Considerations for Our Common Future

Global & Culturally Diverse Leadership in the 21st Century
Peace Leadership and Cultural Diversity: Considerations for Our Common Future

By Antonio Jimenez-Luque and Joseph E. Trimble

Welcome to Antonio Jimenez-Luque, who is joining Joseph Trimble as the new co-editor of this column!

Antonio Jimenez-LuqueAntonio Jimenez-Luque, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego. From 2004-2013, Jimenez-Luque was the Coordinator for the International Cooperation for Development at the University of Barcelona Solidarity Foundation working with universities, grassroots organizations, and social movements in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 2014, he moved to the United States to work at Gonzaga University for the Associate Vice-President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as Intercultural Research Associate, and taught a variety of classes including Leading Across Cultures. Since 2018, he has been teaching at the University of San Diego and developing his research agenda on issues of leadership and social justice from a critical, global, and intercultural perspective.

Joseph E. TrimbleJoseph E. Trimble (PhD, Institute of Group Relations, University of Oklahoma) retired in June 2020. Throughout his career, he focused his efforts on promoting psychological and sociocultural research with indigenous populations, especially American Indians and Alaska Natives, and he is involved in research on the influence of cultural diversity leadership styles and practices. Some of his career highlights include being a Senior Scholar at the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research and a Research Associate for the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He was a President’s Professor at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in 2017-2018 he was a Visiting Scholar in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Outside the academy, he has served on numerous scientific review committees and research panels for federal agencies such as NIAAA, NIMH, NIDA, NIH, and National Academy of Sciences, among others. He has presented over 180 papers and invited addresses and generated over 150 publications, including 22 authored or edited books. He is the recipient of the Peace and Social Justice Award given by APA’s Division of Peace Psychology and the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest from the American Psychological Foundation. Trimble is co-editor with Jean Lau Chin and Joseph Garcia of ILA’s 2017 book Global and Culturally Diverse Leaders and Leadership: New Dimensions and Challenges for Business, Education, and Society.



As world citizens and social and behavioral scientists we are charged with preparing ourselves, our communities, our constituents, and our leaders to live, work and practice in the realities of a future we do not yet know. Our world is changing rapidly and unpredictably, and the future will demand leadership skills that are agile, responsive to the unknown, and effective for the growing population diversity and mobility occurring throughout the world. Living in a more interconnected and interdependent world as a result of globalization, our leaders and community members are finding themselves in more heterogeneous contexts than ever before, contexts that require them to practice leadership skills in ways that are culturally responsive and competent to meet the needs of a diverse population. This demands robust leadership theories and research that are ever more inclusive of culturally diverse leadership practices if they are to prove relevant and sustainable (Chin, Trimble, & Garcia, 2017).

The combination of globalization and changing world demographics is producing conflicts worldwide. Leadership models and skills that can be applied toward achieving peace within and between nations are urgently needed. (Chin & Trimble, 2014; Trimble & Chin, 2019) With few exceptions, when considering different leadership styles, the current theories and research on leadership neglect the value of cultural diversity. Rather, leadership theories continue to reflect a heterosexual, Euro-American male bias and omit dimensions of cultural diversity in researching how leadership is exercised and the values effective leaders promote (Carli & Eagly, 2011; Chin & Trimble, 2014; Evans & Sinclair, 2016; Jimenez-Luque, 2018; Trimble & Chin, 2019). To prepare ourselves, our communities and our institutions to live and work in this global world of the future requires a hard look at existing leadership models that ignore ethnic and racial diversity. The current entrenched models are overwhelmingly ethnocentric and gender-biased. They draw on narrow, cultural-specific knowledge and practices that simply are not relevant for a diverse and global population, nor applicable in varying contexts and changing social environments. By failing to explore the deep core of culturally unique leadership styles among non-white populations, researchers too often have overlooked leadership styles that have endured for centuries through sheer effectiveness in leading and governing their people. Acknowledging and valuing other ways of leadership beyond the Western canon will contribute to avoid many cultural and ethnic conflicts that are emerging every day with more intensity in our more diverse societies. Additionally, to learn from non-white leadership styles can contribute to better understand other ways of implementing effectively the work of peace and reconciliation.

