Rebecca Black, USAID senior foreign service officer (retired)
April 20, 2018

What do art and culture have to do with conflict resolution? As violence continues in the world, new solutions besides force are needed. Dance, music and art have contributed to peacemaking in strife-torn northern Mali, West Africa, to nation building in Afghanistan, and to reconciling old violence from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the apartheid regime in South Africa. Policy thinkers such as the US Institute for Peace are now recognizing that culture and art are a weapon against conflict and its aftermath.  Rebecca Black, a recently retired Senior Foreign Service Officer with USAID, the US government’s international development agency, will use her 25 years’ experience in development to highlight why and how art is emerging as an important mechanism in peacemaking.

Rebecca Black, a senior international relations and development professional, helped drive support for the use of arts in achieving social change throughout her career.  Ms. Black has a Master’s degree in Urban Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked in community development in the US prior to going overseas with USAID. She has worked in Poland and central Europe, Southern Africa, India, Afghanistan, Mali and most recently Cambodia, and has been a patron of the arts wherever she has lived.

Supported by Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Sandia National Labs
and District 5 County Commissioner Wayne Johnson