Think Peace Podcast: Where Peace Crosses the Mind
By Think Peace Podcast
Curious as to what it is about the human condition that makes the notion of peace so appealing yet so excruciatingly elusive? Join former federal prosecutor and public defender, author, and peacebuilder Colette Rausch and her guests as they explore insights into the link between neuroscience and peacebuilding, as well as approaches to transform societal divisions and cycles of violence. Every episode will inform and entertain as we explore the intersection of the human brain, psyche and obstacles and opportunities to forging a lasting peace.
Cracking the Code of Free Will | Robyn Repko Waller | Episode 29
We take pride in our free will but do we fully understand what goes into free will and is it actually as free as we believe? How much control do we have over our decisions and actions? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with philosopher of mind and psychology Dr. Robyn Repko Waller to discuss the inner brain mechanisms that control free will, the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience, and how a better understanding of our brain mechanisms and human behavior can help us potentially quell polarization and conflict.
April 27, 2022
Healing Across Cultures | Euphrasia (Efu) Nyaki & Donald (Del) Laverdure | Episode 28
Indigenous communities have practices which have helped them reconcile differences and heal from intergenerational trauma. What are these practices? What is their definition of healing? How can we integrate indigenous wisdom into current healing and peacebuilding practices? On this special episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch co-hosts this powerful discussion with Senior Producer Cam Cassar as they are joined by indigenous healers Dr. Euphrasia (Efu) Nyaki and Donald (Del) Laverdure to discuss their journey into healing, how ancestral wisdom and spirituality factor into their practices, and how their approaches to healing can help inform domestic and global healing and peacebuilding. This episode is a special one in that it was part of a live event held earlier in partnership with the Think Peace Learning and Support Hub, The Mary Hoch Foundation, and the Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. You can watch the video of the event here.
March 30, 2022
Disassembling Conflict | Robin Lynch | Episode 27
Conflict is an inevitable and unavoidable aspect of the human experience and conflicts manifest themselves in a multitude of ways. Certain conflicts can be easily resolved while others have destructive and chaotic potential. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch is joined by social psychologist Dr. Robin Lynch to discuss the different types of conflict she has encountered, her experiences working in family court, and the crucial role of empathy in resolving some of these conflicts.
February 23, 2022
Deciphering the Political Brain | Liya Yu | Episode 26
The human brain has within it the capacity to dehumanize others. What impact can this dehumanization have on someone’s political beliefs and behaviors? How can it impact political cooperation and the ability to bridge divides? Can we re-humanize each other to mend a fraying social fabric? These questions can be answered by the field of “neuropolitics”, which explores the intersection of neuroscience and politics. In the first episode of Season 2 of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with political neuroscientist and lecturer Dr. Liya Yu to discuss what neuropolitics entails, her experiences in teaching in this field and some findings from her research for her upcoming book, Vulnerable Minds: The Neuropolitics of Divided Societies.
January 26, 2022
ReThinking Peace | Steve Killelea | Episode 25
To foster peace, one must look at it holistically. This involves looking at the attitudes, institutions, and structures required to create and sustain peaceful societies and analyzing the obstacles that hinder pathways towards these peaceful societies. In the final episode of Season 1 of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch is joined by global philanthropist and founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace Steve Killelea to discuss the relationship found between economics and peace, his creation of the Global Peace Index, and how societal structures get in the way of positive peace.
December 01, 2021
Healing Through Artistry | Daniel Banks & Adam McKinney | Episode 24
The arts are one of the major tools of human connection and communication. The arts tell stories, convey messages, and bring people together from all walks of life. Due to the power and scope of art, its role within truth telling and healing processes cannot be understated. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch is joined by Daniel Banks and Adam McKinney, co-founders and co-artistic directors of DNAWORKS in Fort Worth, Texas, an organization dedicated to healing through the arts. They discuss how they use art and dance as a form of identity representation, how they are conducting racial healing processes in their community, and how our culture and heritage can lead to liberation.
