Most of us know Forest Whitaker from movies such as The Last King of Scotland, Repo Men, The Butler, and the upcoming film, Black Panther, but there is another side to the Oscar-winning actor. He is also a determined humanitarian and activist. “War that could manifest itself in violence in the home, escalate the violence inside ones community and which could lead to civil unrest in society, then explode into war on the world stage.” This quote from the 2011 UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation inductee sums up why he founded the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI), an international organization building peace programs around the world.
Breaking an intricate process down into simple terms, the goal of the organization is to help societies impacted by destructive conflicts transform into safer and more prosperous communities. WPDI has impacted parts of Uganda, Sudan, Mexico and even the United States.
The program’s methods include conflict resolution education programs and methodologies, grassroots projects, and state of the art communication tools and content. Taking a closer look into these projects, we can see the impact that they’ve had on communities.