We discover peace is a way of being, thinking, living, talking and acting as well as good wishes in a greeting, raising our voices, standing up and taking action.
What practitioners are saying
We use these practices in our lives and homes, in schools from preschool through adult education, in refugee camps and war zones, in neighborhoods and social circles. The diversity of practitioners is staggering and their appreciation is delightful.
In a time of increasing global threats—to the planet and its people—Creating Cultures of Peace offers an audacious and inspirational check-list of positive responses, a life-affirming appeal to “our better angels.” If we are to survive, we need to imagine a world beyond war and, to this end, this book is both revolutionary and evolutionary.
Gar Smith, Berkley, CA
author of The War and Environment Reader (2018)
Creating Cultures of Peace defies easy classification. A distillation of wisdom based on decades of experience–from peaceable US farm communities to war-ravaged villages in Indonesia—this book is part training manual, part personal journal, and part treatise on how integrity in our simplest daily choices lays the foundation for ever-bigger lives of power, impact and joy.
Pamela Haines, Philadelphia, PA
author of Money & Soul; Quaker Faith and Practice and the Economy (2018)
I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience this training. The Nepali land rights movement does not suffer physical attacks, but we criticize each other harshly. We need alternative ways to interact. We embrace Creating Cultures of Peace training as a cornerstone of our movement to develop natural leadership at local levels. This is making a major shift for us for the better.
Executive Director, Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC) Nepal and land rights activist for over 25 years.
Nadine notes, “Yet the Acehnese and Javanese saw their own histories, cultures and experiences in these activities… (They) would say, “This is what our [family, tribe, or religion] teaches us… They just never expected us to actually DO it!”
That was an epiphany for me, do I really follow-up on good ideas? Throughout this book Nadine calls us “to actually DO it!” Her own personal stories show us how reflecting on our lives, brings insights, not just to us but to others.
Author of Help for Moral Injury: Strategies and Interventions (2016), Tampa, Florida, USA
The Creating Cultures of Peace way of sharing knowledge was adorable. It forced me to think about who I am and what am I doing, search for answers within myself, and identify my inner power. I’ve been overwhelmed and become disorganized, but I’m clear now about what do I have to do. I learned how to control emotions, deal with discrimination, be a good companion even under the worst conditions. I started to believe in myself and my goodness. Thank you to Nadine, we found someone who can hear our pain without taking over. I’m not perfectly capable of handling everything, but I’m more confident.
Finance Officer with Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC) in Kathmandu
I wanted to become a trainer. But after seven days of Creating Cultures of Peace, I realized this was not to train others; it was for myself. I started to practice staying aware of my emotions. For example, I had a conflict with my neighbour. She called yelled at me, but I remained calm. I let her to discharge her emotions. Then, I met my neighbours and together we solved the problem nonviolently. Also now I share the responsibilities of household chores. I developed a closer relationship from the heart with my wife and began practicing good companions with her. We walk an hour in the evening, reflect on the day and listen to each other. I feel that it is one of the best practices to nurture peace in myself and in others.
Manager, Child Welfare Nepal in Hetauda, AVP facilitator and child rights and protection activist in Makawanpur District, Nepal
Creating Cultures of Peace engages us with insightful and compassionate analysis, stories, activities and practices to overcome the rigidity of reactive and isolating habits; engage our consciences with increased awareness, presence and empathy; expand our vocabulary of emotions and abilities to release them; and invite the regenerative power of play. The human heart hungers for this transformation to love. Let us feast.
Former National Council Chair, Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA, artist and peace activist, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Joining Creating Cultures of Peace was a momentous life decision. Learning and practicing with trusted companions and experienced facilitators, well fed in a calm environment, I learned practical knowledge, skills, patterns and sequences of peace practices. I’m practicing, especially when I get stressed or exhausted. I stop and instantly think of five positive words, the best tool I have ever used for anger management. Even my kids enjoy my practice! I started taking better care of myself. Now I believe I’m the only person who can take responsibility for my situation. I believe these tools will make my life less complicated and together we can create a positive impact in people’s lives.
Social Entrepreneur in construction business and community policing from Surkhet, Midwestern Nepal
Creating Cultures of Peace holds a bounty of wisdom that will resonate deeply with people from every faith tradition, as well as the unaffiliated. The tools for building peace in one’s heart, home, neighborhood, city and nation are here waiting to be shared that we might build a peaceful world together. Anyone who has taken a training with Nadine will be delighted to find every gem she shared throughout the time together, and so much more. For those who haven’t had that blessing, her book is your opportunity to begin the journey.
Muslim Chaplain, Ann Arbor Michigan, USA
Creating Cultures of Peace was totally different and very useful. It helped me feel and see my own core self. Consciously or not, we habitually see ourselves as weak and bad people and forget the inner strengths, capabilities and good things we have done. This training helped me realize we can live a life of the “real self,” embracing our inner strengths, good habits and behaviours, noticing our good deeds, looking at weaknesses and things to be changed, and realizing mistakes as opportunities to learn. Habits of stopping, sharing, listening carefully to family members and friends, and thinking about affirmation have increased my confidence. I truly started thinking positively, forgiving weakness and mistakes, and seeing and recognizing the transforming power in me. I became even more committed and prepared to change and seek justice and support for others. I shared my learning with family members, colleagues, land rights activists and front line leaders in Rasuwa, because I believe this can support our effort to create cultures of peace around us.
Land Rights Advocacy Officer, Community Self-Reliance Center, Rasuwa District in Nepal and writer on land rights, poverty and justice.
