March 2008 Ethical Hero – Colman McCarthy

Published: March 13, 2008

By Jim Lichtman
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Colman McCarthy is an anarchist… for Peace!

An adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center who teaches at three DC area high-schools, Colman believes peace studies should be part of the core curriculum at every school and University in the country.

“The most revolutionary thing anybody can do is to raise good, honest, generous children who will question the answers of people who say the answer is violence. That’s what the school should be doing.”

In 1985, McCarthy left the Washington Post as a columnist after twenty-eight years to found the Center for Teaching Peace. He believes the philosophy of peace, the writings of great peace leaders and non-violent conflict resolution should be part of a very practical, community-oriented approach to education.

“What makes us happy is service to others. If schools don’t expose students to the joys of community service, we graduate people who are idea rich but experience poor. It’s too easy to blame,” McCarthy says. “What’s harder is self-examination… what should I be doing everyday to bring about a peace and justice-based world, whether across the ocean or across the living room?”

I had the good fortune (not to mention, challenge) of teaching a couple of Colman’s classes recently and came away from the experience with a fresher, more enthusiastic outlook on students and the future. They were engaged, concerned and committed to learning and demonstrating a more “honest and generous” life!

To learn more about Colman McCarthy’s work, contact the Center for Teaching Peace, (202) 537-1372 or


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