In writing about peace, reconciliation, and social justice leadership Eric Schockman and his colleagues pose a challenging and ominous course of action regarding the influence of leadership in peacebuilding. They maintain

For countries and communities that have seen the depths of vicious violence, rebuilding relationships of trust and restoring its social fabric is key. Furthermore, transforming ethical, political, and institutional dynamics will take the work of generations and a great array of actors across the spectrums of societies; To build sustainable peace, it is essential that all levels of society come together in addressing the roots of causes of conflict (Schockman et al., 2019, p. 3).

In a globalized world where cultural encounters are more common (physically and virtually) and where cultural shocks and conflicts are emerging more often and with more violence, what are the leadership skills and models we need now, and in the future, to achieve and maintain peace in and between our societies and countries? Are there different leadership styles that lead to greater cultural understanding and healthier leader-member relationships? People throughout the world must grapple with the question of who best can lead them, especially when striving to achieve peaceful relationships at all levels.

Overall, this column challenges our existing notions of leadership and advocates for the connection and dialogue between people and cultures and proposes a more collective conceptualization of leadership where everybody should be heard and valued as key elements for the work of intercultural peace leadership. Specifically, the following sections aim to review what are the leadership skills and models we need now, and in the future, to achieve and maintain peace in and between our countries focusing on issues of cultural competence in general, and particularly, on more relational and inclusive Native American Indian styles of leadership.

Peacebuilding and Leadership

According to John Galtung (2013) peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the capacity to transform conflicts using empathy and creativity in a holistic way. Peace is a never-ending process involving local leadership and community engagement during phases of implementation of the agreements and reconstruction.

Human beings have the capacity of imagining and creating new forms of living together, a ‘moral imagination’ that connects us with different and unknown people seeking to deconstruct cycles of violence or to alter oppressive social relations (Lederach, 2005). To better understand how leadership influences the intersection of conflict resolution and peacebuilding it is key to focus on new leadership approaches that will enrich the field and prove better suited for a global world characterized by fluidity and complexity. Creativity, diversity, and imagination are essential.

Peacebuilding mainly has been exercised within a dominant hierarchical framework characterized by the implementation of a liberal, individualistic vision that sorely lacks an inclusive and community-centered point of view. Peace endeavors have been limited to technical processes to solve social, political and economic problems from a conventional perspective while making invisible peace proposals that do not correspond to the hegemonic vision (Roberts, 2012). As a result, the political nature of peace has been undervalued, replaced by technocrats and bureaucrats who speak on behalf of those for whom peace is supposedly being made but without giving them a voice. Consequently, this “liberal” approach to peace lacks legitimacy by offering a peace it believes people should have rather than facilitating a process for different social groups to seek the kind of peace that best fits their particular visions and contexts (Roberts, 2012). This liberal concept of peace and inclusion is one in which most members of the community are not listened to or appreciated; rather, peace is made by just a few actors in the name of the whole country. It is a conceptualization of leadership exclusive for a few chosen ones rather than a collective process where everybody should participate (Jimenez-Luque, 2020).

John Paul Lederach (2005) further argues that so far most of the peacebuilding processes have been focused “on the rise of violence, an agreement that stops it, and the de-escalation that follows the accord” (p. 46). With such processes to build peace, the negotiation emphasizes the symptoms, or the more visible and destructive manifestations of the conflict, but not the context where the roots and the causes of the violence lie (Lederach, 2005). Including the public sphere within any process of peacebuilding is essential to understand the context wherein the causes of the violence remain and to create sustainable solutions to the conflict.

In any leadership process there are five different elements constantly influencing each other: (1) Actors (leaders and followers with their power/resistance relations); (2) environment; (3) culture; (4) context, and (5) the purpose to be achieved (Jimenez-Luque, 2018). From a perspective of process, each element can be understood as permeable and combines with another element without dissolving into independent parts, thus “the actual character of leadership extends into a portion of another as a relation or continuity of flow rather than a solid state” (Wood, 2005, p. 1103). Leaders are the result of past events, relations, culture, environment, context, and actions, while at the same time they are in a process of becoming different persons because they constantly are experiencing new events and engaging with other people and cultures. In our globalized world, individuals, groups, communities, and countries are more interconnected and interdependent than ever. Therefore, it is essential to understand leadership as a process, which offers a broader, holistic picture of the scenarios to be addressed, including the different actors with their unique power relations and cultural approaches. Leaders then experience peacebuilding as constant transformation within a system composed of microsystems in which every element is interconnected and has influence on the other. Thus, peacebuilding cannot be just top-down processes reserved exclusively for the armed actors. Rather, it is central to include the public spheres in general and the victims in particular, otherwise the process will be incomplete and unsustainable for the future (Jimenez-Luque, 2018).

