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Valparaiso University’s Office of Multicultural Programs has been awarded $2,000 from the United States Institute of Peace to Support Public Education for Peacebuilding. USIP’s support will enable Valparaiso University to expand its annual Peace and Social Justice Symposium focus to include international affairs.

“It is critical that we teach our students and members of our community about global issues that affect human relations and international affairs,” said Jane Bello-Brunson, director of Multicultural Programs. “It is imperative that we also prepare our students to become future peace-makers and to take on leadership roles in these endeavors. Valparaiso University’s Peace and Social Justice Symposium provides opportunities to engage in national conversation around international conflict and on methods to resolving conflict through nonviolent means.”

This year’s Peace and Social Justice Symposium includes campus-wide discussion and dialogue on international conflict, peacemaking, social justice issues, mediation and reconciliation. Activities also include guest speakers, lectures and training workshops that address issues of international conflict, resolution and mediation to help resolve global conflict issues.

“USIP is pleased to support organizations like Valparaiso University’s Office of Multicultural Programs and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict — and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently,” USIP President Jim Marshall said.

The United States Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by 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.