The Peace and Conflict Studies Consortium (PCSC) nurtures a transdisciplinary approach to peace education and conflict resolution through collaboration among regional institutions. The organization facilitates curriculum development, faculty support, research assistance, and resource development, all of which promote a culture of peace.
A culture of peace seeks to both understand and resolve conflicts on many levels ranging from the personal and interpersonal to the societal and global. It nurtures individual self-respect, respect for multi-cultural diversity and freedom of expression, equitable distribution of resources, and the empowerment of people to effectively promote democratic institutions and policy making. Appropriate skills must take into account environmental realities, historical contexts, and a full examination of the wide range of strategies available to people of various perspectives working to successfully create a future with greater justice.
The PCSC is a revival of an organization known as the Oregon Peace Studies Consortium (OPSC), which was founded in 1988. The primary objective of OPSC was to bring together educational institutions throughout Oregon interested in peace and conflict studies. The first OPSC meeting was held at Oregon State University, where Dr. William Boyer presented a paper, “Education for the 20th Century.” This began OPSC’s mission to remain at the forefront of the development of peace and conflict studies. One of OPSC’s many successful endeavors resulted in the development and launch of the Conflict Resolution Master’s Program at Portland State University.
The organization remained active in the field of peace and conflict studies until 1996 (or 1999?) when the unexpected death of Director Jack Yost resulted in the dissolution of OPSC’s activities.
Recognizing the importance of peace and conflict studies, a group of dedicated peace educators joined forces in 2005 to revive OPSC. The organization’s name was changed to the Peace and Conflict Studies Consortium so that educational institutions outside of Oregon could be included. The mission, however, remained the same: To focus on the development of peace and conflict curricula that supports and promotes a culture of peace.