The National Peace Academy (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) is motivated by a vision of a world beyond war, indeed, beyond violence. A world of wholeness and right relationships – a world of cultures of peace per the concept of peace articulated in the Earth Charter, which is: “the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.”
Toward realization of that vision, the National Peace Academy supports, advances, and nurtures cultures of peace through peacelearning toward the development of the full spectrum of the peacebuilder in everyone – inner and outer, personal and professional; and the development of peace systems – local to global.
To achieve that purpose, their mission is to provide, catalyze, and make accessible holistic and integrative learning and research for peace, and to elevate in the public consciousness the meaning and value of peacebuilding and everyone’s role in it.
In carrying out this mission, the National Peace Academy conducts programs, activities, and operations that are:
1. Principle-based. In everything it does, the National Peace Academy strives to embody and reflect the principles and processes of peace, both internally and externally.
2. Comprehensive. National Peace Academy education programs are transdisciplinary in scope and integrate, inform, and are informed by peacelearning, peace education, peace research, peace practice, and peace policy.
3. Collaborative. The National Peace Academy works through and with existing and emerging institutions and programs in government, business, and civil society.
The design and conduct of National Peace Academy programs are guided by the following principles:
1. Programmatic holism. Seeking to encompass peace education, peace research, peace policy, and peace action through the full spectrum of the National Peace Academy’s pursuits.
2. Holistic and comprehensive learning. Educating the whole person for full participation in life as a peacebuilder, personally and professionally, giving attention to both practice and theory, and providing exposure to a diversity of peace knowledge, skills and capacities.
3. Peace pedagogy. Focusing on non-hierarchical and student-centered learning emphasizing methodologies including self-reflection, journaling, meditation, and contemplative practices; forms of critical pedagogy and experiential learning; cooperative learning; community centered learning; and democratic learning.
4. Positive peace. Giving special research and program emphasis to positive peace.
5. Community centered. Giving special program emphasis on communities and community peacebuilding.
6. Diversity of peace perspectives. Recognizing the special contributions to peacelearning and peacebuilding from a wide range of perspectives provided by the arts, sports, the sciences, and spiritual traditions.
7. Peace is everyone’s business. Making peacelearning accessible and available to people at all levels of social organization (from the individual to the corporate and governmental) and all socioeconomic segments of society.
Guided by these principles, and per the Earth Charter’s definition of peace, the National Peace Academy structures its programs recognizing five spheres of right relationship to be nurtured toward full development of the peacebuilder:
PERSONAL: how we manage our internal conflicts, attitudes, actions, and emotions toward living with integrity.
SOCIAL: how we manage our interpersonal conflicts, and give and receive the qualities and conditions of human dignity.
POLITICAL: how we engage with institutions and processes toward establishing peace and justice.
INSTITUTIONAL: how organizations and institutions are organized, and the systematic structures and processes through which power is mediated and human affairs are governed.
ECOLOGICAL: how we shift our relationship to Earth systems from control over, to interdependence and living with and within.
NPA’s students, have come from many countries as well as from the United States, and include business leaders, community organizers, formal and non-formal educators, health professionals, government workers, aid and development workers, faith leaders, college students, and activists (just to name a few!).