying, power politics, anger and rage prey on our fears, sap our energy and limit the development of humanity. The world will not survive the twenty-first century without people trained as peacemakers dedicated to solving problems to structure harmonious relations in society. I consider John Paul Lederach the peacemaking guru; he delivers a passionate message—in speeches, in his writings, and through his mediation and facilitation consulting services—that underscores the importance of building conflict resolution skills and creating more peaceful environments at all levels."

Additional fall events scheduled at the Conflict Resolution Center include:

  • October 14, 5-7 p.m., Ben Cherrington Hall, Room 141: “Bias and Hot Buttons: Making Space for Sensitive Issues Through Transformative Meditation” with speaker Joseph Folger, Temple University. Folger is co-founder and fellow of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation. Publications include The Promise of Meditation and Designing Meditation: Approaches to Training and Practice within the Transformative Framework.
  • October 22, 6-8 p.m., Sie Center, Room 150: Film screening of Invictus and discussion presented by the Korbel Student Government.
  • November 11, 12:00 p.m., Sie Center, Room 150: “Learning Lessons About Interreligious Co-existence: CRI Reports on Dialgoue, Workshops and Joint Travel." Tamra Pearson d’Estrée, J.B. Desselle and Rachele DiFebbo will share recent experiences and lessons learned from facilitating interreligious engagement in the local context of Denver and the international context of Turkey.

Founded in 1964, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is one of the world’s leading schools for the study of international relations. The School offers degree programs in international affairs and is named in honor of its founder and first dean, Josef Korbel.