This first Fathers’ Day after the pandemic will be one I remember for the rest of my life. While my dad died in 2006, I often say that he is with me every day. But this year, he became even more present — his words came back not just to me but to the rest of my family, to many of my friends and to a growing audience at a time of historic racial reckoning — and of hope.

Let me explain.

At 85, my dad published a book. It took longer than he had planned. He started thinking about…

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

The Carter Center — based in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded by the 39th president of the United States — observed over 110 elections in 39 countries before deciding to work on the 2020 U.S. elections.

The Center had spent decades doing pioneering work to strengthen democracy and reduce armed conflicts around the globe. Its decision to apply some of the methodologies learned abroad at home was informed by a number of factors, many of them long-running trends in American society that reached new highs in 2020.

These domestic factors included strife and unrest that were the result of racial inequities…

What are the common values that underpin US democracy? What is the “big story” we all share about how society should work and how we fit together as citizens?

In the U.S. today, with levels of toxic polarization astoundingly high, the narratives we use to make sense of the system and the sacred values we hold around democracy seem to be as divergent as ever. But by understanding these narratives and values, we can begin to rediscover how to respect different world views and commit to America’s future together.

Experts shared some of their latest research and practice in a…

The clear inflection point we are facing in the U.S. politically and socially is pushing businesses to rethink their role in society, increasing opportunities for collaboration with the peacebuilding community. The time is now to build more effective partnerships so we can all get to work accomplishing shared goals of a stable, inclusive and pluralistic democracy. These were some of the main take-aways from the recent session on Businesses and Peacebuilding convened by the Alliance for Peacebuilding Spring Series on Preventing and Reducing Conflict and Instability in the United States: Shaping What Comes Next.

What do peacebuilders need to know…

As President Biden settles into the White House, he confronts a series of crises few presidents have faced in American history. From a devastating pandemic that has killed nearly 500,000 Americans and plunged millions into economic despair, an attempted insurrection by his predecessor that took five lives and revealed the depths of our divisions, to urgent calls to address centuries of racial injustice and harm, President Biden is facing challenges of such magnitude that they will determine the very future of democracy in the United States.

The challenges facing the nation require absolute clarity from the president regarding the scope…

2020 has been a historic and tumultuous year in the United States. The pandemic, mass mobilizations for social justice, and a bitter and polarizing Presidential election finally culminated in the highest voter turnout in our country’s history. While 74 million Americans are celebrating Biden and Harris’s election, 70 million Americans are not, and many are filled with existential dread.

Reflecting on President-elect Biden’s message of healing and unity, what will it take for us to come together? It feels impossible after the last four years of vitriolic divisiveness. However, the deepening divisions in the US have been building long before…

Last December, Congress overwhelmingly adopted the Global Fragility Act (GFA) to end the U.S. government’s outdated, reactive approach to global violence, conflict, and extremism and replace it with a new preventive approach. The first requirement under this innovative law is for the U.S. government to develop a whole-of-government Global Fragility Strategy by September 15, 2020. Unfortunately, the report the Administration delivered to Congress this week fell short of the law’s legal requirements, and the delay threatens to disrupt its implementation at precisely the moment it is needed most to confront global violence resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passed and signed…

The forthcoming CARES Act 2.0 (HEROES Act) will deliver the next critical tranche of COVID-19 supplemental funding. Unfortunately, it is expected to provide little to no foreign assistance. While the United States’ domestic needs remain high, the U.S. cannot ignore the pandemic’s devastating and destabilizing impacts globally, especially in conflict-affected and fragile states. The U.S. must increase foreign assistance to prevent and contain this pandemic through conflict prevention and stability programming.

The international development community has declared that the U.S. must mount a robust international response to the global pandemic. Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ben Cardin agree— their bipartisan…

Americans can no longer hide behind a vision of US exceptionalism. The impacts of long-standing structural racism, inherent to the country since the founding of our nation, have created deep and legitimate grievances. The necessary expression of these grievances is both essential to right the historical and present wrongs and is taking place within a broader context of national fragmentation and political polarization. Ignoring or failing to address long-standing structural racism is made more difficult when forces, both foreign and domestic, are lined up to advance polarization across our country. The tragic death of George Floyd is the latest spark…

Liz Hume, JD, MA, is the Vice President of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, which represents over 120 of the top conflict prevention and peacebuilding organizations working in 153 countries. She is an expert in conflict analysis, policy and programming.

Dr. Conor Seyle is the Director of Research for One Earth Future, a peacebuilding NGO with a focus on evidence-based guidance for peacebuilding.

Together these authors have written in both academic, policy, and public-facing outlets on issues of peace and security and are the lead authors of the report, Getting From Here to There: Successful Implementation of the Global Fragility Act.

Alliance for Peacebuilding

Alliance for Peacebuilding is the leading global network working to end conflict and build sustainable peace worldwide. Our 120+ members work in 153 countries.

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