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the David O. McKay Center for intercultural understanding


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the David O. McKay Center for intercultural understanding


VIsion & Mission

It all started on...

February 12, 1955, David O. McKay, President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stood in the middle of a sugar cane field in the tiny village of Laie, on the north shore of Oahu. With a shovel in his hand, he broke ground on what was then called The Church College of Hawaii – a culmination of a vision he had in 1921 when visiting the island of Hawaii as an apostle. In the dedicatory remarks, McKay invoked a grand vision for the school and this tiny village…
 

“This is the beginning of the realization of a vision I saw 34 years ago when one morning President Hugh J. Cannon, President E. Wesley Smith, others and I witnessed a flag raising ceremony by students of the Church school here in Hawaii in Laie. In that little group of students were Hawaiians, what do you call them—Haoles, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Filipinos. We listened to each one, a representative from each of these groups, pay tribute to the stars and stripes as the flag was pulled up there on the flagpole and all vowed allegiance. That ceremony brought tears to my eyes… You mark that word, and from this school, I’ll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.” 
 

In 2005,the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding was founded as way of helping BYUH students gain the knowledge and practical tools necessary to be those influences for peace that President McKay foresaw. 
 

Since those humble beginnings, the Center has grown rapidly. We now have over 150 students participating in our innovative Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate program. Hundreds more participate in dozens of peacebuilding projects on campus, in the community and internationally. Every year we are graduating more and more students determined to establish peace in their homes, their communities and in the world. 

 
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WHAT IS PEACEBUILDING?


Think of peacebuilding as a long-term transformative process that gets at the how, when, and why of conflict. It reconciles relationships between people and reimagines structures between groups in a way that creates sustainable harmony and brotherhood. 

WHAT IS PEACEBUILDING?


Think of peacebuilding as a long-term transformative process that gets at the how, when, and why of conflict. It reconciles relationships between people and reimagines structures between groups in a way that creates sustainable harmony and brotherhood. 

Peacebuilding at the McKay Center

The David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding focuses on three areas in which students, alumni, faculty, and the community can get involved.

Facilitation

How to change mindset. 

Arbinger is a unique program offered at the McKay Center. Arbinger is a team of trained students and staff that serve the community of Laie by facilitating workshops and activities to help foster healthier relationships in participant’s lives. Our facilitators encourage the participants to work together to think through a series of different scenarios in their personal, family, and work environments. The goal of Arbinger is to change mindsets to establish peace. 

For more information or to set up an Arbinger workshop, contact Gabriela Corbett at arbingerbyuh@gmail.com

Mediation

The path to reconciliation.

At the McKay Center, trained student mediators are given the opportunity to work on campus by conducting peer mediations. Mediation is a form of conflict transformation that BYUH students use to try to reconcile parties while resolving conflict. Reconciliation is a process that not only works through existing disputes, but also seeks to set relationships that are in need of repair right. The process requires honesty, humility, accountability, and mercy, from both sides of the conflict. Mediators help parties envision a stronger and deeper relationship for the future.

For more information or to schedule a mediation, contact Reka Bordas at mediationbyuh@gmail.com

 

 

Community

Where experience happens.

Our mission is to engage our students in building relationships within our local community of Oahu. We seek to build relationships through sustainable service opportunities and projects. We work with local people and organizations to find the needs of those we serve and how to best help them. Our experience ranges from beach clean ups to helping elementary schools get air-conditioning to helping with rescued farm animals. The goal is to provide meaningful service opportunities that both impact the giver and the receiver so that our students are prepared to help their own local communities after they graduate.

For more information or to get involved with community projects, contact Viliame Talanoa at mckaycenterservice@gmail.com

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Staff


Meet the Staff

Staff


Meet the Staff

Chad Ford

DIRECTOR

Chad Ford is an associate professor of International Cultural Studies and Director of the McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii. His emphasis has been in intercultural peacebuilding and mediation. He has led peacebuilding workshops and mediations around the world, including in the Middle East, Africa, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

As the Director of the McKay Center, Chad leads a team of alumni and students dedicated to fulfilling President McKay’s prophecy that “from this school … will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.”  Those projects include community reconcilliation projects, peer mediation, Anatomy of Peace workshops and various other projects in conjunction with partners around the world.  He also teaches a number of peacebuilding classes in the program including “Intecultural Peacebuilding”, “Culture and Conflict” and “Advanced Intercultural Mediation and Facilitation"

Chad also works on several projects outside the center. Currently he's working on a major project in the Middle East with the Arbinger Institute and PeacePlayers International to create sustainable peace among Israeli and Palestinian communities and beginning a project in the United States to bridge divides between police officers and inner city communities.