For successful peacebuilding a key issue is to understand that “violence is the behavior of someone incapable of imagining other solutions to the problem at hand” (Fisas, 2002, p. 58). Thus, it is critical to develop a ‘moral imagination’, a process in which leaders and followers collaborate to create platforms for peace by using their creativity and diversity to go beyond the classic, entrenched approaches (Lederach, 2005). Additionally, Emilio Iodice (2019) maintains that to achieve connectedness, respect, and peace “Great leaders make significant, positive, and permanent differences in the lives of people and institutions, and stand as symbols of justice, fairness, strength, honesty, integrity and courage” (p. 14ff). There is considerable information to support Iodice’s contention in the following sections of this column focused on issues of diversity for peace leadership. In what follows the findings of an international study on culturally diverse styles and values of leadership. This study shows how culturally diverse world views and the lived experiences of leaders influence their leadership styles regarding inclusiveness of social justice and ethical and cultural values. Then, the description of general leadership styles of Native American Indians that lead to greater cultural understanding and healthier leader-member relationships within communities. Finally, the combination of the mains ideas from these two sections results in the conclusions of this column advocating for the dialogue between diverse knowledges and conceptualizations of leadership to contribute to connecting cultural traditions to the work of building peace.

Insights from an International Leadership Study

An international study was conducted to provide information on how culturally diverse world views and the lived experiences of leaders influence their leadership styles, such as inclusiveness of social justice; ethical and cultural values not typically included in mainstream Eurocentric dialogue about leadership; how social identities of leaders intersect with leader identities; and biases that may influence perceptions and appraisals of leader effectiveness and shape leader behaviors.

Using mixed methods, including personal narratives based on grounded theory, the study offers a new paradigm to identify effective leadership styles, principles and values that drive the exercise of effective leadership and offers leadership development to address challenges of diverse and inclusive leadership—embodied in a DLMOX paradigm (Diverse-Leaders-Members-Organization-Exchange; Chin & Trimble, 2014).

The DLMOX a paradigm of leadership that is culturally competent and inclusive for diverse leaders to lead effectively with diverse followers across diverse contexts, hence the DLMOX paradigm of Diverse Leaders-Member-Organization Exchange. The paradigm goes against the notion of a conventional leadership prototypes since most leadership theories have been criticized for being too Eurocentric or confined to North American white male leaders. In formulating the DLMOX paradigm we need to consider effects of social identities, lived experiences, and social and organizational contexts in influencing the exercise of leadership and the leadership dimensions that leaders and members endorse as important to effective leadership (Chin & Trimble, 2014).

One hundred and ninety leaders were interviewed from more than a dozen countries and numerous ethnic groups worldwide for a global perspective on how leadership is exercised by a diverse sample of leaders, including white and non-white, Western and Eastern, women and men, ethnic minority, indigenous, and dominant group members, while maintaining the group and individual uniqueness (Chin, Trimble, & Tan, in preparation). Social identities and lived experiences were prominent dimensions of the analyses, as well as social and organizational contexts and perceptions and expectations influencing the exercise of leadership.

A preliminary analysis of the lengthy interview data has generated the following leadership themes: Collaborative/team-oriented; Participatory/consensus-building; Visionary; Leading from the middle or behind/Non-hierarchical/Behind the scenes; Function/Process-Oriented; Delegator/Trust in Employees; Inspirational/Empowering; Social justice-focused; and Authenticity. Additionally, the respondents highly valued honesty, integrity, adaptability, self-knowledge, caring, authenticity, compassion, effective communication, warmth, and group inducement and encouragement. To the contrary, on average respondents rejected leadership styles that emphasized competitiveness, emotional toughness, forcefulness, and aggressiveness, as well as conflict-inducing, indirect, dominant, fame-oriented, and self-centered approaches to leadership.

