CPSD Inauguration on stage and lighting incenseWhat does one do after completing the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) Annual Peacebuilding Training? For Dr. Jenee Peter, it was to be involved in developing a Centre for Peace Studies and Dialogue (CPSD) at the Union Christian College (UCC).

UCC is located in Aluva in the state of Kerala in South India. It was founded in 1921 as an institute of higher education. The college is affiliated with the Mahatma Gandhi University.

Dr. Peter and her colleagues successfully launched the CPSD on March 23, 2017. The Center is the first of its kind in the area housed under an academic institution. Recognizing that peace necessitates a sustained, systematic and collaborative effort, CPSD was established to create awareness among its students and community about current challenges to peace and to explore ways of working with various organizations and institutions to address these challenges.

Dr. Jenee Peter, a professor in the Department of History at UCC, was one of the first scholars supported by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) to attend MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training in May 2015. Already, the Center has gotten funding from UBCHEA to start a Peace Studies program. Looking back at her experiences at MPI, Jenee shared, “though I have been learning and teaching about interreligious understanding in Kerala for many years, the courses at MPI broadened my horizons. I realized that the entire program at MPI is learner-centered. That is why MPI leaves a lasting impression on the alumni.Click here to read more of Jenee’s reflection.

Dr. Peter proudly shared the innovations and the various peacebuilding activities she has initiated in the College and her involvement with her church and community inspired by the experiences she had at MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training. She has conducted sessions on peace education with teachers and facilitated interreligious dialogue among students and faculty members with the skills she developed at MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training.

As the newly appointed Coordinator of CPSD, Dr. Peter reaffirmed her commitment to continue working for peace and to engage with MPI, especially with the inauguration of their new Centre. For Dr. Peter and her peers at UCC, the Centre for Peace Studies and Dialogue is both the culmination of a dream and the beginning of an effort to help students “find practical ways to apply their social commitment in the community"(https://unitedboard.org/jenee-peter-union-christian-college/).

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