Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice
Large crowd with signs and Capitol building in the background

Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice

Established in 2001, the Trudeau Centre is home to the multidisciplinary undergraduate program Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies (PCJ), which attracts top-achieving students who go on to take positions in prominent international organizations such as the United Nations, work on social justice issues through non-governmental organizations, and pursue graduate degrees in law and social science.

Students work within and beyond the traditional purview of international affairs, studying interstate war as well as major conflict inside countries, including revolution, insurgency, ethnic strife, guerrilla war, terrorism, and genocide. They seek to identify the deep causes of this strife—from poverty, resource scarcity, and weapons proliferation to competing claims for justice and failures of foreign-policy decision making. In doing so, PCJ students come to understand and evaluate the prolonged consequences of exposure to conflict and political violence.

The Centre offers PCJ students the opportunity to engage beyond the classroom through peer-to-peer mentorship programming, the Fellows Seminar series, and specific Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives, such as the Indigenous Cultural Competency Training (ICCT) and the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity (ARCDO) seminars among others. The Centre also collaborate with several NGOs throughout the Greater Toronto Area to offer individual internships during the school year that build on the program’s service learning course (PCJ362H) and enhance the experiential learning of  PCJ students. Active participation in Trudeau Centre programs and events is an essential part of being a member of the PCJ community and an important complement to our academic curriculum.

The Trudeau Centre can count on the invaluable support of its Advisory Board, whose members provide strategic advice to the Director of the Trudeau Centre on the academic mission and help to increase the Trudeau Centre’s visibility and presence in the U of T community and in civil society. The Board also collaborates to create opportunities for mentorships, partnerships, and internships with organizations where Board members are connected, and seeks to build key relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations to advance and implement fundraising goals that support the priorities of the Trudeau Centre. 

A message from the Director

Welcome to the Trudeau Centre’s Peace, Conflict, and Justice (PCJ) program at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. Since its establishment in 2001, this program offers undergraduate students the academic foundation necessary to understand the factors associated with and the impact of peace, conflict and justice. 

As the new Director of PCJ, I am inspired by and continue to learn from previous directors who have shaped the program into what it is today. I commit to building on the strengths of the program and find new ways to enhance student experiences. My goal is to provide a solid academic foundation for students who want to understand the causes and consequences of peace, conflict, and justice. 

The program will serve as an intellectual hub that offers students a first-class education provided by renowned Munk-affiliated faculty. Our core faculty are not only among the best scholars in their field, but they are also award-winning educators who are constantly implementing new ways to enhance student learning experiences. 

As Director, my role is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge on issues that are at the core of PCJ’s mission. PCJ will be a community where students can explore, challenge, and be inspired by leaders, scholars and activists who promote peace and justice. This is the place where students learn from discussions with distinguished Munk Fellows and external guest speakers, connect with PCJ alumni who are leaders in their fields, engage in hands-on research, conduct policy analysis, and gain valuable experience through participating in internships. It is a community defined by learners who are not afraid to take on difficult challenges. PCJ is also a place where students feel a sense of belonging, be inspired by classmates, and make lifelong friends. 

As a scholar of education, I have been interested in how educational experiences shape individual worldviews and the role that universities play in building the foundation of a society. I am a firm believer in the power of education and in cultivating the learner’s agency so that they can become catalysts of social change. The PCJ program will provide various opportunities for students to engage in important conversations inside and outside of the classroom, gain understanding of how research informs policies in areas of peace, conflict, and justice, and think strategically and sensibly when coming up with solutions.

My door is always open. If you are currently enrolled in PCJ, feel free to reach out to me before or after one of your PCJ classes. For prospective students, please come to Munk and learn more about PCJ and how it might be a place to deepen interests and elevate your goals. I am excited to serve as your Director and to be a part of this inspiring PCJ community!

Rie Kijima
Director, Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice