Stars of the Night

Talking with Caren Stelson and Ellie Roscher 

A mov­ing pic­ture book about war and peace: “There will be times when you’ll feel lone­ly and home­sick. Let the stars of the night and the sun of the day be the mes­sen­ger of our thoughts and love.”

The Librarian of Basra

Banned Books as Speaking Truth to Power 

There is a dif­fer­ence between keep­ing peace and mak­ing peace. It is not about avoid­ing dis­com­fort and try­ing to keep every­body hap­py, but brave­ly join­ing in the work of jus­tice. There is a dif­fer­ence between keep­ing peace and mak­ing peace. It is not about avoid­ing dis­com­fort and try­ing to keep every­body hap­py, but brave­ly join­ing in the work of justice.

Maybe Something Beautiful

Creating Kind Communities 

We explore com­mu­ni­ty build­ing through High­er Ground, with spe­cial empha­sis on the pow­er of kind­ness. Togeth­er, how can adults and chil­dren cre­ate gen­uine com­mu­ni­ty in our schools and beyond?

The Year We Learned to Fly

Finding Higher Ground through Peacebuilding 

We explore the mean­ing of peace­build­ing and what the infra­struc­ture for peace can look like in one class­room and through­out a school. We also sug­gest a pic­ture book and a book for the “adult on the rug,” both of which explore the deep con­cept of peacebuilding,

Be You!

Finding Higher Ground 

In this arti­cle and the next three arti­cles to come, we will explore paths to peace and peace­build­ing in class­rooms and schools through the lens of High­er Ground and the pow­er of sto­ry and art.

Big Worries in Little Bodies 

It can be easy to dis­miss the wor­ries of a child, but to that child, they may feel con­sum­ing. When we do not name and talk about our anx­i­eties, or when we do share them and they are dis­count­ed, shame around them can grow.

The Other Side

Compassionate Listening Deconstructs Fences 

Caren: When my daugh­ter Beth was four­teen, she trav­eled with a small exchange group of teens to Poland where she would live with a cou­ple and their teen daugh­ter in a small vil­lage. In a true exchange, the Pol­ish teens then trav­eled to Min­neso­ta for a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence. Nei­ther group spoke the other’s lan­guage. Recent­ly, while clean­ing out box­es, I found

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

Tiny Steps Toward Peace 

When I say the word Peace­mak­er, who is the first per­son that comes to mind? It is so impor­tant to teach chil­dren about famous peace­mak­ers but if we only teach about folks who have become larg­er than life, chil­dren may put peace­mak­ing on a pedestal that seems unat­tain­able for themselves.

The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden

Finding Peace While Grieving 

Some days are tough. Dur­ing this COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, our chil­dren face plen­ty of chal­lenges. Loss of play­ground time. Loss of play­dates. Changes in school rou­tines. Changes in home rou­tines. These days, chil­dren may need more time alone on a “peace blan­ket” to grieve their for­mer lives. The rest of us may need the same.

Fry Bread

The Alchemy of Fry Bread 

Bread brings peo­ple togeth­er. The ingre­di­ents in bread are so ele­men­tal. When com­bined with love, they nour­ish and sus­tain a peo­ple. At the cen­ter of a gath­er­ing, at the cen­ter of a cul­ture is a foun­da­tion­al grain that sus­tains life — naan, tor­tilla, rice, ugali, injera, and fry bread to name a few. Food, then, is a bridge between worlds. 


Eco-Peace: Reimagining the Possibility 

Part of our work as peace­mak­ers is to prop­er­ly sit­u­ate our­selves in a web of life. We are crea­tures in a vast, bril­liant and com­plex ecosys­tem called not to dom­i­nate, but to live with in har­mo­nious rela­tion­ship. Chil­dren often seem nat­u­ral­ly drawn to ani­mals and nature, with an inher­ent abil­i­ty to walk gen­tly on the green earth.

Each Kindness

The Kindness Factor 

As we write this arti­cle, we are in the mid­dle of a world-wide pan­dem­ic and a con­se­quen­tial elec­tion sea­son. Both events ask us to address big, core ques­tions: What kind of peo­ple do we want to be? How do we resolve our conflicts?

Red A Crayon Story

Naming Your Labels 

Liv­ing from a Place of Inner Peace Ellie: Michael Hall’s Red: A Crayon’s Sto­ry is the tale of a blue cray­on with a red label. The cray­on was not very good at being red. He couldn’t draw straw­ber­ries or work with yel­low to draw an orange. Every­one tried to help. Even scis­sors and sharp­en­ers made snips and tucks to see

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights

No Justice. [No Action.] No Peace. 

Caren: “No jus­tice. No peace.” This sum­mer, mil­lions of peo­ple – young, old and from all back­grounds — protest­ed police bru­tal­i­ty and sys­temic racism, all dur­ing an his­toric pan­dem­ic. Ellie Rosch­er and I live in Min­neapo­lis, Min­neso­ta, not far from where George Floyd was mur­dered by a Min­neapo­lis police offi­cer and close to the epi­cen­ter of march­es and protests. With the

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