Peacebuilders Celebrate the Newest Word in the English Language

September 21, 2018
Type: ,

Photo Credit: International Alert

We are thrilled to hear that publishers Cambridge, HarperCollins, and MacMillan agreed to include “peacebuilding” in the newest editions of their dictionaries! This timely announcement comes as several organizations are working diligently on a campaign to include peacebuilding in the dictionary. The coalition includes the African Peacebuilding Network, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Conciliation Resources, Generations for Peace, International Alert, Partners Global, Peace Direct, Peace and Security Funders Group, Catalyst for Peace, Mercy Corps, and Search for Common Ground.


What Experts are Saying

“It is said that ‘there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. We applaud Collins [and others] for not only including the word ‘peacebuilding’ in their 2018 edition dictionary but for calling attention to this development by making ‘peacebuilding’ the ‘word of the day’ on International Peace Day.” —Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground.

“With a refreshed peace brand and shared narrative, we hope to connect with more allies who might not currently name what they do ‘peacebuilding’…. I believe in an expansive view of peacebuilding, where anyone can consider themselves to be a ‘peacebuilder’ whether they are a trained peacebuilding professional or not.”  —Julia Roig, President at PartnersGlobal

“No matter the conflict, there are brave souls who find endlessly creative ways of making peace and reweaving the threads of societies ripped apart by violent conflict…. In an increasingly polarized world, peacebuilding offers hope, and the tools that can change society, and ourselves.” —Melanie Greenberg, former CEO of Alliance for Peacebuilding.

“Peace Direct has already mapped more than 1600 local groups dedicated to peacebuilding around the world. We think it’s long past time our dictionaries catch up with reality.” —Bridget Moix, US Senior Representative and Head of Advocacy at Peace Direct.

“If ‘warmongering,’ ‘hangry,’ ‘adorbs,’ and even ‘instagrammable’ can be in the dictionary, surely peacebuilding deserves its place too. Building public recognition of peacebuilding and what it means will help secure the greater political support that is so urgently needed.” —Harriet Lamb, CEO of International Alert.

“As an actor, I believe in the power of words to shape thinking and create empathy. If we’re ever to end violent conflict, we need a common understanding of how to build and sustain peace…. A key first step is to raise awareness of what peacebuilding entails, through our classrooms, our libraries, and our media. That’s why I’m supporting this campaign to get ‘peacebuilding’ in the dictionary.” —Mark Rylance, esteemed stage actor.

“Peacebuilding means building up all the norms, mechanisms, and structures that make thousands of minor things go right. In a peaceful society, we should each have an even chance and be able to rise to the challenges of the day.” —Talia Hagerty, research fellow at the Institute for Economics & Peace

“Peacebuilding demands long-term commitment and broad participation. Person by person… peace can be built to have the strength and resilience to sustain systemic shocks when they threaten violence again.” Mark Clark, CEO of Generations for Peace