*The references for this section are found in Appendix F
Peace Education is a theme in the human rights movement because of the role it plays in transforming the future into an environment for peace. For example, instead of upping punishments at schools to stop behavioral problems, or increasing police presence in a neighborhood to stop crime, peace education is a proactive model implemented based on the theme of prevention. A Chiefs’ Ride on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota, is held to honor past Chiefs, connect children to the land and each other, and build a sense of cultural identity. A songwriting camp at the Simply Smiles Home for Children in Oaxaca, Mexico, is offered to teach music, empower creative self-expression, and offer an attentive listening audience to orphans (Simply Smiles, 2018). Programs such as these serve as more than a reactionary response (this is not negating the importance of programs that are reactionary—for example, these types of organizations and programs are critical after a natural disaster), and they exist in a way where education and the transformation of information can create a space for change.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a stunning and affecting document. Article 27 is my favorite, because it declares the right to participate in culture and enjoy the arts. I like to refer to it as “the right to beauty.” And yet, as I read through each of the articles written into this declaration 70 years ago, I realize that all of these rights are not only upheld, but are actively promoted at HBV. There is nothing neutral about HBV as a space, or its presence in the Bronx. It serves as a merger of critical reflection and direct action as stated in the mission statement on their website and all literature: “Inspiring excellence in the lives of the children of the Highbridge community through their participation in music.” HBV intends to impact the community in a positive way. This is a value-based organization, and therefore a rich source for a case study in Peace Education. Appendix F contains a list of resources that elucidate the concept of Peace Education, and can serve as evidence in making the argument that HBV is a Peace Education Program centered around Human Rights. This list is meant to be a jumping off point, and is by no means complete.