Paul K. Chappell

Paul Chappell, director of the Peace Literacy Institute headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, believes peace education and activism needs to be taught in the same way that we teach soldiers to wage war and students to learn reading and mathematics.

The Iraq War Veteran and West Point graduate will offer a peace literacy conversation on Sept. 17 that will provide “new frameworks for understanding complex conflicts”, said Chappell, referencing recent peace protests in Portland, OR.

“Peace Literacy,” he said, “can offer people new skills for navigating conflicts in ways that move communities and the world toward greater peace and justice.” Chappell’s Zoom event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (Click here to register) . The public event is sponsored by Rotary International District 5110, which involves 66 clubs and 3,300 Rotarians in central and southwestern Oregon and northern California.

Chappell has written a seven-book series, titled The Road to Peace, where he writes about waging peace, ending war, the art of living, and what it means to be human. He also has spoken to students in Oregon previously, during peace literacy workshops in Corvallis and in Coos Bay.

Corvallis High School Principal Matt Boring said, “Peace Literacy provides a recipe for strong communities…and gives us the tools and vocabulary to build trust within our school.”

Principal Eric Wright of College Hill Alternative High School in Corvallis added, “For years our students have been told what they are not to do. Peace Literacy focused on what they can do to be more caring, more empathetic, more respectful, and kind to one another. Click here for the link to other school personnel comments.

“Our big vision,” Chappell states about the Peace Institute, “is to create a Peace Literate world where people are as well trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war. Our big vision would create a world where Peace Literacy is taught with as much rigor as other forms of literacy, such as reading and math.”

Chappell adds that “Peace Literacy is even more complex than literacy in reading and math, because Peace Literacy empowers us with the complex skills needed to thrive in communities, heal individual and societal trauma, and promote peace and justice on a local, national, and global scale.”

Chappell teaches a strategic approach to peacemaking, focusing on and integrating well-being at the personal, social, and political levels.  During the September session, he will talk about how to create a more peaceful society and will facilitate a conversation about how to apply his concepts in the real world

Rotarians can register for the event by clicking here and logging into DACdb.  Community members interested in participating in the Zoom event, can do so by asking a local Rotarian to register them as a guest or by emailing Paul Nicholson at pauln@osfashland.org or Bill Grile at dgbill1819@gmail.com.  Registrants will receive an email with the Zoom link for the event.