As cycles of oppression, injustice, trauma and environmental disaster appear to be increasing in the world today rather than abating, this book is very timely. Balance in our lives, societies and our eco-systems needs to be restored with urgency if we are to avoid irreparable damage and even extinction. Creating Cultures of Peace draws upon decades of experience from the peace movement, faith communities and the author’s own personal transformation to provide clear steps and strategies to bring transformational power into situations of violence, enabling peaceful change. Developing and utilising these clear and practical skills to overcome trauma and violence creates room within our hearts for forgiveness, replacing severity and harshness with kindness and compassion. Let this book serve as a guide and multiplier to enable many more of us to successfully embody the path of love and conscience.
Programmes Coordinator, Peacebuilding UK, Bude, United Kingdom
Creating Cultures of Peace provides a guidebook for facilitating local action that can have broad and powerful implications. As Hoover puts it, ‘cultures of peace require the hard work of public and vigilant resistance to the dynamics of oppression’ (234). Speaking up and taking action, bearing witness publicly against oppression, taxes us emotionally, physically, socially, economically, etc. Oppression causes us to treat one another solely as either oppressed or oppressor, polarizing and polluting the relational capacities necessary for liberation. In response, Hoover compassionately outlines step by step relational strategies for fostering individual and cultural habits that help to heal the harms done by oppression. Through a focus on love, conscience and disparities of power, she guides us to a key step in liberatory organizing for peace: the work to cease looking for the sources of oppression in one another and, instead, learning to cultivate relationships from which we have power to abolish oppressive forces.
Ph.D., faculty in Justice and Policy Studies at Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
These activities create a safe atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Structured interactions form a solid base for any group to do traumatic or stressful work without specialists. The appeal to the core self and focus on integrity supports self-reflection and stabilization. Participants explore topics to prevent trauma, violence and oppression. The Ukraine needs this, especially now, because we are in war with a huge number of wounded and displaced people. Teenagers particularly need opportunities to reflect on and express themselves without violence. They are sensitive and want justice. These activities help them express themselves while staying peaceful inside. I am grateful to Nadine for such a gift, the tools and the good push to be more active peacemakers.
Program Manager, This Child Here, Odessa, Ukraine
Creating Cultures of Peace understands that each and every being is valuable, capable and worthy. It asks questions about why we as humans make enemies and rely on systems that oppress, kill and incarcerate people as political strategy. The material offers tools to personally address the ways individual actions impact the world around us, and how we can collectively work towards the future we want. This laid the foundation for how I work to create my life, supported me in finding the value in every person I meet, and held me accountable for honoring the global community I am a part of.
Dula and Youth Empowerment Advocate, Seattle, Washington, USA
When I heard about the Creating Cultures of Peace workshop, I could not stop myself from participating. I was motivated by the experiential activities to get to know my real self and live by it. I had so many realizations. Very simple practices, such as gathering, stopping, good companions and I-messages, are very serious and effective. Before I would advise my wife to stop watching television. Now I used an I-message and empathy. We talked about the results and impacts of watching television that helped us understand each other better. The stress and discomfort around this issue is gone. My journey of creating cultures of peace has begun and it continues…!
Senior Program Coordinator, Integrated Community Development Organization (ICDO), Lalitpur Nepal
The central point of this work for me was me–my experiences and the incidents or accidents in my life. The facilitators do not use imaginary lectures or preaching. They invite us to look at our lives, reflect on how we are practicing peace and how that can be improved. We shared our real-life experiences and thoughts with everyone. The focus was on how to bring about transformation in our private and public lives. Resolving a conflict nonviolently, being a good companion, using affirmation and simplicity and engaging in group dialogue to reach to a decision will help us live more humane lives.
Logistics Officer, Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), Kathmandu, Nepal
Creating Cultures of Peace brings a message of crucial importance: Peace is possible! Violence is not inherent to human nature! We each need to contribute to forming a peaceful global society. Peace must no longer refer to silence achieved through oppression and violence. True peace only flows from mutually enriching dialogue among citizens who respect each other as equal in dignity, who practice loving unity in enriching diversity, and who jointly care for all life on our home planet. Nadine’s book will be an indispensable guiding light for everyone embarking on this path.
MD, Psychologist, and PhD in Medicine and in Psychology, founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, Oslo, Norway
Participating in Creating Cultures of Peace was vital moment in my life, a stepping stone that gave me the ability to develop affirmation. It made me think about this question: How can l transform myself, live differently and present myself differently? Now I have good practices for creating a culture with peace. I am trying to share this understanding and practice with my fellow activists in the land rights movement. It improved my habits and ability to share my emotions and thoughts in our organization (NLRF) and made me a stronger activist.
Central Committee Member, National Land Rights Forum (NLRF) from Banglung District in western Nepal, a Dalit (‘untouchable’) community.
Meeting Nadine and doing this workshop truly changed my life. It transformed my daily life as well as my teaching. I hope many will read and use it as a tool for creating a better, more peaceful life.
Artist and art teacher, Longva, Norway
This training reconnects us with our own inherent goodness. We create the space to find and strengthen the unlimited intelligence of our hearts in this good work with these good humans
Founder, Parkside Yoga, Buffalo, New York, USA
Would you like to share your testimony about how Creating Cultures of Peace has changed your life? Please send it to info@consciencestudio [dot] com. Thank you!
Facilitator and author of Creating Cultures of Peace and editor of Power of Goodness.