Report on Conversation with Ceeds of Peace

Report on Conversation with Ceeds of Peace

Charter Conference Call - 4-7-15: Audio Recording


0:00        Welcome and introductions
0:10        Maya Soetero-Ng and Lisa Taylor
0:30        Question and Answer
0:45        Break into Groups
1:10        Return to Full Group and Pop-Corn Session
1:20        Wrap Up and Introduction to Next Calls
1:30        End of Call
Speakers: Maya Soeter-Ng and
Lisa Taylor

Maya Soetoro-Ng is Director of Community Outreach and Global Learning at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict at UH Manoa. She may have addressed the Democratic National Convention—not just once, but twice—and campaigned for her brother, President Barack Obama, but the greatest thrill for Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng is standing in front of a classroom full of students. Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng is an assistant professor at the University of Hawai‘i College of Education, where she teaches Multicultural Education, Social Studies and Peace Education. When she’s not on campus, Maya works as an educational activist with schools, with the nonprofit organization that she co-founded in an effort to connect public schools to their surrounding communities. In addition, with partner Kerrie Urosevich, she trains future peacebuilders through the Ceeds of Peace education program. An advocate for global competence, Maya draws on her previous experience as an education specialist at the East West Center, where she promoted international educational exchange between Asia and the United States.

Maya recently authored a picture book called Ladder to the Moon and is currently under contract to write a book about peace education, as well as a young adult novel entitled Yellow Wood. (description from TEDxMaui)

The developers of Ceeds of Peace believe that each community, each school, and each family knows its environment best. Members are intimately familiar with their unique strengths, histories, and challenges and are therefore in the best position to create their own solutions in collaborative and strategic ways.

Lisa Taylor joined Ceeds of Peace in early 2014 as the first Executive Director. She has a background in project management, in the fields of healthcare, clinical trials, nutrition/dietetics, and children’s programs. Most recently, she was involved in family-circle facilitation, in which extended family members and service providers meet to problem-solve issues surrounding the care and welfare of Hawaii’s children and youth.

Summation of the Call

Marilyn: Good morning. Welcome everyone. We are excited to have two people from “Ceeds of Peace”. [Introduction of the speakers- Maya Soetoro-Ng and Lisa Taylor- see information above.] This is a very special call. It involves education and certainly peace. A number of you are familiar with Christopher Kukk. I connected with Maya through Christopher. Christopher is very involved with the “Ceeds of Peace” and with the Charter for Compassion Movement.

[Marilyn provided the call logistics.]


Lisa Taylor: Thank you Marilyn for the opportunity to talk on the call. We are happy to partner with the Charter. Chris Kukk has been a past presenter with us at “Ceeds of Peace” and we value his friendship.

I am the Executive Director of “Ceeds of Peace.” We will be talking about the “what, why, who, when, where, and how” of the organization.


Lisa: We spell “Ceeds” with with “C” because many of the skills of peace begin with the letter C. We want to plant seeds in children while they are young. We bring peace building skills into primary and secondary school systems and with all adults involved with children and youth. The core 7 C’s are: 1) critical thinking (creativity); 2) courage (confidence); 3) conflict resolution (courtesy); 4) compassion (curiosity); 5) collaboration (communication and careful listening); 6) commitment (care); and, 7) community (civic engagement and conservation). We teach these in all of our workshops.

Maya: How do we weave these C’s into all teaching and into all adults? We bring in all families, educators,and leaders into daily practice in deliberate ways. We need to develop these C’s as individuals in order to prepare to engage actively in communities and with one another. There are the C’s “within”- courage, creative thinking and critical thinking. These are the attitudes we want young people to have. We want to help them communicate collaboratively. The C’s “between”. We also explore the C’s in service- what is necessaryfor young people to engage with the broader community and have a persistence and ongoing commitment to their community and to social justice, equity and empathetic peace building? We focus on teaching adults how to plant the critical “ceeds”. We will also have a youth Board next year to help with peer education and inspiration. Our goal is to get young people involved in helping to solve our communities greatest challenges. Youth are exceedingly powerful. We want to build bridges between home and community and child. We want messages to youth to be consistent. If we want to youth to be compassionate toward newly arrived communtiymembers, this is undermined if some people convey to youth a sense of negative judgment about the new arrivals. Without consistency in the message, there is a disruption in the capacity for the child to think compassionately and be empowered to think critically about how to help in circumstances where there is a large immigrant population. Then, children cannot consistently practice empathy.


