Check out the new videos sent in from educators who’ve used Peace Literacy curriculum in their remote teaching during the pandemic.

We also have a Peace Literacy series of 9-short entries prepared to help guide discussions around the importance of meeting our non-physical needs during the pandemic.

Paul K. Chappell is the Director of the Peace Literacy Institute. A graduate of West Point and a veteran of the war in Iraq, he created the idea of Peace Literacy after his time in the military. He develops the idea further in his seven-book series The Road to Peace, where he writes about waging peace, ending war, the art of living, and what it means to be human. To learn more about Chappell, his work, and his speaking schedule, visit his website.

What is Peace Literacy?

Peace Literacy is a new approach to both peace and education, informed by three models:

  • Literacy education in reading and writing

  • West Point leadership training

  • Nonviolence strategies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi

Peace Literacy builds on the strengths of these three models:

  • Viewing peace not simply as a goal, but as a skill-set

  • Teaching a strategic approach to peacemaking

  • Focusing on and integrating well-being at the personal, social, and political levels

Peace Literacy is a growing movement of educators and concerned citizens who want to empower people with the training, skills, and understanding needed to heal the root causes of our problems, rather than merely addressing surface symptoms.

There is a lot you can do to help create a more peace literate world, we have provided a few ideas here.

A new peace paradigm

Our understanding of peace is only as good as our understanding of the human condition and trauma. To gain a deep and practical understanding of extremism, trauma, and the nature of human happiness, and to solve our national and global problems in the twenty-first century and beyond, we need a realistic and pragmatic model of the human condition that helps us understand our human needs and the tangles of trauma. Peace Literacy is based on research about basic human needs such as self-worth and belonging, and how trauma gets entangled with these needs. You can find a recently updated essay on this topic, available for download, here.

Why Peace Literacy now?

Just turn on the tv, or talk to your kids. The need is clear. Chappell has published a new pamphlet The World of Electric Light: Understanding the Seductive Glow of Screens focusing on the technological changes for which new ethical frameworks are needed. Understanding how social media platforms feed our shared human needs for self-worth and belonging can help us better adapt to rapid technological change. You can download a copy here.

"If we aren’t taught the language of peace, how can it be spoken?" Reflections from Michael Gardner, President of the Santa Barbara Rotary Club, after hearing Chappell's presentation on Feb. 9, 2018.


A peace literate world is a secure, just, and prosperous world.

Support from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu:

“Peace Literacy has the capacity to repair our broken parts and create a nonviolent world anchored in dignity, meaning, purpose, and compassion for all. Given the crucial role that Peace Literacy can play, I support the recognition of education in Peace Literacy as a universal human right.”

Building a more Peace Literate community starts here:

These six, single-page outlines summarize the introductory frameworks and diagnostic tools we cover in our curriculum and workshops (available in English, Spanish, and French)

  1. understand human needs and the tangles of trauma

    (E) (S) (F)

  2. learn the anatomy of aggression

    (E) (S) (F)

  3. recognize the power of respect and resolve conflict

    (E) (S) (F)

  4. strengthen communities

    (E) (S) (F)

  5. rehumanize the dehumanized

    (E) (S) (F)

  6. make good decisions, take effective actions, and unlock the power of waging peace

    (E) (S) (F)

Peace Literacy can also help us in the journey toward global sustainability:

We’ve put together a Concept Note on the relationship between Peace Literacy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals - please share widely!

Dive deeper with our Peace Literacy Curriculum

We offer peace literacy lesson plans and study guides suitable for use in k-12 classes, higher education, and community organizations.

Plan a Peace Literacy Workshop

For your school, workplace, or community organization.

Check out Reports from the Field

Teachers who’ve used our materials share their stories.


“I was thrilled with Paul's workshop because he moved us beyond the rhetorical discourse associated with peace education—his ideas are innovative and thought-provoking. His content, philosophy, and approach provide significant material for Peace Literacy in schools and classrooms. Paul offers us a practical application of language, a way to be deliberate in our teaching the strategies for Peace Literacy.” Mark Perry, New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood, and a coordinator with the UNESCO Associated Schools Network in Canada

“Paul Chappell recently visited our school to give our students a new perspective on the issue of bullying and harassment. For years our students have been told what they are not to do. Paul, instead, focused on what they can do to be more caring, more empathetic, more respectful, and kind to one another. This positive spin on the issue was so refreshing and spoke to our students in ways that rang true and allowed them to reflect on their own life and decisions.” Eric Wright, Principal, Alternative Education Program, College Hill High School, in Corvallis, Oregon

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