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BRATTLEBORO — A new peace and justice master's degree from School for International Training will include a formative two-week residency in South Africa, and classes through two influential organizations, the United States Institute of Peace and the Alliance for Peacebuilding in Washington, D.C.

SIT Graduate Institute's new MA in Peace and Justice Leadership launches in June 2019 with a three-week residency in Vermont and Washington, DC. The program continues online, with a South Africa residency during the second year. The format allows students to complete their master's degree in 24 months without leaving their current jobs. It is aimed at preparing students to launch or advance careers with NGOs; government agencies; development and humanitarian aid and human rights organizations; educational settings and youth programs; and inter-group relations.

SIT Graduate Institute is well known for its social justice mission, which crosses all degree areas, and its longstanding MA programs in peace. This new program is SIT's nimble response to a changing global landscape, said Dr. Bruce Dayton, chair of the new degree.

"You can't make peace without addressing the underlying cultural, social, and economic factors that perpetuate inequality and injustice across political systems," said Dr. Bruce Dayton, chair of the degree program.

Students will spend about two weeks in South Africa during the second year of the program under the guidance of Imraan Buccus, a PhD research fellow and lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Politics and a prolific journalist and author. Buccus was active in the student movements that played an essential part in South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle.

"Student activism has re-emerged as central to our struggle today," Buccus said. "Young people, many of whom are unemployed or desperately poor, are taking to the streets." South Africa "is a relevant, potent social laboratory for students."

The Peace and Justice Leadership program kicks off in June 2019 with SIT's CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program in Vermont, which attracts peace activists from around the world. Outside of the brief residencies in Vermont and South Africa, students will conduct the balance of their coursework online with the option to take a one-week, skills-building seminar in Washington, DC, with the United States Institute of Peace, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and other NGOs.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. The Institute provides training, analysis, and other resources to people, organizations, and governments working to build peace.

The Alliance for Peacebuilding is a membership network of more than 100 of the most important organizations in the world active in the fields of conflict transformation, peace-promotion, sustainable development, security.

Applications for SIT's MA in Peace and Justice Leadership are open now, and financial aid is available.

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