Kathleen O’Toole Speaks to Peace Colloquium

July 13, 2007

http://www.flickr.com/photos/saintanselm/tags/peacecolloquium/Students taking part in the Colloquium on Peace, Reconciliation, Social Justice and Global Citizenship this month had the opportunity to talk with Kathleen O’Toole, the inspector general of the Republic of Ireland.

A former Boston Police Commissioner and Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, O’Toole spoke of “Policing in a Democracy – from Boston to Northern Ireland.”

She said law enforcement is only a small part of the work of a police service – a term she prefers to police department. Police have recognized the need to work with a community rather than “fight a war on crime,” as O’Toole said she was taught in the Boston Police Academy.
This was the approach she used as a member of the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (The Patten Commission), which developed a new framework for policing and security in Northern Ireland. At O’Toole’s insistence, the commission held 40 meetings throughout Northern Ireland to hear what people of all political and religious persuasions had to say about the police.

Four students from St. Mary’s University College, in Belfast, and seven Saint Anselm students are participating in the colloquium, which wraps up Saturday, July 14. O’Toole said that forums that bring young people from diverse backgrounds together more often held for executives and mid-career professionals, not students.

“Events like these are much more important because these students are the future,” she said. “That’s when I heard about this, I said, ‘I’m there.’ “

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Peace Colloquium in the News

July 9, 2007

The Union Leader has published two articles about the college’s Colloquium on Peace, Reconciliation, Social Justice, and Global Citizenship. The colloquium, which runs July 1-13, is a two-week, intensive, interdisciplinary, residential program in peace-making, non-violence, and global citizenship, rooted in the teachings of social justice. The colloquium is being held at Saint Anselm College with students participating from both Saint Anselm College and St. Mary’s University College in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In a June 30 article titled, “Give Peace a Chance,” the Union Leader reported:

“As Catholic colleges, both St. Mary’s and Saint Anselm, have a particular interest in promoting peace, nonviolence, reconciliation, and greater awareness of social justice,” said [Saint Anselm Professor Elaine Rizzo].

At the colloquium, students will meet with a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, learn more about Muslim perspectives on pacifism from an imam, and hear about the Irish peace process from some of the people who made it happen.

Outside of the classroom, they are planning to tour the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and attend a town meeting in Goffstown.

The four-part program begins with a unit on diversity, multiculturalism, and democracy. Saint Anselm Professor Dale Kuehne will kick it off with a lecture on “Racism: America’s Original Sin: Why Can’t We All Get Along?” In successive units, students will be immersed in the theologies and philosophies of violence and nonviolence, global citizenship, women as peacemakers, and strategies and techniques for conflict resolution.

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