The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and Majority-Minority Relations in the Southern Philippines: Religion, Education, Community and Political Process.

A capacity building institute and study tour for government, NGO, religious and women leaders from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, funded by U.S. Department of State.

NOTES on the ARMM Program

Goals and Objectives: The major goals of this project are to (a) build the capacities of local leaders in the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) to face new challenges and opportunities for strengthening the foundation of peace and development in Mindanao; and (b) promote a better understanding of the United States--its people, culture, values, and civic institutions. The specific objectives are to: 1) sharpen the participants’ skills in conflict resolution and management, peace leadership, respect for diversity, and community activism; 2) provide core skills for forging partnerships among local government units, peace and development organizations, and national government agencies; 3) develop in the participants an appreciation of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the ARMM through a comparative understanding of majority and minority cultures in the U.S.; 4) provide opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue with their U.S. counterparts on civic participation, human rights and justice, tolerance, participatory development and grassroots empowerment; 5) set up vertical and horizontal partnerships with private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and NGOs in the U.S. and in the Philippines to share lessons learned and to leverage resources and knowledge; 7) sharpen the participants’ skills in designing concrete cooperation and action plans on religion, communities, education and political processes.
The U.S.-based Professsional Development Program (PDP) -- May 31 – June 22, 2006
The PDP will provide a rich and varied, but at the same time coherent and carefully structured agenda to provide the participants (1) substantial knowledge and enhanced understanding of how religion, education, community, and political leaders interact in the U.S., (2) an enriched appreciation for cultural and religious diversity, understanding and cooperation, and (3) core skills and tools in peace leadership, community activism, human rights and justice, civic participation, and building linkages. The program will have two major types of activities: (a) academic sessions such as workshops, lectures and facilitated discussions, and (b) study tour/visits to Salt Lake City (Utah), Chicago and Springfield (Illinois) to interact and dialogue with government officials, community, interethnic and inter-religious leaders. It will provide them with a clear understanding of American institutions of tolerance, diversity, and expose them to the culturally and religiously plural social life of rural and urban America.
The proposed curriculum for the PDP is as follows:
· The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality (the role of race and ethnicity in American politics and public policy)
· Understanding the Cultural, Ethnic and Religious Components of Conflict
· The Role of Religion and Education in Shaping Community and Political Life in the U.S.
· Linking Community Activists and Policy Makers: The Bottom-Up Peace Process
· Community Empowerment and Grassroots Development (Building Community, Building Peace)
· Strategic Management for NGOs/Enhancing the Peacemaking Capacities of Organizations
· Promoting Human Rights and Justice
· Conflict Resolution and Management, Mediation, and Negotiation
· Women Waging Peace on Gender and Conflict
· Media and the Arts as Tools for Peace
· Good Government Principles and Funds Management

Published: 25 May 2006

Contact details:

Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

815-753-1771
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