Although leadership theories have evolved to reflect changing social contexts, they largely remain silent on issues of equity, diversity, and social justice (Carli & Eagly, 2011; Chin & Trimble, 2014; Jimenez-Luque, 2018; Ospina & Foldy, 2009; Ospina & Su, 2019; Trimble & Chin, 2019). Results from the International Leadership Study offer a paradigm for diversity leadership that challenges existing notions of leadership and provides a global view of organizations in their societal contexts. Through the voice of those who have and are experiencing cultural challenges, the study’s goal is to deliver an approach to leadership that is inclusive, multidimensional, and addresses differences across groups. Redefining leadership as global and diverse, the study participants impart new understanding of who our leaders are, the process of communication and the contexts that shape the exercise of leadership in order to promote approaches to leadership training that will be relevant and effective in bringing about peaceful relations in the 21st century. These approaches will be critical for peace leadership and go beyond Eurocentric perspectives to establish a dialogue with other ways of understanding and exercising leadership. In what follows, the example of Native American Indians general leadership styles.

General Leadership Styles of Native American Indians

The typical leadership styles of traditional Native American Indians provide a good example of the differences within conventional forms of leadership that prevailed in the Western world. Although we may never know how pre-European contact with traditional Indian leadership practices actually played out, enough information is available to enable us to list the essential and important elements (American Indian Research and Policy Institute, 2005; Warner, & Grint, 2006). Specifically, Linda Sue Warner and Keith Grint (2006) point out that “indigenous leadership styles encompassed a continuum of styles that defy any simple reduction” (p. 232).

A strong belief in connectedness is the core value for the leadership style of traditional Native American Indians; that is, everything is connected to everything else. A firm and unquestioned commitment to spirituality, the sacredness of all life, and respect for all that exists and existed is actualized in the leader. Native leaders did not view spirit and spirituality as objects to be set apart from life; they believed that spirituality and the sacred are inclusive of all that is and can be. Those who demonstrated strong leadership skills and talents were thought to have a stronger sense and respect for spirit and the sacred than others.

With a few exceptions Native leaders of the past did not seek that distinction or appointment; they did not campaign or pursue community support. In some instances, leaders emerged because of their hereditary lineage; however, in some of cases the leader was reluctant to assume full and complete responsibility.

Typically, Native leaders embraced strong positive values such as generosity, respectfulness, kindness, integrity, and trustworthiness. When some leadership responsibility and direction was requested of them, they acknowledged their responsibility, tacitly understanding they had to set a strong, positive example for others to observe and follow. Firmly developed positive values were essential in honoring the connectedness and relationships in their community or village.

Native leaders were expected to engage the community and village in all consequential discussions, especially those needing serious attention. Many leaders would spend a great deal of time visiting with families and elders. In effect they saw their appointment as leader as “a sphere of influence that must be contextualized” (Warner & Grint, 2006, p. 231). Most did not believe their role was a formal, coveted, delegated position; rather, they tended to see their role primarily as a facilitator and promoter of community values, traditions, beliefs, and interests (Badwound & Tierney, 1988).

The Native leader’s goal was to achieve consensus; achieving that laudable goal was tedious and time-consuming. In honoring the connectedness of all things, the leader recognized a decision could never be ordered or imposed on the community and village. The decision and outcome were respected by the village members in large part because all voices were heard, valued, and considered (Edmunds,1980; Hoxie, 1986; Johnson, 1963; Pavlik, 1988; Smith, 1979; Wise-Erickson, 2003; Warner & Grint, 2006).

The various points and observations described here can be substantiated. For example, in an interview survey with 21 tribal members from the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska Jeff Hart (2006) found the following to be some of the key words for describing a tribal leader with effective leadership characteristics: vision; respect; spiritual; protector; caring; serving; responsible; trustworthy; and listening. The respondents also told him: “wise councils, spiritual leaders, and elders are essential to the organization of a tribe”; “clanship and families are high on the list as descriptors for traditional leadership”; and “being a role model and having vision ranked high” (p.5). Additionally, Linda Sue Warner and Keith Grint (2006) maintain that role models rely on actions more than the spoken or written word, though all the latter are used in support of and to perpetuate behavior” (p. 238.) The respondents also indicated the following characteristics and attributes were significant: knowledge and the process of knowing; willingness to share; patience; willingness to spend time with the community to share information; hopefulness; and a strong appreciation and respect for “shared leadership.”