November 17, 2021
Making Peace Amidst War | Mari Fitzduff | Episode 23
War is by nature a time of violence and once you take a step back and examine what actually causes people to engage in warlike violence, you realize just how powerful the brain can be. It can flip a switch within an easy-going person and cause them to commit unspeakable acts that they may have never engaged in had it not been a time of conflict. What causes this flip in our brain? Can one be redeemed from this? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with author, researcher, professor and globally recognized peacebuilder Dr. Mari Fitzduff, to discuss the neuroscience of violence, how you reconcile violent intergroup relations, and her global experiences mediating violent conflict.
November 03, 2021
Unraveling the Intractable | Boaz Hameiri | Episode 22
In seemingly intractable conflicts, there are people who wholeheartedly believe in one viewpoint while there are those who just as vehemently hold the opposite view. How do you even begin to resolve such a polarizing conflict? Can it even be resolved? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Dr. Boaz Hameiri, Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, to discuss intergroup relations, the psychology behind polarization and the complex issues of victimhood and victimization.
October 20, 2021
Exploring Health & Wellness Through Integrative Medicine | Alaine Duncan | Episode 21
Integrative medicine includes a broad range of approaches to support health and wellness. It includes best evidence practices, such as acupuncture and principles from Chinese medicine, to enhance conventional medical care. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with author and acupuncturist Alaine Duncan, who has worked with many people who have been affected by traumatic stress, to discuss the field of integrative medicine, what drew her to this work and the impact that a holistic approach to healing can have on individuals and society.
October 06, 2021
Fostering a Mind for Peace | Daniel Rothbart | Episode 20
The importance of compassion and empathy are often under appreciated when it comes to studying conflict due to the focus often being solely on the root causes of conflict. However, human beings have the capacity to be compassionate and empathetic. So what causes some people to be in tune with these positive emotions and what causes some people to ignore these emotions? In a special George Mason University Carter School Peace Week episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Carter School Professor and head of the Transforming the Mind for Peace Lab, Dr. Daniel Rothbart, to discuss emotional intelligence, the neuroplasticity of the brain, and the role that moral cognition plays in the field of peacebuilding.
September 22, 2021
Decoding Our Dignity | Donna Hicks | Episode 19
As human beings, we value our dignity and have an innate tendency to defend our dignity when it comes under threat. Why is dignity so important to us and what role can it play in healing and reconciling differences? On this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Dr. Donna Hicks, an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, to discuss what exactly dignity is, her experiences working with those who have had their dignity infringed upon and the road to recovery from these acts.
September 08, 2021
Turning Pain into Power | Nena Mocnik | Episode 18
The road to transformation from trauma is often a winding and daunting path no matter what form the trauma comes in or its origin. Fortunately, this path does not have to be an impossible one. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with university lecturer and researcher Dr. Nena Mocnik to discuss the traumatic impact of war, the intergenerational effects of trauma, sexual violence in war, and pathways to recovering from and reconciling with these violent acts.
August 18, 2021
Finding Our Common Ground | Manal Omar | Episode 17
In this week’s episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Manal Omar, a pioneering change-maker and peacebuilder who has worked in conflict-affected countries around the world. Manal shares her insights about everything from the role of economics, identity, and religion in protracted violence to the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach to peacebuilding and the role of spirituality, reconciliation, forgiveness, and trauma in this work. And how her work in the peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development fields led her to focus more squarely on empowering women’s leadership by creating, “Across Red Lines,” a pathbreaking organization aimed at encouraging Muslim women to reach their full transformative potential.
August 04, 2021
Looking Inward | Mandar Apte | Episode 16
Meditation as a practice has been around for ages. Yet some communities are only now beginning to explore its potential for transformation. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with social innovator Mandar Apte to discuss why he believes meditation is so important, some of his experiences introducing meditation to new communities, and how meditation has changed the lives of those he has encountered.
