PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES

School of Health and Human Sciences

PCS STUDENT GROUP, C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. ALLIANCE, IS FORMED

Left to Right: Rikki Nisbet, Scotty Peterson, DraShonta Brinson, Eduardo Pinero, Dr. Marcia Hale (faculty advisor), Desireé Gorbea-Finalet, Triumph Emmanuel, and Chris Batts

 

By Lindsay Jamerson

Hold on to your seats, there’s a new student organization in town and it is changing the game.
Most student organizations find roots in either academia or community engagement, but the new
Peace and Conflict Studies student organization, aptly named C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance, is
grounded in the power of relationships.

“C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T Alliance began as an idea between colleagues and with great effort became an inspiring relationship built from mutual trust and reciprocity.”                                                                                                                                                                   Rikki Nisbet, Founding Vice President

Dr. Marcia Hale, one of the professors in the Peace and Conflict Studies department, is the
organization’s faculty advisor and is very excited about the new student organization. She says:

“Intentionally working with conflict is exciting because it is always all around and inside of us. Creatively engaging ever-present conflict deepens our relationships, strengthens our communities, and equips us as individuals to have more agency in the world. The founders of the C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance embodied that wisdom and created an organization to deepen and share the practice of conflict transformation. I look forward to participating in the growth of the organization, as it serves our department and the students of Peace and Conflict Studies; other students, staff and faculty throughout UNCG; and the larger Greensboro community.”

The all caps word CONFLICT in C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance is an acronym for Community
Organizers Nurturing and Fostering Lives in Conflict Transformation. The organization is
founded with eight pillars in mind: departmental connection, field awareness, professional
development, community engagement, broadening education, student assistance, student
experience, and student inclusivity. One organizational goal is to connect students across UNCG
and the broader community to form alliances aimed at furthering teaching and learning through
relationship-building and conflict transformation.

One of eight founding members, Desiree Gorbea-Finalet said, “We are trying to give students the
opportunity to take classroom pedagogy and apply it to praxis, to actually see it in person; and
then you incorporate community opportunities and collaborate with other groups, you are
teaching students how to utilize their skills.”

This student group is composed of undergraduate and graduate students representing a range of
interests and life experiences. Eduardo Pinero, a founding member and Marine Corps veteran, is
currently working as one of UNCG’s VA Certifying Officials. As a graduating student, he, like
the other founders, saw a need for a group that would join faculty, staff, and students:

“CONFLICT Alliance is a great opportunity for students in both the undergraduate and
graduate PCS programs to come together and establish a network within this community. The
group will also serve as an advocate for the department and explore the opportunities that exist
after graduation for being practitioners or for continuing levels of education within the field.”

Eduardo Pinero, Founding Member

Another member, Triumph Emmanuel, echoed this sentiment, saying:

“For all this to work and benefit all parties, everyone has to play their role, both faculty and students. The department should give the organization room to grow and also accept their recommended actions. …The students should engage with the organization for the fulfillment of their own interests.”

Scotty Peterson, the Treasurer of C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. Alliance, believes that this organization has great potential,

“In five years, I hope CONFLICT will hold a large interdisciplinary body of
students. Peace and Conflict Studies is a field that utilizes cooperation and innovation
interwoven across several fields of study. Ideally, the organization will be able to actively practice that itself.”

If you are interested in future events or have any additional questions reach out to
C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T Alliance at uncgconflict@gmail.com or check out the student organization page
at: https://uncg.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/pcs.

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