In a careful and thoughtful review of literature on leadership characteristics and practices, Tracy Becker (1997) compared the typical American Indian leaders with the typical leadership style in United States governance. She concluded for Indians in general leaders were chosen for their knowledge, experience, and contributions, remained in the position for as long as the tribe needed them, had no power over others, respected the strong value of tribal customs and traditions and thus strived to uphold and maintain them, let consensus guide their decision- making processes, maintenance of relationships was essential in conflict resolution matters, and spirituality was at the center of all activities and matters of importance and significance to the tribe. She contrasted these descriptors with the typical form of leadership styles in the United States government. That list included: leadership is a position; leaders seek leadership positions; the rights of the individual are salient in most relationships; the majority of the group, community, and populace decides an outcome; judicial matters are governed by restitutions; and reason not “spirituality” influences most decisions and deliberations. (1997, p. 8).

Going beyond dominant models of leadership centered in Western perspectives offers new possibilities to achieve and maintain peace in and between our countries. Specifically, when it comes to general leadership styles and skills of Native American Indian leaders, they develop a holistic perspective where everything is connected which results in a more collective conceptualization of leadership. From these perspectives where everything is connected to everything and the opinion of everybody is heard and valued, building a greater cultural understanding and healthier leader-member relationships for a common future seems more doable. Additionally, combining Native American Indian knowledge with other epistemologies and cultural traditions will result in a rich intercultural dialogue of leadership views that can contribute to achieve peace at a global level.

Leadership for Peace Connecting Cultural Traditions

The core value for a culturally grounded leadership style is a strong belief in connectedness; that is, everything is connected to everything else. These leaders maintain a firm and unquestioned commitment to spirituality, the sacredness of all life, and respect for all that exists and existed (Blume, 2020).

Amanda Sinclair (2007) emphasizes “leadership should be aimed at helping to free people from oppressive structures, practices and habits encountered in societies and institutions, as well as within the shady recesses of ourselves” (p. vx). Sinclair’s observation is not just a question of changing the contents of the conversation but the very terms of it (Escobar, 2010). It is a new approach of leadership understood as a process from the borders and the margins of all people’s lived experiences. A peacebuilding leadership process needs to emphasize dialogue and interchange of knowledge and meanings for effective intercultural communication. It is also essential to acknowledge that in any relationship such as the relations taking place in peace talks or when implementing peace agreements, power relationships are manifested in the process of communication and need to be constantly counterbalanced, particularly by leaders who have more positional power than the other participants involved (Jimenez-Luque, 2018).

Becoming culturally competent and sensitive does not imply that one discard the many contributions of past and present social and behavioral scientists and scholars (Trimble, 2013). The challenge is to recognize that we cannot fully understand the human condition without viewing it from a cross-cultural perspective. What has been learned about the human condition in the past can be reframed and tested with a new set of approaches and procedures in cultural contexts not previously considered. We must challenge our existing beliefs about effective leadership, ask new questions, and offer new paradigms to guide how we lead in today’s world. By doing so, we will find a rich vein of specific thought-ways and lifeways of various ethnocultural groups with extraordinary value for leadership as a whole.

Leaders can and should engage a broader and holistic vision of the world specifically because they see bigger horizons as a result of interchanging knowledge and meanings with others’ cultural perspectives. In spaces where leaders and followers are open to influencing and being influenced by each other they have a solid opportunity to build peace together (Jimenez-Luque, 2018).

This type of holistic and culturally competent leadership results in a Transformative leadership style that will contribute to connect the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and collective identity of the group or organization. For example, a Transformative intercultural style might reframe “empathy” into “inclusive relational empathy” to emphasize a more relationship-centered perspective. Developing and practicing a culturally inclusive mindset is a dynamic and complex process—a multicultural journey, in effect. An aspiring culturally sensitive leader must focus on developing the appropriate skills, understanding, appreciation, willingness, and ability to lead culturally different followers; the most salient of these is willingness, for without a conscious intent and desire the achievement and realization of cultural competence is unlikely to occur. In essence “the social identity leadership theory argues a leader’s primary function is to represent, manage, and promote the sense of shared social identity that underpins a group’s existence and purpose” (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011, p. 247).

Amidst rapid technological change, emerging global conflicts, changing population demographics and new social contexts, a Transformative leadership style means being competent to:

  • Understand how different world views and lived experiences influence the exercise of leadership and leadership styles;
  • Be inclusive of social justice, ethical, and value-based dimensions of leadership not typically included in mainstream dialogue about leadership;
  • Recognize how perceptions and expectations of leaders associated with dimensions of identity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity) may result in biases that shape leader behaviors and influence appraisals of leader effectiveness for those who do not fit the prototype of a “typical leader”; and
  • Reflect the importance of context in shaping leadership, including the leader’s respect for culturally diverse leaders and members.