July 21, 2021
Weathering the Storm | Elizabeth Mumford | Episode 15
Our childhood experiences can serve as the foundation for us to become healthy and high functioning adults, but what happens if your childhood was made up of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)? These are experiences can have long lasting effects into adulthood and the stressors of these instances can affect our mental, physical, and emotional health over time. These experiences can also contribute to aggression and violence. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with social epidemiologist Dr. Elizabeth Mumford to break down the field of social epidemiology, the impact of ACEs on the human experience and how this also correlates to a phenomenon called “weathering,” whereby chronic toxic stress exposures over one’s life, together with efforts to survive them, can increase the aging process, be detrimental to health outcomes, and affect our behaviors.
July 07, 2021
Mastering Mindfulness | Elizabeth Stanley | Episode 14
Stress affects the human brain and body in a number of different ways. It can affect our decision making as well as our bodies. The human brain perceives and processes stress and determines how the body will react to these outside stressors through a process called neuroception. On this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Dr. Elizabeth Stanley, a professor of Security Studies and former intelligence officer to discuss how we react to stress in times of conflict, how the process of neuroception works, and how strengthening the mind is a major key to managing stress.
June 23, 2021
Crossing Into the Cultural and Spiritual Realms | Beatrice Pouligny | Episode 13
Rituals have played a major role within human society since the dawn of civilization. They have helped us advance as a species through interconnectedness and social bonding, some key components of culture and spirituality. On this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with international peacebuilder and spiritual healer Dr. Beatrice Pouligny to converse about the research she has done on this work, the neurobiology of the brain and the intersection of peacebuilding, culture and spirituality.
June 09, 2021
A Calling to Heal | Tecla Namachanja Wanjala | Episode 12
Being a peacebuilder is not for everyone. Those who are involved with this work felt a natural affinity towards the field. An altruistic spirit and a good heart are some of the necessary tools of the trade when it comes to peacebuilding. On this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with globally recognized peacebuilding practitioner and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Tecla Namachanja Wanjala as they discuss Tecla’s affinity for this work, her experiences conducting peace processes in Kenya as well as the unforeseen effects of traumatic experiences.
May 26, 2021
Unearthing Human Nature | Matt Rossano | Episode 11
Animals that exist today have evolved from the first of their species. But what makes animals evolve the way that they do? Why have humans evolved and gained certain adaptations and advantages specific to the brain while other animals have evolved differently? There is a field of study for this known as evolutionary psychology which is the study of Darwinian principles to try to understand human nature. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with evolutionary psychologist Dr. Matt Rossano to discuss what evolutionary psychology is, what drew him to the field, what specific characteristic allows humans to thrive and the role that ritual has played in advancing human society forward.
May 12, 2021
Dismantling Divisions | Tim Phillips | Episode 10
Many people find peacebuilding to be a noble career but not everyone understands the journey of a peacebuilder or how exactly they go about “building peace”. The career of a peacebuilder is expansive and often multidisciplinary with an emphasis on understanding human nature. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with peacebuilder and CEO of Beyond Conflict Tim Phillips to talk about the role that shared experiences play in this work, the early iterations of transitional justice, and how understanding the human brain and behavior goes a long way in this field.
April 28, 2021
Changing the Perception | Lindsay Branham | Episode 9
The media can be a powerful platform, keeping us informed and providing us with relevant news and important information. It can also serve as the ultimate connecting tool when it comes to bridging divides within certain communities and society at large. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Emmy nominated filmmaker and social scientist Lindsay Branham to discuss her international experiences which led to her interest in visual storytelling, how media can change perceptions and behavior, and the power that it holds in post-conflict communities.
April 14, 2021
Interpreting the Human Capacity for Violence | R. Douglas Fields | Episode 8
Most humans naturally feel repulsed by violence and tend to avoid violent scenarios. However, human nature grants us an inherent capacity for violence if ever necessary. So what causes us to choose violence in certain situations? Do we always have the choice? Or is it more reactionary? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, host Colette Rausch sits down with neuroscientist Dr. R. Douglas Fields to discuss the roots of human aggression, how the brain facilitates the commission of violence and what situations could prompt us tap into our violent nature.