Lisa: We have a 360 degree approach. Children and youth have interactions with various adults throughout their daily lives- through school, home, and community. We want to have a significant impact in all 3 of these areas. We want to surround each child with adults that understanding skills of building peace, practicing empathy, and showing compassion.


Lisa: Our audience is anyone who interacts with children and youth- to include parents, caregivers, extended family, teachers, educators, counsellors, coaches, afterschool cargivers, etc. If people have children and youth in their lives in any way, they are part of the audience. Our providers include Maya, Kerrie Urosevich, and myself as Executive Director. We also have trained facilitators who work with the local Department of Education and also with other groups/organizations. We hire facilitators to attend workshops and teachings. We also bring in a wide variety of guest speakers and presenters. There is no set format of who we invite. We have a wide variety of speakers from Hawaii and beyond. We invite them to share their thoughts with “Ceeds of Peace”. They often speak to their work lives as well as their personal lives. We often have panels of speakers and the panelists have discussions with with the audience.


Lisa: We offer a 3-part series each academic year- 2 all-day workshops in the Fall and then a ”Share-Out” day in early Spring. At the “Share-Out” day we bring attendees back to discuss their progress on their peace action plans and any successes/challenges. This day is the culminating event. We talk about the workshops- strengths, successes, and challenges. Also, throught partnership with the Department of Education, we offer opportunities for professional development education credits for classroom teachers. All attendees are encouraged to meet together and collaborate and share resources outside of the workshop dates. It is not just a 2 to 3-day commitment. We have a current grant which allows us to repeat the workshops for a second year.


Lisa: We serve the Islands of Oahu and Hawaii (on the west side). We desire to expand to other islands as well.

Maya: We have also done workshops to inspire others (in other cities) to implement some of these same practices in their own communities. The “Ceeds for Peace” action plan template cannot be duplicated exactly the same way in every place- it depends on harnassing the community resources where you are. We rely on local expertise. We encourage all of you on the call to try to create the same opportunities in your own community. We can share resources, websites, literature, games, films,and inspire dicussion/diaglog and build action plans. Our tools are all on the “Ceeds of Peace” website. We have an action plan template. In Hawaii, we have a generous grant from “Pillars of Peace”- to support peace built on the foundation of “Aloha”. We engage people in acts of compassion, mindfulness, and justice. Also, we have a variety of local partnerships.


Lisa: I want to share the outcomes/goals of our workshops. The model in Hawaii works quite well. We ask the people attending the workshops to reflect ahead of time as to where and why they need peace-building skills in their lives. People collaborate in the workshops using “Ceeds of Peace” tools with the outcome or goal of creating their own peace action plan. This is very unique to every attendee. We offer a template for guidance but the action plan itself is a completely unique, tailored peace action plan. The plan can be geared to family, school, and/or community. What is the community’s shared vision for the future? We ask community members to come together to talk about their shared vision- for home, school, and community. When the workshops are complete, we have a few months of time where “Ceeds of Peace” tasks attendees to move their action plans forward. Facilitators remain available as a support system via email, phone, etc. to help attendees move their peace action plans forward. Maya is part of many other “Ceeds of Peace” events in Hawaii and in other states and countries. So, we have other event opportunities for people to connect. Also, we have our website which provides evolving and growing content. We help people to connect, learn, and contribute their stories.

