Faculty and Staff - Phyllis Brazee
For the past nine years I have had the incredible opportunity of directing UM’s Peace Studies Program. During that time I have worked collaboratively with past directors–Drs. Kathryn Gaianguest and Emily Markides. My inspiration and day-to-day sounding board has been Barb Blazej, who has worked for the Peace Studies Program almost since its inception in 1988. Barb and I have taught together, attended and presented at national conferences together, planned numerous on campus events and we keep the program going on a daily basis. We are now ably assisted by Ellen Woodhead. We have also been joined over the years by many creative, hardworking work-study students and adjunct faculty.
I have taught at the college level for 32 years in two institutions: the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Maine. I have delighted in experiential formats that enhance the possibilities for building and maintaining relationships within the classroom setting. I have taught Literacy Education, first a Remedial Reading teacher for 3 years in public schools, and then for 25 years at the University level. I am currently in the Curriculum and Foundations area of the College of Education and Human Development, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. My concurrent position as Director of the Peace Studies Program allows me to work directly on issues that I hold dear: creating a humane, compassionate world, and understanding the root causes that seem to prevent us from achieving this vision. I am an eternal optimist by birth, so I believe that we will ultimately achieve such a vision.
I have two sons – Jeff, 29 and Chris, 26. Jeff graduated from Colorado College and is currently a technology administrator for an NGO. He is married to Amanda COA graduate who now works at CU Boulder. Chris graduated from NYU in comparative literature and physics. He currently lives in Brooklyn Heights and is attending a 2 year agraduate program in Historic Preservation at Columbia University. He loves the city, and the opportunity to come north at frequent intervals to experience a totally different pace of life.
My Vision for a Culture of Peace:
I believe that authentic, non-judgmental dialogue including deep, heartfelt listening is the major tool for creating the opportunities for building a culture of peace in the 21st century.
I believe that relationships are central to all of life and to a culture of peace. These relationships are both solid and fluid. They take constant attention.
I believe a unique opportunity of this new century is to engage in the creation of balance & harmony between yin and yang, masculine and feminine energies. Humans have been out of balance for centuries.
As with the field of peace studies, my vision for a peaceful world (and how to achieve it) has grown immensely over the last nine years.
I believe the world is engaging in a transformation from a culture of war to a culture of peace. This is nothing less than a worldwide paradigm shift.
I believe that central to a culture of peace is the desire to live a meaningful life. That meaning comes from both inner peace and outer action. Meaning comes from a sense of something larger than one’s self.
I believe that forgiveness is one of the most important “skills” for citizens in the 21st century. It is an ancient act and a new field of academic study.