Making Connections through Sustainability and Excellent Opportunities: The Global RCE Network and Ph.D. Student of International Conflict Management

February 25, 2019

We hope you enjoy this first post in a series of posts about the work of RCE Greater Atlanta, leading up to the 2019 Atlanta Global Studies Symposium: The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Education, Research, and Community Engagement (April 25 - 27, 2019), featuring a parallel session focused on capacity building through RCE Greater Atlanta.  Brittany Foutz is an International Conflict Management Ph.D. Candidate at Kennesaw State University. She is writing her dissertation on a transitional justice topic, focusing on the victims that have received reparations from two International Criminal Court Cases. Ms. Foutz’s research interests include international law, education through the SDGs, human rights advancement and the rule of law, and peacekeeping and peacebuilding. She has presented in over thirty conferences, been awarded twenty grants, and has developed fluency in four languages.

Participation in the RCE network offers excellent opportunities for community engagement, which has become an essential component of my research and work. I have been able to develop strong links between the greater Atlanta community, but, also, the global RCE community. The RCE network has helped turn my passion for sustainability and the resolution of the SDG’s using conflict resolution and peace studies into a reality. In the past, I had been introduced to the term sustainability but only through research and data, while the management and the people aspect had been neglected. The RCE network has now helped provide me personal connections, and, also, the best skills to implement at the workplace and in my studies.

It would be an understatement to say that the 11th Global RCE Conference in Cebu, the Philippines from 7-9 December 2018 had an impact upon my academic and professional goals. We all have moments of self-realization, these moments of clarity such as what major to study and what job we want to pursue. My moment of clarity was on the morning of the seventh of December at the Global RCE Conference when I became introduced in-person to the global RCE community.

My educational and professional objectives are a commitment to the academic field of conflict resolution and peace studies. I’m now finishing up my Ph.D. in International Conflict Management and will be transitioning to a teaching position back in the Washington, D.C. area. Ultimately, I aspire to become a thought leader within the field, and my experience with the RCE network had a significant impact on my knowledge and resources. Through my experiences with the network, I now realize that we have the opportunity to be the thought leaders and make a difference in our field. Now we have the opportunity to incorporate new voices, new data, and new knowledge on the world stage while continuing to preserve the knowledge that has already been developed.

One of the many distinguished and impressive individuals that I met at the 11th Global RCE Conference is Dr. Carolina Carolina López Caballero, Coordinator at RCE Borderlands-Mexico-USA and Director/Founder of the Living Lab/Centro de Diálogo y Transformación. She has been invited to speak and I’m very excited to host her at the upcoming Atlanta Global Studies Symposium in the Second Session’s Theme, “Learning from RCE’s in the U.S. and Abroad”. Even though Carolina has a wonderful background and still continues to work in academia, she is very active with the community - especially on a global scale. The main objective of the Living Lab and Centro de Diálogo y Transformación is to host projects of citizenship, both civil society organizations and individuals, focused on the common welfare and human, environmental, and economic development. Once the Center (Centro de Diálogo y Transformación) receives the project proposal, it is analyzed and if it is viable, is responsible for guiding the authors for the procurement of funds at the international level through the UN, who offers contact with organizations of high level that could be interested in contributing the necessary resources to carry out the initiatives.