Center for Peace Through Culture (CPC) / History of CPC
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Beginnings

The Center for Peace through Culture was first founded in 1978 in New York City and, subsequently, other branches were founded in San Francisco, California. San Antonio, Texas, Monterey, Massachusetts and Toronto, Canada. It was established as a non-profit organization to promote global peace through fostering collaborative projects among artists, scientists and philosophers.

These projects came out of group processes designed to research intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Such research has played an integral part in the preparatory work for the International Center.

CPC presented public events and programs including workshops, conferences, exhibitions and festivals with an average attendance of 150 people. Projects across the country included a a summer camp for children sponsored by the Massachusett branch and an annual peace fair held by the San Antonio CPC.

In addition, there were projects that combined the arts and sciences, networking with other organizations and creating presentations at international conferences. CPC was part of the planning for Earth Day. CPC also produced booklets, brochures and newsletters.

Experimental forums included panelists from widely different disciplines from the arts, sciences and spiritual philosophies addressing global issues. Sometimes the forums included artistic performances. Topics included

  • In a forum on Values, three scientists engaged in a panel discussion on "What are the major conditions and forces moving us toward global interdependence?" and "How will these changes affect the value systems of westernized cultures?" (1988)
  • A philosopher, an ecologist and a sociologist held a panel on "How will the changing realities and values affect our social interactions?" and "How should we govern ourselves in the global era?" (1988)
  • A one-day event, "Synthesis: Art, Science and Philosophy in a Planetary Culture" was held at the Ethical Culture Society in 1989.
  • "Forum for the Future, The International City: Building a Model for Global Collaboration" was held in two parts: "Changing Realities, Changing Values" and "Human Systems in the Global Era." (1990)

CPC in New York started with a handful of volunteers and by 1990 had developed a distinguished Board of Advisors, a membership base of over 200, and 60 active volunteers working on numerous projects. A full time Executive Director coordinated the work.

The organization's goal of an international city was never achieved. In 1990, for economic reasons, the CPC had to close its offices.

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Rebirth

After 9/11, one of the founders of the original CPC, and members of the CPC branches across the country, decided it was time to begin again

They revisted the concepts of the original organization, which were still valid in today's world but changed some of the focus to concentrate on the psychology of peace, the main key to bridging the differences between various cultures.

CPC was incorporated in Massachusetts as a non-profit organization. The goal of first CPC had been to have an inter-cultural, inter-disciplinary international city, which would be a place for creating new approaches in fostering world peace. In today's world of telecommunications it is no longer necessary to bring people together physically for long periods of time to do this work.

The goal of the new CPC, therefore, is to have small centers around the planet where researchers in different disciplines can come to work and be together for short periods of time. Participants can then continue their work and share results when they returned to their home countries.

An exciting project, Greenagers, incubated by CPC, came out of a forum held by the early CPC. We invited two scientists, two artists and two philosophers from around the country to meet together over two weekends and dialogue together around a pressing issue. We presented them with a situation on Long Island: there was so much pollution at that time that the water was unsafe to drink. We then led them through a "think tank" process that we had developed and they came up with an approach to the issue. Their idea was to recruit teenagers into an "environmental army" to awaken their parents, teachers and fellow students into action around the issue. The name of this group of young people was to be called "Greenagers."

The Greenagers project is now a reality, a thriving separate organization.

The Center for Peace through Culture believes that peace will come about when enough people realize that life on earth is one indivisible whole, and when they use their inherent creativity to serve the whole by restoring harmony and balance.

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