Complementing its work to build peace internationally, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) also serves the American people directly as a core part of its founding mandate from Congress.
Indeed, the American public played a significant role in USIP’s creation in the first place. In the 1970s, everyday Americans spurred on congressional leaders who had served in the devastating wars of the 20th century, supporting their pursuit of a national institution that would help the U.S. manage and resolve international conflicts.
Today, as a new set of violent conflicts dominate international headlines, it is as important as ever to highlight for the American people the range of practical options that exist to make peace possible, and examples of peacebuilding in action.
This is especially important for younger Americans, who have come up after 9/11 and know only a world in which the U.S. is engaged militarily overseas and threats of terrorism and extremism loom large.
USIP is a resource for the government and for the American people, demonstrating this country’s commitment to peace through practical action. Since the move to its iconic headquarters near the National Mall in 2011, USIP has had a dedicated public education and national outreach program, focused on educating a broad public audience about how international conflicts can be resolved without violence, how peace is achieved, and why it matters.
What We Do
The Public Education program works with Americans across the United States—from educators and students to schools and organizations—to share USIP’s mission and work, and provide opportunities to learn and engage.
- Educational programs at USIP’s headquarters, speaking engagements at venues across the country, and virtual programs that connect USIP with classrooms and audiences.
- Flagship year-long programs including the Peace Teachers program for educators and three national contests for students that promote learning and inspire action.
- Signature resources including the Peace Trail on the National Mall, USIP’s Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators, the Peace Club Starter Kit for students, and a range of additional online materials.
- The Peace Day Challenge, which every September engages schools and communities across the U.S., and organizational partners locally, nationally and beyond, in a day of action for peace.
Reach and IMPACT
- Since 2011, the Public Education program has hosted over 24,000 American students, educators, and other visitors for onsite briefings and workshops, introducing them to the critical role the U.S. plays in reducing violent conflict around the world
- An additional 15,000 people have been reached through Public Education’s speaking engagements across the country.
- Each year, outreach activities bring USIP’s experts and resources to schools and communities in every state:
- Contests for students engage at least 5,500 school-age Americans over the academic year.
- Programs for educators directly reach over 500 teachers from across the U.S. each year.
- Partnerships with national organizations connect USIP with diverse audiences nationwide, from students to retirees.
- In 2019, the Peace Day Challenge inspired activities in 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as well as actions by individuals and organizations in all corners of the country—with millions more reached on social media.
Ways to Engage
- Sign up for our email list to receive Public Education’s quarterly newsletter
- Follow USIP’s events and activities by tuning in to webcasts and podcasts
- Request a group visit to USIP, or contact us to invite a USIP speaker to your classroom or community
- Mark your calendar for September 21 and take up the Peace Day Challenge with USIP!
The Public Education program brings USIP’s work to audiences across the United States. In 2019 alone, this included visits to schools and communities in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. Combined with onsite programs at USIP for visiting groups, virtual outreach activities, and flagship year-long programs for students and educators, USIP serves the American public in all 50 states.