Dr Monica Carrer
I have started The Everyday Peace Initiative because I am passionate about people and I believe in their potential for change. When I was conducting my fieldwork in rural villages in India in the aftermath of a violent conflict, I was often asked why I had come there. I said that I came to learn from them, and I did. What I learned from the local people was of immense value.
I have now earned my PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Otago and I am eager to continue this journey by putting together peoples knowledge and building peace from below. I specialize on civil war and on the local level dynamics of conflict in particular. I have a broad interdisciplinary background in the social sciences, including politics, international relations, sociology, anthropology, social psychology and gender studies.
During my doctoral journey I have become mother of two children. The joys and challenges of motherhood have significantly shaped my way of thinking. Everyday I am confronted with the task of sowing peace right here, in our home. This has helped me connect more with the experiences of moms, families and caregivers in general in their powerful effort in constructing a peaceful future for the next generations.
My thinking has also been influenced by teachings of the Indian philosopher Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, the founder of the spiritual movement Ananda Marga. In this perspective, the spiritual and social dimensions are seen as deeply intertwined. I have been practicing Ananda Marga yoga and meditation since 2003 and it is a way of life for me.
Dr Sylvia C Frain
I am honoured to work alongside Dr Monica Carrer as The Everyday Peace Initiative evolves to best support families and communities while conducting research and digitally dissemination resources to create a more peaceful region and planet. I envision the Everyday Peace Initiative as a collective space to promote decolonisation and demilitarisation as pathways for everyday peace.
I earned my PhD with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago in 2017 and continue to serve as a Research Affiliate with the Centre. In 2018, I was the inaugural postdoctoral fellow with the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology and remain a member of the Vakatele Pacific Research Network.
I employ new media platforms to digitally curate and share news stories and legal updates, as well as an archival space open to others working for demilitarisation and decolonisation across Oceania. I curate the research-oriented Facebook page, Oceania Resistance to share research from the region in the Marianas Archipelago and highlight current issues. I continue to link my work through the hashtag #OceaniaResistance. My doctoral thesis, “Fanohge Famalåo’an & Fan’tachu Fama’lauan: Women Rising. Indigenous Resistance to Militarization in the Marianas Archipelago.” is available as an e-book on the Guam-based website, Guampedia.
My connection to the Marianas Archipelago continues from Aotearoa New Zealand. I am a Research Associate with the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam, and collaborate with Practical Solutions in Saipan, The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas developing community projects across Micronesia.
Finally, I regularly contribute the blog Pasifika Rising, an initiative of the ‘Raising Pacific Voices Project’ with Oxfam Pacific, serve as a council member with the Auckland-based Peace Foundation, and is an Associate Consultant with Practical Solutions, LLC in Saipan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.