Learn more about Virginia Swain through the Institute for Global Leadership, the Center for Global Community and World Law, her television show Imagine Worcester and the World and Restoring Faith in Humanity: A World United by Children
Read Strategies Review of Virginia Swain’s book, A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace in the February 2008 Strategies Newsletter, published in Sweden by Jonas Himmelstand. In an excerpt from the Introduction, Virginia writes: “I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary experiences. My story begins in 1979 when I felt a leading I couldn't ignore... Because I have a certainty of what I am being led to do with my life, I understand now how I can make a difference in the world.” Read Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury's response to A Mantle of Roses.
History of Virginia Swain's presentations
With international experience on five continents as varied as United States Peace Corps teaching in Africa and consultation and training leaders in The United Nations community since 1991, Virginia founded the Institute for Global Leadership after her experience at the United Nations in New York during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. As principal consultant, Virginia provides coaching, training and consultation for business, community, institutional, national and global challenges. Virginia is the author of A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace (August 2004, XLibris). Download at Amazon.com
Virginia persevered in her dedication to address the problematic process behind the UN Security Council Resolution sanctioning the Persian Gulf War in 1991 by harnessing the power of children and child-like attributes in adults—innocence, generosity, sense of awe and wonder, curiosity, creativity and cooperation in the Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community at the UN in 1992. She continues to create civil society responses to strengthen the UN’s response to global challenges by introducing the link between individual and systemic development of human rights and sustainability in dozens of implementations of the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation for Political Will (PPR). In lightly facilitated and elicitive frameworks to create global community and address root causes of conflict, The Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service (GMRS) grew out of case studies of the PPR, giving credence to her impressive credentials as a successful global networker and true exponent of the new language of international collaboration.
Virginia is also the co-founder and President of the Center for Global Community and World Law with expertise in global governance, the process by which humanity is evolving to political union. Virginia served as a United Nations non-governmental organization representative and citizen diplomat since 1991 and gave seminars at both the Earth and Social Summits in Brazil and Denmark in addition to assisting in the preparations for the UN Beijing Women’s Summit and the United States Committee for the United Nations Habitat for Humanity Conference and the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For four years, Virginia served on the Executive Committee of the Coalition for a Strong United Nations and is the former co-chair of the International Business Task Force.
Virginia was awarded the Peace Corps Third Goal Service Award for bringing Intercultural Understanding to Worcester and to the United Nations (read the press release) . She has been funded by various foundations to support her peacebuilding work in the Philippines, with Rwandans and former Yugoslavians, her participation in the Hague Appeal, the Millennium Forum and lobbying states for peace and disarmament issues. She has been active in the Global Compact, the Academic Council for the United Nations and presented at conferences such as the International Educators for Peace, the Comparative International Education Society, Global Education Associates, Global Structures Conference, Hague Appeal for Peace and the NGO Millennium Forum.
Virginia is committed to gathering and mobilizing like-minded people in a shared vision for sustainable peace and development. In recent years, her research and practice interest has included Security Council Resolution 1325: Women and Peace and Security, the Sudan Track II Peace Process and the Coalition for the Human Right to Peace as well as providing Reconciliation Leadership training for a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service. Reconciliation Leaders, practical idealists, deliver interventions in the GMRS model, are taught a systems-based approach to leadership and provided with a toolbox to facilitate reconciliation interventions in community, organizational, national and global settings. With an emphasis on context-specificity, participants are able to design frameworks tailored to build trust in communities while honoring their unique challenges in turn increasing the potential for effective solutions.
Additionally, Virginia develops children and youth leaders, drawing on the cornerstone project, Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community, at the United Nations in New York in 1992, Celebration of Children and Families in Boston in 1999, Culture of Peace Initiative and Imagine Worcester and the World demonstrates that children’s voices are needed to resolve the world’s problems as a significant contribution to Millennium Development Goal Eight and Culture of Peace. Expressive arts, dialogue, and global education are core methodologies.
Restoring Faith in Humanity Project: A World United by Children is based on the vision that children’s voices are needed in the public and private discourse to address local and global challenges. Our mission is to listen closely and empower children to speak and be heard by local and global leaders. Restoring Faith in Humanity—A World United by the Young is designed to contribute to Culture of Peace Initiatives by Developing a Global Network of Enlightened Leaders of All Ages.
Restoring Faith in Humanity Project offers several ways for children to become involved, including participating in a cable television show, “Imagine Worcester and the World” and in the Emerging Leaders Expressive Arts Program which uses imaging and creative arts to express emotions, identify gifts and offer their vision for the world. We will also seek to empower children and youth with an adapted version of the Reconciliation Leadership toolbox developed over twenty years for adults, with the aim of ultimately incorporating young leaders into the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service (GMRS).
The following papers and presentations provide a good overview of Virginia's work: “Leadership and Practice to Reconcile Challenges in a Post–September 11th World” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2006 “Reconciliation as Policy: A Capacity–Building Proposal for Renewing Leadership and Development,” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2005.
Sample Presentations are Custom-Designed for your Group-- Past Presentations include: