New Project Supports Influencers Promoting Peace in Pakistan

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PeaceFLIX poster of Pakistani peacebuilders

HONOLULU (June 6, 2022) – A new project underway in Pakistan seeks to support influencers who work to promote community cohesion through practicing pluralism and tolerance at the local grassroots level, with a particular focus on the role of women as peacebuilders. The program is a partnership between the nonprofit Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation (GNMI), based in Karachi, and the East-West Center in Honolulu.

Quote by Andleed Khan on power of social media to promote peaceOver the course of the two-and-a-half-year project, 160 courageous and influential individuals from throughout Pakistan are being selected to participate in training and multimedia outreach designed to expand their peacebuilding impact. The project’s first group of participants have begun working on creating “peace action plans” for projects ranging from festivals, art exhibits, and video productions to community cleanups, sports activities, grassroots dialogues and more.

“Uplifting people and groups who foster peaceful communities has long been central to the work of the East-West Center,” said Gretchen Alther, EWC project lead. “Collaborating on this work in Pakistan allows the Center to support grassroots peacebuilders in ways that are the safest and most impactful. We follow the lead of people who best know their communities, and help them sustain their important peace work.”

PeaceFLIX media project
Quote from peacebuilder Anas Malik on sports bringing people togetherGNMI has launched a multimedia media campaign around the project dubbed “PeaceFLIX,” intended to highlight the importance of tolerance and community cohesion in Pakistan and to amplify the participants’ efforts to promote inclusivity, social equality, and peace on a local, national and international level.

“Most Pakistani communities are peace-loving,” said GNMI President and longtime broadcast journalist Najia Ashar, an East-West Center media exchange program alumna, during an online discussion on the project. “However, like everywhere in the world, there are factors that impede peace, like poverty, illiteracy, hunger for power, and even softer factors like identity and dignity. That is why we are working towards peaceful engagements in Pakistan through journalism practices and digital storytelling.”