GCC offers a new option called Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies, that allows students to explore the interconnectedness between environmental issues, social justice and the need to create safety, security and sustainability for all life. It focuses on how can we foster a culture of peace rather than a culture of violence and promote the ideals contained in the Earth Charter. It brings together values and learned practices that will create positive social change through the use of active nonviolence. This option offers students a way to understand the social and cultural forces that work in conjunction with science and technology to create an integrated and holistic way to manifest a better world.
In 2000, The Earth Charter Commission released a document called the Earth Charter. Initially a mission of the United Nations, it was completed by a cross cultural and diverse group of people. Its principles are to promote respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and democracy, nonviolence and peace and it now holds the same status as the Declaration of Human Rights. The LPE option at GCC becomes a way to manifest those values and principles.
Students with such a degree can pursue careers in the fields of education, social work, law, political science and public policy, environment, renewable energy, urban planning, labor studies and others. Transfer options at the University of Massachusetts, Westfield State College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Elms College, Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College and others exist for students who earn this liberal arts degree.
For more information, see required courses.