Maya: Want to share some of the tools- 100s of tools available. Some short and some are full curricula. Tools ontical thinking, how to builda betterworld- guidedexercises; conflict resolutaiont tools, empathy tools. Look at problems thru diff lenses- time, cultures, gender, etc. Haveproblems to solve. Tryto engage both self and other- issues ofmoney, poverty, selflessness. Pleaseexplore tools and action plans. What are the challenges? How do youcollectinof? Who do you include in your “canoe”? What do you need todo to sustain peace? Please feel free to contact and connect with us.

Marilyn: Thank you Maya and Lisa. One of the pillars of the Charter is our Compassionate Communities. We have our Communtiy Toolbox for grassroots organizers. Have had a chanceto look at Ceeds of Peace toolbox. How can we combine/merge these tools and put them into a grassroots organizing kit? Excited about possibilities.

Question & Answer Session

Keiko Ehert: I’m curious about how you established your relationships with local school districts.

Maya: It has been challenging but fruitful. We started through the social studies curriculm and content and connected “Ceeds” with school performance standards. We looked at the school “C3” criteria (which accompany the “common core” requirements) which focus on pragmatic uses of schooling- how to implement projects in schools to connect with the community. We searched for opportunities. We find that community challenges often occur from cultural and language differences. So, we started with “ELL” (English Language Learning). We can incorporate into English curricula (writing, poetry, plays), Math (poverty issues), Science (how we care for our land- connecting universities with high school students). We have a lot of principals, educators, administrators that attend the workshops. It is grassroots collaboration instead of implementation from the top-down.

Keiko: We have a lot of opporunity to work for health- how compassion works for stress and well-being. We could teach self-compassoin as a skill.

Maya: Certainly. There have been action plan projects relating to that to enhance individual health and community wellness.

Barabara Kerr: Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation! I am curious about your “marketplace for human rights” exercise.

 Maya: We talk a lot about the marketplace of ideas. We want to propose a market place where human rights are the only activity and commodity. How can people be buyers and sellers and put price on what they think is most valuable? We encourage people to reflect on what is most valuable to them- what is most important for peace? For justice? We need to look at systems for peace and justice. We emphasize community harmony. This can be very different from individual justice. We look at peace and reconcilation. What do we hold most dear? Where there is tension, we explore that tension. We try to understand current events.

Breakout Groups

Questions for Discussion

How do you plant some of the 7C’s in people in your own lives and in your communities?

How do you build bridges and make positive connections between parents and caregivers, educators, and communitymembers?

We will have 2 groups- Barbara Kerr and Lesa Walker will be the facilitators.

Popcorn Session

Lesa: Provided a summary from her breakout session, including Carol’s focus on taking simple steps, Barbara’s focus on cultural sensitivity, and her own focus on collaborating with existing infrastructures such as Microsociety, etc.

Marilyn: When I worked in education in Chicago, I had educational sessions in which I asked teachers to bring with them 2 other generations from their family for a panel discussion. We had different generations from diferent ethnic groups having conversations among each other. Wonderful opportunity for sharing and learning. Margaret Mead once said that the future is in the hands of the youth and the elderly. I find the strength of the family-school-community triangle is at the bottom of the triangle. The strength is found between youth and those that have wisdom in the community.

Reflections and Closing

Maya: In both of our converstaions in the Breakout Sessions we heard people talk about their various organizations and initiatives and passions. Everyone on the call today has a wealth of resources. We are appreciative for all of your work as connectors and bridge-builders. Please keep in touch. Thank you for being on today’s call.

Marilyn: There are two upcoming calls in April: 1) 4/21- Indian rapper- Nimo- conversation around kindness. 2) 4/28- David Korten- economist/business- “Change the Story, Change the Future”. Everyone on this call will get an email when the report for this call is published on the Charter website. The report will be out in about 36 hours.

I give a special thank you to Lisa and Maya for their presentation. They are absolutely right- there is so much networking here!

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