Sustainable Peace: The Future of Our Well-Being, Environment and Institutions
Everything is related. All the things of earth and in the sky have spirit. Everything is sacred. Confronted by the Alie Nation. The subjects and the citizens. See the material religions through trauma and numb. Nothing is related. All the things of the earth and in the sky. Have energy to be exploited. Even themselves, mining their spirits into souls sold. Into nothing is sacred, not even their self.
Alie Nation, Tribe Called Red
Our theme for the 2017-18 academic year reflects the priorities of Dawson College’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 as well as taking an intentional broad view of Peace & Sustainability. While these concepts are not always seen as related there is little doubt that we, as global citizens, cannot exist on and with the planet without treating the two concepts as necessarily symbiotic.
Be it the ravages of war, industrial corporate greed and/or negligent government policy, a community cannot be at peace if it watches their children’s health decline as a result of polluted water, air and land. In Canada how do we claim peace and safety in our own land when many Indigenous communities across Canada are excluded from access to clean water? Peace cannot exclude justice and equity. Peace must be based in communal well-being. Well-being can only be had through equitable access to a healthy environment.
Sustainable Peace is also about our Institutions. Our government and its policies, our education, health & mental health, prisons and justice systems are a vital part of Sustainable Lived Peace. We cannot live together as a nation or as a global community in peace if we do not teach out children our true national histories, from our greatest moments of shame to pinnacles of pride. We cannot claim peace when those who suffer from mental illness most commonly end up in prisons or on the streets. We cannot hold our system of justice up to the world to admire when it is rigged against vulnerable peoples to ensure their incarceration or enables systemic socio-cultural and economic violence. We cannot claim rehabilitation of inmates when there is not sufficient resources to educate, train and provide psychological support. We cannot claim peace without sustainable institutional policies built on foundations of equity.
Everything is related. Everything is interconnected. Peace cannot exist if humans do not have equitable access to clean water, air, food, education, health , mental health services. Communities cannot prosper without a holistic view of peace. Sustainable Peace is not merely an ideal, but can be made a concrete objective with deliverables if we have the will. This year the Dawson College Peace Centre through its activities will explore Sustainable Peace and what we can do as a community to bring it to pass in our own communities.
Full schedule of activities for the Academic Year will be release at the beginning of the 2017-18 semester. Want to get involved? Have an idea? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org