Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Give peace a chance: Santa Clara University launches Architects of Peace award and curriculum on peacemaking

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- June 21, 2005-- Through an annual Architects of Peace Award and an accompanying online curriculum for use by high school and college students, Santa Clara University plans not only to recognize the peacemakers of today, but to inspire the peacemakers of tomorrow.

The University award, to be administered through the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, builds on the Architects of Peace work of photographer Michael Collopy.

The recipients of the 2005 Architects of Peace award are Marla Ruzicka and Mary Robinson.

The award will be given posthumously to Marla Ruzicka, founder of "Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict" (CIVIC), a humanitarian organization dedicated to assisting civilian casualties and their families killed or injured as a result of U.S. military operations. Ruzicka was killed by a car bomb in Baghdad on April 16, 2005. The victim's compensation fund Ruzicka helped establish has paid out nearly $30 million for medical assistance, housing and school construction in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Award recipient Mary Robinson has served as President of Ireland, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and is currently head of the Ethical Globalization Initiative in New York. Throughout her varied roles, she has sought to build bridges between people in conflict while spreading the message that long-lasting security in the age of terrorism comes from promoting global justice.

"In a world of conflict, there is no more important calling than peacemaking," said SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "It is a great privilege for the Santa Clara community to honor the world's best-known peacemakers, and to tell their stories to the next generation of students and to the community."

The award winners will be acknowledged on June 25, during the World Leader's Summit, to be attended by more than 25 former heads of state and more than 40 scholars, experts, and dignitaries from the United Nations and around the globe. The Awards will be given at a closing dinner held in Atherton, California, where recipient Mary Robinson will speak. The new curriculum will also be available at that time on the web site.

Information about the role of the award winners in building peace will be included in the new online curriculum as well. Each of the 75 lesson plan modules, featuring most of the living Nobel Peace Prize winners and other prominent global advocates for peace, focuses on one of the Architects of Peace and contains a portrait by Collopy, a summary of the individual's life and accomplishments, quotations from the person, suggested topics for further research, and links to additional online material

"Santa Clara and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics are dedicated to encouraging global moral leadership," said Kirk O. Hanson, university professor and executive director of the Center. "Our first two recipients are inspiring examples of how ordinary human beings can make the world a better and more peaceful place."

But the aim is not just to inform young audiences about the work of global peace advocates, but to motivate learners as well. "We want to give them the resources, and let them think big," said Almaz Negash, director of the Global Leadership and Ethics Program at the ethics center and one of the directors of the curriculum project.

The hope is that the resources spur students to initiate their own creative thinking on continuing the work of peacemakers.

The initial seeds for the Architects of Peace award and the accompanying lesson plans were planted nearly four decades ago when photographer Michael Collopy, just 10 years old at the time, met Robert F. Kennedy. The experience "made a huge impression on me," said Collopy. He believes it propelled him to seek his life-changing encounters photographing Mother Teresa and Cesar Chavez. From there, the idea of creating an artistic way to explore peace evolved into his 2000 book Architects of Peace: Visions of Hope in Words and Images. The work is a combination of compelling portraits and accompanying write-ups based on Collopy's interviews with 75 figures worldwide he selected as architects of peace.

His pictorial peace project includes the famous as well as the less well known. As might be expected, the illustrious collection includes Mother Teresa and Cesar Chavez, but also people rarely identified as peacemakers, such as actor Robert Redford, primatologist Jane Goodall, and Oakland schoolteacher Ida Jackson.

Currently, 50 of his Architects of Peace portraits hang in the lobby of SCU's Arts and Sciences Building. The rest of the collection is on display at other venues worldwide.

Collopy's ultimate goal with Architects of Peace, he explained, was "to make the information available as an educational tool so their legacies can live on long after they're gone." That meshes well with the mission of the Global Leadership and Ethics Program, which is helping make Collopy's dream a reality through the curriculum project, Negash said.

"How one promotes peace in the world varies from person to person -but through the annual Architects of Peace Award, the university hopes to convey that we are all called to be peacemakers, each in our own way," Negash said.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,213 students' rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth- highest graduation rate among all U.S. masters' universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at the university web site.