The Africa Working Group (AWG) for conflict and peace studies was founded in the summer of 2004 within the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies (DCRS) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida.
Since its envisioned conception, the AWG continues as a joint project between faculty, students, and alumni interested in the subject of peace and conflict studies on the African continent.
Our motto is anchored on three fundamental principles- -Accompaniment (walking together), Engagement (learning together), and Progress (moving forward together).
- ACCOMPANIMENT: The AWG leadership believes that parties of a diverse background can achieve more with respect to their goals if they work alongside each other without imposing any form of supremacy on each other. Thus, AWG will promote, facilitate, and enable parties of different identity and power bases to walk together horizontally toward the achievement of specific goals, without ever endorsing or creating a vertical or hierarchical power-based relationship of domination and subordination.
- ENGAGEMENT: The AWG leadership believes that the ultimate level of learning takes place when faculty, students and other stake holders engage in learning activities. AWG activities therefore engage the academic community with the larger community of all people to enhance understanding of conflict and the potential for peace throughout Africa.
- PROGRESS: In the AWG leadership view, our individual endeavor should reflect our collective oneness. As the African sage says: "I am because you are; you are because we are." AWG thus will promote shared aspirations, a shared vision, and shared accomplishments.
Objectives and Mission
- To advance a deeper understanding through research & publication of general patterns of conflicts in contemporary Africa;
- To provide DCRS faculty and students with avenues outside the classroom, to critically examine & modify, wherever appropriate, the theories and models relative to social conflict now emerging in academic institutions and practices. Activities undertaken by AWG are designed to augment the DCRS degree curriculum & experience;
- To develop collaborative relationships with universities and related organizations in Africa regarding research and practices in social conflict and conflict resolution;
- To support DCRS students interested in pursuing research on critical topics in Africa, such as indigenous conflict resolution processes, resource-based conflict, and ethnic conflict;
- To develop a network of scholars and practitioners in the African continent, with the guidance from DCRS alumni;
- To provide a social support system to DCRS students and faculty by organizing social events;
- To organize panels and conferences on selected topics regarding conflicts in Africa;
- AUGMENTING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE of all students, with particular emphasis on the needs of students from developing societies.
The AWG leadership envisions the development of an institute that will elevate the profile of the DCRS degree programs, while assisting the creation of models and theories of conflict resolution suited specifically for the African experience and conditions of conflict. The Institute will be a LEARNING COMMUNITY OF EQUALS for the enhanced understanding of all who wish to reduce, resolve, and manage conflict in Africa.