Chad has a bachelor's degree in History from BYU-Hawaii, a master's degree from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law School.  He also was the co-founder and former CEO of Sportstalk.com, a highly successful internet start-up that was purchased by ESPN in 2001. Chad spent several years as a senior editor and writer at ESPN before leaving his full-time position in 2005 for his current posts with the McKay Center.  

Chad is the author of a number of articles about peacebuilding in both academic journals and the popular press and continues to write for ESPN on the NBA Draft.

He enjoys running in the mountains in his spare time.

Click here to read more on Dr. Ford.

David Whippy

Visiting Faculty

David Whippy is a visiting faculty for the International Cultural Studies Peacebuilding program at BYU-Hawaii. His classes focus on intercultural peacebuilding and mediation. David is from the Island of Fiji and enjoys sharing his culture with students.

David's primary role is to support Director Chad Ford in the work of the McKay Center to fulfill David O. McKay's prophecy that "from this school... will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally." Additionally, he supports the peer mediation, Anatomy of Peace workshops and various others projects at the McKay Center. 

David has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from BYU-Hawaii and a master's degree from the University of the South Pacific in Diplomacy and International Affairs. He has worked with non-government organizations in the peacebuilding field in Israel, Hawaii and Fiji. Prior to coming to BYU-Hawaii, he worked for two different NGOs in Fiji promoting peacebuilding, sustainable democracy and governance, and children's rights. 

He enjoys watchings sports and eating food from different cultures. David is married to Taufa Whippy and they have two daughters, Avagail and Isa. 

 

 

 

Amanda Tice

Professor

Amanda Tice teaches courses for the International Cultural Studies Peacebuilding program at BYU-Hawaii. Her classes focus on building peaceful personal and family relationships and working through personal conflict to find inner peace. Her first teaching experience was in the Social Work Department at BYU-Hawaii. She taught classes on social problems and child welfare class. Her passion is teaching and helping students find what makes them feel fulfilled. She also has a strong belief in empowering women.

Amanda also spends time supporting the student field directors, working specifically with media and communications for the McKay Center. Amanda hopes she can do her part in fulfilling David O. McKay's prophecy that our "influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally." 

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in Social Work from BYU-Provo and a master's degree from the University of Utah in Social Work, with an emphasis on Mental Health and Counseling. While studying at BYU, she worked closely with families in the community to help build better parent-child relationships. She also has experience working with individuals with disabilities.  

In her free time, Amanda loves to explore the island, either in the ocean or hiking in the mountains. She loves doing Yoga and meditation. She is currently learning more about meditation and mindfulness so she can incorporate these skills into her classes.  She is married to Jeff Tice and they have four children who keep their life full of excitement and joy. 

Emily sinkovic

Online Professor

Prior to becoming an online instructor, Emily spent a year as the visiting faculty member for the McKay Center. Emily now teaches online courses for the International Cultural Studies Peacebuilding program. Her classes focus on Intercultural Mediation & Facilitation and Restorative Justice. She enjoys the association with students and loves to help them explore internships and career options. She is especially enthusiastic about helping students find ways to be successful in both their family life and career.

Emily has a bachelor's degree in TESOL with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding from BYU-Hawaii. She completed her master's degree in Conflict & Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon with a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management. Emily worked as a Fellow in the University of Oregon Conflict Resolution Services office, mediating campus disputes and facilitating restorative processes. She did an internship with Sponsors, Inc., a re-entry program for men and women transitioning from prison back to society. Emily also spent a year working with the Lane County Family Mediation Program, helping divorced or separated parents create parenting plans for their minor-aged children.

Emily's specific interests include criminal justice and prison reform, conflict resolution in family life, and policy-making issues related to women's health. Emily loves to travel and has spent time in several countries. She is an avid reader, enjoys outdoor activities, and adores all things Disneyland. Emily currently lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband James and their twins, Noah and Lucy. 

Michael Ligaliga

Online Professor

Michael teaches online courses for the International Cultural Studies Peacebuilding program at BYU-Hawaii. His classes focus on the introduction of peacebuilding. Michael is passionate about helping others apply peacebuilding principles, especially in the Pacific region. 

Michael has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding from BYU-Hawaii. Michael completed his master's degree at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of  Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. After this completion, Michael returned to BYU-Hawaii for two years to teach for the International Cultural Studies Peacebuilding program. During his tenure, Michael was the Acting Director of the McKay Center where he overlooked the day to day affairs as well as lecturing in core Peacebuilding classes. 

In 2015, Michael began his PhD at the National Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. His research focuses on Galtung's typology of violence in context to Samoan culture. He specifically examines whether or not there are aspects of Samoan culture that influence violence that occurs within Samoan society. 

Michael loves to cook and bake. He currently lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with his wife Fa'alima. They have two children, Joanie Anela and Leachim Landonn.