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Chicago, IL

Cities of Peace seeks to amplify the struggles of young people in Chicago and Phnom Penh as they organize to transform harm and create community healing. Using their own site-specific histories as a jumping off point, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Peace Institute of Cambodia will form Community Peace Councils which will interrogate the roots of structural and relational violence and practice transformative justice. They will produce a documentary film, develop exhibitions, and participate in an international exchange which will culminate in a Community Peacebuilding Summit in Chicago in the summer of 2015.

Cities of Peace: Our First Meeting


Questions and reflections, transformations, and manifestations by and for Cities of Peace. 


Cities of Peace: Our First Meeting

Maria De La Paz

During the first meeting Peace Fellows developed inquiry question for each of the four content areas below and brainstormed on which content area they would like to facilitate in the coming months.

Posters for each of the for four content areas where Peace Fellows posted questions about the topic.

Structural and interpersonal violence and peacebuilding at the turn of the century: Hull-House and Jane Addams (December)

  • What were some methods she used to help eliminate structural and interpersonal violence? 
  • Did any work get done to address violence inflicted on native people? 
  • What were some challenges?

Structural & interpersonal violence and peacebuilding Cambodia (January)

  • What is violence to them? 

  • What peace work is happening?

  • Do they experience police brutality?

  • What’s the plight of low wage workers in Cambodia? Are they unionizing? Why or why not?

Structural & interpersonal violence and peacebuilding in Chicago today (February)

  • What parts of chicago need a lot of rejuvenation?

  • How does this work within our current legal/economic system? How does this affect our progress?

  • How do we get those most severely affected on the front lines of the action?

  • How do we make sure the practice is de-institutionalized?

Radical imagination: community healing at home and abroad (March)

  • Where do we start?

  • How do we create an organic healing infrastructure that addresses all the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual?

  • How do we heal communities in a way that doesn’t perpetuate systems and institutions?

  • What role does destruction play in healing? Can violence play a role in healing?


We also developed group values in small groups of three, some of the values that came up include:

  • Trust

  • Honesty

  • Vulnerability

  • Love

  • Compassion

  • Listening

  • Patience