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Meet Aldo Civico

Senator George Mitchell called Aldo Civico “one of the most innovative leaders in the conflict resolution field.” He is the founder and director of The International Institute for Peace at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, where he is an assistant professor in anthropology. Over the last 20 years, Civico has served as a strategic adviser and conflict resolution facilitator to organizations and communities in Italy, Haiti, Mexico, and Colombia. At the end of the 1980s in Italy, he was one of the founders of a social movement raising awareness against kidnappings, which at the time were a severe plague in his country. He moved on to serve from 1991 to 1995 as a senior adviser to anti-mafia leader and Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando. In that capacity, he helped to design communication strategies to encourage civic engagement in the fight against systemic corruption and the Mafia.

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Recent Blog Posts

  • The GULD Conference in New York

    It doesn't happen every day to be on a panel and have Harry Belafonte sitting in the front row, listening to you. I had this honor last Thursday at the "Grow Up Locked Down" conference. An extraordinary and unique 3-day event organized by The Gathering for Justice and her visionary executive directo ... READ MORE

    Child Soldiers: My Testimony in Congress

    Today, I had the great honor to testify before the Tom Lantos Commission of Human Rights at the U.S. Congress in Washington DC. The hearing was dedicated to child soldiers and I focused on child soldiers in Colombia. I shared some of the stories I heard from adolescents who had been combatants o ... READ MORE

  • Going Back to Work…

    "How do you mentally prepare to go back to work?" a friend asked me early this morning. Today I return to Rutgers University in Newark after my sabbatical. I will step into the classroom and meet my new students. Today we kick off the fall semester, and for many of my students it will be the beg ... READ MORE

    The Power of Mindful Listening

    I am often asked this question: how come that guerrilla fighters, paramilitary leaders and gang members sit down with you and confess to you?  More often than not, I respond with a smile and a gentle shrug of the shoulders, but over the past few weeks, as I was designing a new training in effect ... READ MORE

  • A First Step to Resolve Conflict

    "How many of you love dealing with conflict?" I often ask when I do conflict resolution training. No hand goes up. "How many of you believe conflict sucks?" I ask. This time, everyone laughs and raises a hand. Whether we go through a relationship or marriage crisis, whether we face a conflict ... READ MORE

    The Life of a Young Black Man…

    I have been observing the life of a young African American man, a great hip hop artist. With a difficult past, which includes membership in a gang, a few years ago he made the choice for a life change. He has being fighting to build a different and healthy future for himself and his family, which in ... READ MORE

  • Obama’s predator drones are destroying tribal structures in Pakistan

    A week after president Barack Obama had promised a more restrained and “savvy” use of drone attacks, an Unnamed Arial Vehicle (UAV) spotted and killed in the Pakistani tribal belt, Wali ur-Rehman, deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban. As Mark Mazzetti highlighted in his New York Times analysis ... READ MORE

    Walter Benjamin, the blogger

    If Walter Benjamin would live in our times, I bet he’d be a blogger. The blog format would be congenial to his montage writing style, to his avant-garde collage of observations and reflections, all expressing the fragmentary character of our existence. Benjamin in fact engaged with a variety ... READ MORE

  • Lessons from my grandfather

    In June, I visited the places where my mother’s father, Hubert Saurwein, founded and led the armed resistance against Hitler in a long and narrow valley of Austria, the Oetz valley, in the region of Northern Tyrol. He was nicknamed the Tito of the Oetz Valley. He was a locomotive engineer, a co ... READ MORE

    Justin Bieber and the Graffiti Writers of Colombia

    A few days ago, when he sneaked out from his hotel to do some graffiti on a 40 meters long gray wall of the Calle 26 in Bogota, Justin Bieber most probably didn’t imagine he would stir a lively debate and provoke a chain of reactions, which ended up legitimizing graffiti and urban art. The ... READ MORE

  • Searching for Peace in Syria

    On Wednesday, I will fly to Turkey, to a town not far from Syria, for a conflict resolution workshop to train Syrian civic leaders to conceptualize and design ceasefire agreements on a local level, to improve the security conditions of communities embedded in violence. If one looks at the Syria con ... READ MORE

    Dirty Wars, the Documentary: An Anthropological Commentary

    Saturday night, I went to see Dirty Wars, a documentary film about the U.S. covert operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, written and produced by investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, the national security correspondent for The Nation. The film chronicles the reporting of Scahill as he ... READ MORE

  • RT : Congrats speaker Kori Cioca and the team for TWO #emmys last night, incl Best Doc!!
  • History: our present. Lowered into it we listen. (Transtorn).
  • Nothing like beginning a day with a great poem.
  • RT : Remember that every person you meet has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and a dream to do: http://t.co/lP49Wa12rU
  • RT : National Day fireworks cancelled in Hong Kong due to #OccupyCentral protests. LIVE updates: http://t.co/7qSHO6A8dy http://…
  • RT : It's time to listen to the women of Syria http://t.co/6B2U1FTvgn
  • And tonight it's Robert Plant in concert... http://t.co/YWPl70f6kG
  • Hasta estuvo moderada.
  • RT : Sending my gratitude to the young people on Hong Kong fighting for their future...and ours' as well.
  • RT : . and I are over the moon to be grandparents! One of the happiest moments of our life. http://t.co/Cww4r8C9…

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