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Domestic Harmonizers - United States of America
WPDI seeks to actively promote Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) among youth through peace-building strategies in the United States.
Elementary School Program
Since 2012, WPDI has been collaborating with the Turnaround Arts Initiative, an art-based initiative that is a signature program of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH); an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues of which First Lady Michelle Obama is Honorary Chair. Given Forest Whitaker’s membership in PCAH, this initiative strives to enable diverse students to capitalize on the limitless power of the arts to express their voice, creative energy, peaceful conflict resolution, and in turn, enhance their overall learning in core subjects as well as their self-confidence.
WPDI has designed a Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) program specifically for elementary school students involved in the Turnaround Arts Initiative. Currently, WPDI is working with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Compton, California, to teach basic peace and conflict resolution skills. Previously, WPDI worked with Findley Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Middle School Program
At the middle school level, WPDI implements the Domestic Harmonizer Program in close collaboration with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). This program, which spans all three years of middle school, includes an innovative curriculum that is infused with California’s Common Core State Standards for social studies, science, math, and English. The purpose of this thematic integration of CRE into these core classes is to cultivate safe and productive learning environments and to facilitate active student engagement. This program contributes to the development of youth leadership through classroom coursework and school-wide initiatives that promote better communication, problem solving, and interactive learning. In addition, this program addresses the need for safe and healthy learning environment by helping to create a peaceful school environment and improving cohesion among and between teachers and students.
Our middle school program is being piloted at Andrew Carnegie Middle School in Carson, California for three years, beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year. The 6th grade curriculum focuses on general themes in conflict resolution, the 7th grade curriculum introduces students to peer mediation, and the 8th grade curriculum emphasizes restorative justice. This pilot will serve as an example for replication to other schools in Los Angeles and throughout the nation.