Human Rights and Peacebuilding

Intractable conflicts are found in many parts of our contemporary world, and communities across the globe are hungry for more peaceful and constructive solutions to economic, social, and political challenges. CAPA is committed to building partnerships with organizations and institutions that uphold human rights and peace-building, while teaching students the necessary capacities to be effective global citizens. Through learning negotiation and mediation skills that are important to individuals, groups, leaders, and managers, students can strengthen their abilities to navigate their own relationships and enter the world with confidence and the capacity to collaborate. The United Nations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the challenge ever since has been its implementation in each nation state. Whether it is working with translators on the front line of conflict, supporting the human rights of refugees in crisis, or bringing leaders from conflict zones together to solve environmental challenges, this initiative is dedicated to de-escalating destructive conflicts, building sustainable structures through collaborative agreements, and supporting the health, safety, respect, and dignity for communities around the world as well as in the United States. The Human Rights and Peacebuilding initiative includes a conflict resolution curriculum, a future think tank in Fall 2017 planning a curriculum on peacebuilding, a joint course on international human rights with the RFK Training Institute, participation in the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education, and is in the planning stages for a masters program in environmental conflict resolution with The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Current Projects

Bennington Translates | This project, which spans literary, humanitarian, medical, and legal translation and interpretation, has a special focus on those who work in conflict zones. 

International Human Rights | More information coming soon.

Restorative Justice, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding | More information coming soon.

Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education | In response to the unprecedented acceleration of forced migration throughout the world due to war, political/ethnic/religious persecution, and poverty, Bard (Annandale and Berlin), Bennington, Sarah Lawrence, and Vassar colleges joined forces in early 2016 to found the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education (CFMDE). This project is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

GANAS | This project provides a network between the working migrant community in and around Bennington and students, teachers, and organizations with expertise and interest in this initiative.

Past Projects

The Great Transformation @ 75 | To mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of The Great Transformation, Bennington College convened a global group of scholars and engaged intellectuals to consider how Karl Polanyi’s intellectual legacy could help us to develop 20/20 vision—a more generative and generous analysis of the human predicament on the eve of a new decade.

CAPA Leadership Institute | This program was founded on the premise that the most effective solutions and opportunities for sustainably resolving conflicts will emerge out of a full-track diplomacy that includes civil society and its leaders.