As a US-based organization, we use dialogue and training to find common ground across deep social and political divides in our own country. Whether in our local community or at the national level, our US programs have touched on some of the most critical issues Americans face today.

Partnership with Pricing Carbon Initiative (2011-present)

To help overcome the political deadlock around US policy to address climate change, we work with Pricing Carbon Initiative to facilitate quarterly confidential dialogues among more than 100 key organizations about climate change policy, across party lines, in Washington DC. We also facilitate dialogue to strengthen the common ground among advocates around environmental justice issues and related policy concerns.

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Engaging Peace: Reparation and its Forms (2019-2020)

This short workshop series in our home office community (Western Massachusetts) focuses on the many different forms that making reparations can take. These community conversations focus on addressing the damaging legacies of racial oppression in the United States—and how reparations can reach beyond politics to help build peace and heal divides.

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Understanding the Many Dimensions of White Identity: Politics, Power, and Prejudice (2019-2020)

We are co-convening this local discussion series in Western Massachusetts with Critical Connections, to explore the causes and consequences of the resurgence of visible hate in political, public, and online spaces—and how this relates to “white power” movements as well as expressions of “whiteness.”

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Previous Local Discussion Series (2014-2019)

Since 2014, we have worked with Critical Connections to host local series of in-depth discussions, informed by presentations with expert speakers, to deepen our capacity to reflect and develop understanding across religious, racial, gender, national, and political divides. Past themes have included Muslims in America: Dialogues Across Divides; U.S. Policy in the Muslim World; Protecting Civil Rights and Promoting Civic Engagement; and Rehumanizing and Restoring Relationships.

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Building Inclusive Communities (2015-2018)

Building Inclusive Communities was a series of daylong symposia, organized with Critical Connections, in which representatives of diverse sectors developed mutual understanding and the beginning of shared work toward inclusion and equity in Western Massachusetts communities. Topics included Engaging Our Muslim-American Neighbors; The Role of Faith Leaders; and Improving Relations between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color.

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Consulting for a Day of Dialogue on Race (2015)

Karuna Center was invited to work closely with Amherst College’s Multicultural Resource Center to plan and implement a Day of Dialogue on Race, requested by student leadership in respect to the Black Lives Matter movement and the events of Ferguson. We trained 55 facilitators in advance—students, faculty, and staff. On the dialogue day, about 1,300 people were brought together as active participants.

Every Voice Project (2012-2015)

Karuna Center worked with Principals Ljuba Marsh and Bob Brick of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to integrate a culture of positive conflict resolution into every aspect of school activities—and help build a safer, more supportive school environment for students. Through community-wide meetings and trainings in leadership, dialogue, and violence prevention, Karuna Center helped the student body to build inner self-worth, take responsibility for their education, and work with teachers and staff to address conflict before it spirals out of control.

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Partnership with Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) (1997-2012)

In 1997, Karuna Center’s founder and Senior Peacebuilding Advisor, Paula Green, initiated the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) program at the School for International (SIT) Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. More than 1,000 peacebuilders from more than 80 countries around the world have enhanced their knowledge and training in conflict transformation through SIT CONTACT programs, and Karuna Center program staff and Peacebuilding Associates have been actively involved.

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Local dialogues about responding to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (2006)

We were asked by concerned Massachusetts residents to facilitate a series of interfaith community dialogues, to explore the varied responses to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process among diverse Jews, Muslims, and Christians. 

Community Dialogues about the U.S. Response to 9/11 (2002)

As the US military response to the September 11 terrorist attacks began to unfold, we held a series of trainings to increase local residents’ capacity to discuss their disparate views on the war. We trained teachers at Northampton High School in dialogue to help them talk more effectively among each other and with their students. We also held training-of-trainer workshops among members of the broader community to give people skills and practice for facilitating their own conversations.

© Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
447 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002 USA
PHONE: +1 413.256.3800

Registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization