On September 21, the BYU Center for Conflict Resolution presented its annual Peacemaker Award to Katherine Marshall, senior fellow at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue. This award is given each year in commemoration of the International Day of Peace, recognizing individuals who have done outstanding work in building peace in the local community or throughout the world.
Marshall is an expert on the process of peacebuilding. She has written extensively on peacebuilding and development and has worked for nearly four decades with the world’s poorest countries, particularly in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East. She serves on the boards of several NGOs and advisory groups.
As she explained to students and faculty, peacebuilding is not simply an effort to end fighting and violence. Instead, peacebuilding is “an integrated process aimed at building a permanent, lasting, and meaningful peace.” It is a process that must take into account the intricate web of peace, development, justice, religion, culture, and more.
During her time as a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Marshall has had many opportunities to be a part of this vital peacebuilding process as she has led the center’s work on religion and global development. In conjunction with BYU Law and many other organizations, Marshall is currently involved with the G20 Interfaith Forum as it seeks to gives religious groups a voice on important issues.
Ultimately, Marshall shared, her work in peacebuilding has led her to five central realizations that are vital in any peacebuilding or development process:
1. Peace, justice, and human dignity must be integrated into the peacebuilding process.
2. We must consider the impact of our decision at both the personal and global level.
3. Religious dimensions must be considered in peacebuilding.
4. Women must have a part in the development and peacebuilding process.
5. No development or peacebuilding is complete without a consideration of equality and equity.