Creating Peace Across Borders: The East-West Path to Unity


  • Dian Mitrayani University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • R. Don Peel University of Hawai‘i



East-West Center, sustainable peacebuilding, multicultural friendship, collaborative education institution


This article is based upon autobiographical narratives of two students exploring their experiences in finding commonality through an institutionalized domestic and international student community. Both students’ paths intersected at the East-West Center (EWC), an independent, public, nonprofit organization formed by the US Congress in 1960 with the goal of bringing people together through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. The co-authors describe various factors that facilitated cultivating inner peace and minimize imposed oppressive tendencies. In particular, they analyze the importance of a learning environment that motivates each student to deeply reexamine their relationship to cultural and disciplinary boundaries, through exposing them to multifaceted perspectives. Their conclusions highlight the importance of EWC as a place where both
domestic and international students can build dialogue, debate, and learn from each other, across disciplinary sectors in a relaxed setting. EWC, with its unique diplomatic-building environment, is a learning prototype that has the potential to unify global diversity through developing unique partnerships of empowerment.

Author Biographies

Dian Mitrayani, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

DIAN MITRAYANI, M.S.Ed., M.URP., is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Foundations of Education program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a focus on youth leadership and civic engagement.

R. Don Peel, University of Hawai‘i

R. DON PEEL, PGeo. Hon. FEC. FGC., obtained Exploration Certification (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, 1969) and a BSc. degree in Geology/Geography (University of Alberta, 1974), which aligned him to a rewarding career as a geoscientist. Having completed the Educational Foundations Program at the University of Hawai‘i
(2009-2014), he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in education focused on youth empowerment for achieving sustainable development




How to Cite

Mitrayani, D., & Peel, R. D. (2018). Creating Peace Across Borders: The East-West Path to Unity. Journal of International Students, 8(3), 1398–1407.



Research Articles (English)