Welcome to The Hecklist, my regular ruminations and observations at least vaguely related to the New York Peace Institute.
I love paradoxes. F. Scott Fitzgerald said “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
The New York Peace Institute is paradoxical:
1. We’re old and new. We’ve been around for 30 years as a program of Safe Horizon (www.safehorizon.org), a fabulous victims services and violence prevention agency. On July 1, 2011, we became a fully independent, non-profit organization, committed to building peace in New York City and beyond. So we’re both a venerable institution, and a feisty start-up.
2. We’re big and small. We have a small staff of 14 committed peacebuilders. But we roll deep with more than 200 volunteer mediators from all walks of life, serving more than 10,000 people yearly…making us one of the largest conflict response organizations nationwide.
3. We’re local and global. We work hand-in-hand with New York City schools, courts, community-based organizations, faith-based entities, city agencies, police and neighborhood groups. And we’ve also been all over the world! Our staff has worked in more than 40 countries, and we’ve trained United Nations agencies, Liberian refugees, student leaders from Sierra Leone, Iraqi mediators, and more.
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