A Transformative intercultural style implies unfolding a process of creative and diverse peacebuilding that involves four components: (1) Relationships: Societies are made of relationships of multiple combinations and shapes. Peacebuilding requires the exploration of the “inner makeup of creativity as embedded in understanding the dynamics and potentials of networking” (Lederach, 2005, p. 35). A global and holistic perspective to include all members of the community or country involved in the peace process is necessary for other ways of thinking and leading to bring more creativity to address issues of violence; (2) Complexity: Embracing complexity and ambiguity is needed to overcome the dichotomies of Western thought. “Cycles of violence are often driven by tenacious requirements to reduce complex history into dualistic polarities that attempt to both describe and contain social reality in artificial ways” (Lederach, 2005, p. 35). Peace processes are deep, complex, and uncertain, and the environment, the culture, the context, and the different actors involved have an influence on each other. There is no magical solution nor one solution that ‘fits all’ when it comes to peacebuilding. The whole community with its diversity of cultures needs to be included in the process; (3) Practice: A conceptual and theoretical exercise first needs to be translated into spaces that offer stability and sustainability to the process of peacebuilding. Action in general is needed, and particularly creative action, for the challenge is to facilitate the creation of social structures that will deconstruct former structures of exclusion and construct more inclusive structures that do not exist already; and (4) No fear to fail: It is necessary to step into the unknown to build peace and be willing to imagine another society, a society in peace. “Violence is known; peace is the mystery. By its very nature, therefore, peacebuilding requires a journey guided by the imagination of risk” (Lederach, 2005, p. 39).

A leadership process aiming to build peace will try to overcome these barriers, taking into consideration three leadership perspectives that will facilitate the processes of valuing and appreciating differences. These include an even balance of power with other cultural perspectives and collaborating among different cultures to establish the subjects and terms of the dialogue: (1) A decolonial leadership perspective to fight the racist discourse; (2) A perspective of diversity and global leadership to broaden the concept of nation; and (3) an intercultural leadership perspective of communication to create spaces for dialogue (Jimenez-Luque, 2018).

Leaders within a process of peacebuilding that value and appreciate diversity understand the need to facilitate platforms for establishing an intercultural dialogue to transform relationships of war into relationships of peace. These leaders are aware of their positional authority of power and they counterbalance asymmetries of power within platforms to eventually transform the asymmetries into social structures of inclusion. Finally, in a peacebuilding process in which different cultures interact, leaders will implement the role of intercultural communicators, translating the different cultural knowledge and meaning of the people involved into rich peacebuilding dialogue.


This column aimed to review what are the leadership skills and models we need now, and in the future, to achieve and maintain peace in and between our countries describing the findings of an international study of cultural competence and focusing on styles of Native American Indian leadership. Overall, the conclusion is that a deeper connection and dialogue between people and cultures and a more collective conceptualization of leadership where everybody should be heard and valued are necessary elements to develop the work of an effective intercultural peace leadership.

The prophetic words of the Oglala Lakota holyman and traditional healer Black Elk (Heȟáka Sápa) add a deep cultural perspective to peacekeeping and leadership. Black Elk affirmed that:

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which…is within the souls of men (Brown, 1953; Neihardt, 1932).

In today’s highly interconnected and interdependent world, the work of intercultural peace leadership becomes critical for building a deeper connection and relationship among cultures and a fairer future for the next generations. Connecting cultural traditions and learning from and with other leadership perspectives will contribute to create a common future where everybody, regardless their culture and identity, will be involved in processes of peace leadership committed to building a better world for all.


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Acknowledgements: We are deeply indebted to Molly E. Trimble, who provided skillfully worded editorial comments and suggestions through draft versions of this newsletter column. We are extremely grateful for her time, effort, and thoughtful assistance. 

This article is republished with permission from issue 29(2) of The Peace Psychologist, The Newsletter of APA Division 48: Peace Psychology Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence. It is the inaugural column in The Peace Psychologist’s new Society of Indian Psychologists Column: Society of Indian Psychologists (SIP) Solidarity.