March 31, 2021
Putting it All Back Together Again | Mike Niconchuk | Episode 7
In a post-conflict community, there is much rebuilding to be done. There is often rebuilding of the structures, both physical and institutional, but what about the people and communities? How do you rebuild lives and relationships after conflict? Can they be rebuilt? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with applied neuroscientist Mike Niconchuk of Beyond Conflict to discuss the social and neurobiological dynamics of intergroup conflict and violence, the different ways in which people can react to traumatic experiences, and the importance of trauma-informed approaches in conducting peacebuilding work.
March 17, 2021
Reshaping the Narrative | Corey Henderson | Episode 6
Many know the quote, “Those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it,” but not many realize that the past can find ways of affecting us whether we know it or not, and this can manifest itself in different ways. Historical trauma is a shared trauma experienced by a racial, ethnic, or cultural group or community within society, and can have multigenerational impact. It’s the epitome of how we feel the effects of history everyday within our society. In this episode of Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with Dr. Corey Henderson to discuss how historical trauma works, why the study of historical trauma is so important, and the role that it plays in the modern context.
March 03, 2021
Translating the Impact of Trauma | Abi Blakeslee & Glyndie Nickerson | Episode 5
When many people think of trauma, they think about the effect that it has on our mental wellbeing. However, not many people realize that trauma affects our physical bodies and health too. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with psychologists Dr. Abi Blakeslee & Dr. Glyndie Nickerson to discuss trauma: What it is, how it affects us, what we can do about it, and the body-based trauma resolution approach known as Somatic Experiencing (SE). They discuss how interoception—the awareness of one’s own bodily sensations—can support trauma healing as it gives individuals access to their nonconscious memory and to signals between their brains and bodies that register whether they are safe or in danger.
February 24, 2021
The Emerging Field of Epigenetics | Ali Jawaid | Episode 4
Epigenetics is a relatively obscure field yet it plays such an integral role in how certain experiences shape us and how said experiences can be passed down to future generations. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with neuroscientist Dr. Ali Jawaid to discuss some of his experiences working as a neuroscientist in the field of epigenetics, how intergenerational trauma can be passed on, what can be done to mitigate its effect, and why more research needs to be conducted on the role of epigenetics within our lives.
February 17, 2021
The Art of Humanization | Lasana Harris | Episode 3
Humans are united by the fact that we all share the same biological makeup, yet somehow along the way, we created a culture of dehumanization against the “others” within our society. How did we get to this point? What can we do to stop it? In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with social neuroscientist Dr. Lasana Harris as they discuss the intricacies of dehumanization, what contributes to racial bias, and the role that the brain plays in this social phenomena.
February 10, 2021
Entering the Healing Dimension | Gail Christopher | Episode 2
What does it mean to heal? Depending on who you ask, you’d get many different answers. In this episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with award winning social change agent Dr. Gail Christopher of the National Collaborative for Health Equity as they discuss the various ways to define healing, Dr. Christopher’s nationwide racial healing efforts, and the concept of cultural humility, which helps us appreciate the diversity of the human experience and allows us to foster social transformation.
February 03, 2021
Making Peace with the World | Melanie Greenberg | Episode 1
Peace. Everyone wants it but not many know what it takes to achieve it nor understand all that goes into building a lasting peace. In this first episode of the Think Peace Podcast, our host Colette Rausch sits down with full time peacebuilder Melanie Greenberg of Humanity United as she explains her journey into the field of peacebuilding, the connection between peacebuilding and neuroscience, and what we can do in our everyday lives to serve as peacebuilders to bridge divides on the individual level.
January 27, 2021
Introducing: The Think Peace Podcast | Trailer
We are set and ready to launch our first episode on January 27th!
January 08, 2021