My name is John Filson. I help connect U.S. officials with civil society leaders in settings of violence and war so they may learn more about local approaches to conflict prevention.
Somehow I have had the privilege of being transported across different social, cultural, and religious worlds in my life, absorbing the unique vantage points of poor farmers in Nicaragua, homeless teenagers in Hollywood, powerful decision-makers in Washington, displaced families in Iraq, post-9/11 Muslim Americans, and many others. While differing worldviews are formed by our unique identities and contexts, our shared human experience includes fears, hopes, joys, and sorrows that are common to all of us.
“Our work is founded on the belief that the dignity and well-being of all human beings is equally valid regardless of which group they belong to or which country they are from.”
I am currently working for 3P Human Security, which seeks to foster a new understanding of the role that strategic peacebuilding can play in achieving human security both for people here in the US and for those outside our borders. 3P is a bridge that connects local peacebuilding organizations working to promote dialogue, address corruption, protect human rights, and reach sustainable development goals in their communities overseas with U.S. policymakers who are forming and implementing policies in those locations. We organize face-to-face delegations, draft policy briefs, host events, and produce videos in order to increase communication and understanding between these local civil society groups and policymakers in Congress, the military, the State Department, other key offices. U.S. officials appreciate the local, community-centered perspective these peacebuilders are able to provide, because they help identify ways U.S. policy can support locally-led solutions to violence and insecurity that might not otherwise be visible from Washington.
Our work is founded on the belief that the dignity and well-being of all human beings is equally valid regardless of which group they belong to or which country they are from. But because it is natural for us as Americans to be more familiar with our own struggles than with the hardships peoples face elsewhere in the world, our foreign policy is often driven more by our own collective fears and (mis)perceptions than by practical solutions to challenges like war and deprivation that impact everyone in the international community. To the extent our country’s actions reflect the collective will of its people, we believe the U.S. can and should play a constructive role in fostering peace and security for all people, Americans and otherwise.