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Sunday, 24 January 2010 19:41

Peace Cafés in 2010

Written by  Rob Porter
Bread & Roses Café Bread & Roses Café taken by Rob Porter

Would you like to start a peace café in your community soon?

Maybe you don't currently call it a "peace café", maybe it's a worker co-operative café or coffeehouse or community centre, maybe it's a public outreach centre or a general public education centre. There's many terminologies that can be used to describe the idea.

Today I'm in Waterloo at the Wilfred Laurier University's Global Citizenship Conference, to present on peace cafés and I've found yet another group working on something similar. The approaches to creating a space for community engagement and empowerment are as varied as the communities within a city, region, province, state, or as varied as cultures worldwide. There is no one way of doing it, no cookie cutter that will work everywhere like a franchise. (Not that any franchise can work anywhere...)

As I said there's many approaches, most of which follow the path of forming a group of interest, finding a space of interest, and working together with a common cause and common values. A peace café may be something which exists only at certain times at first (event-based approach) or may exist where food and drink aren't yet necessarily available (someone's office with a self-serve kitchenette), or may travel as a meeting concept (like conversation cafés). Maybe it's a concept you'd like to connect to similar kinds of businesses (like a bed & breakfast, an inn, etc.).

Do any of these things sound like something you're involved with? Or want to be? If we don't know about you yet, perhaps you should contact us -- info AT peacecafe.ca.

No scope is too small. Some might be too big, but never too small.

Rob Porter

Rob Porter

Rob joined Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace in 2002, after attending the first Annual Conference on Peace Education in Canada when he started his second university undergraduate degree.

Originally from a farm near Walkerton, Ontario, Rob resides in Hamilton, Ontario where he attended McMaster University for music, theatre & film studies, and peace studies.

Rob has assisted with the Annual Conferences on Peace Education in Canada over the years, first as a volunteer student and later as the facilitator and coordinator. He is now the director of the first community Peace Café, Hamilton Centre for Teaching Peace.

Rob also is a professional web programmer and designer, having designed and programmed dozens of sites since 1997. More recently he has incorporated a business partnership called CartaNova.

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