Decolonial Peace Education for Social Change
Global Education Colloquium
January 27, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, EdD
This presentation is based on a critical analysis of school/structural violence and historically sanctioned educational inequity in Trinidad & Tobago. What started as a 7-month qualitative case study in 2009 has now extended into a 10-year, longitudinal project. As a decolonial endeavor, this project is an amalgam of research, activism, and intervention. Dr. Williams has merged theories on dynamical systems, decoloniality, and critical peace education to highlight the structures, processes, and policies that maintain a colonially constituted time warp in Trinidad’s educational system. As a possible way to destabilize this warp, Dr. Williams has been piloting a Systemic Restorative Praxis as a form of decolonial peace education. This praxis proposes combining critical historical reflection with restorative, healing practices, as a necessary step in de-linking from systems of oppression, and re-envisioning and enacting sustainable, radically alternative, community-based social change. The data for this study are based on extensive participant observation and field notes, interviews (with students, parents, and administrators), student focus groups, 300+ student-conducted surveys, 600+ national adult surveys (online), 1000+ hours of trainings/workshops in restorative circles, conflict resolution, mediation, leadership development, and activism with students and parents.
Dr. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, a native of Laventille, Trinidad & Tobago, is Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Director of Peace and Justice Studies, and faculty affiliate in Education, Globalization Studies, and Public Policy at Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania, USA). He is also a lecturer in the conflict resolution and mediation program at the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, Columbia University. He completed his B.A. in Psychology at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, and his Master of Arts, Master of Education and Doctor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in International Educational Development/Comparative and International Education with foci in philosophy of education and peace education. His research centers on school/structural violence, educational inequities, and youth and community empowerment. He has conducted many workshops/trainings on anti-racism, mediation, conflict resolution, intercultural communication, restorative circles, leadership development and activism in diverse settings.