I recently joined the board of trustees of the envisioned New York City Peace Museum, alongside amazing folks such as UN Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury. New York can be a tough town, but we know from peace. We have to, what with literally living on top of each other, our insanely fast pace, and our beautiful cacophony of cultures and languages. When xenophobia and Muslim scapegoating gripped so much of the country in the wake of 9/11, New York City — the target of the attacks — remained a relative oasis of interfaith and intercultural tolerance. The amazing mediators I am fortunate enough to work with at New York Peace Institute with help more than 10,000 people creatively resolve their disputes each year…I like to say we’re the largest civilian peacekeeping force in NYC.
So it’s about time we honor peace as a New York thing with our very own Peace Museum, and join our brethren in cities all over the world. Stay tuned.
Brad Heckman is Chief Executive Officer of the New York Peace Institute, one of the nation's largest conflict resolution services. He's also an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, where he teaches courses on international conflict resolution and organizational development. His teaching style includes subjecting students to his childlike drawings and arcane pop culture references
Brad previously served as International Director of Partners for Democratic Change, for which he helped build the first community peacebuilding centers in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Caucasus, and the former Soviet Union. He worked extensively with the Roma – commonly known as Gypsy – communities in Eastern Europe, and subsequently made several ill-fated attempts to learn to play Roma music on the accordion. He was also a Vice President of Safe Horizon, a leading victims services and violence prevention agency. In that capacity, he oversaw the agency’s Mediation, Families of Homicide Victims, Legal Services, Anti-Trafficking, Batterers Intervention, and Anti-Stalking Programs.
Brad received a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College. He blogs for the New York Peace Institute.