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David O. Mckay Center for Intercultural Understanding

"From this school, I'll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for the good towards the establishment of peace internationally"
President David O. Mckay

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Our Mission

The David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding helps BYUH students, faculty, staff and alumni fulfill that prophecy by functioning as a cross-cultural peacebuilding laboratory that:

  1. Educates BYUH students, faculty, staff and alumni with the theoretical and practical tools they need to be leaders and peacebuilders
  2. Sponsors practical community building and cross-cultural leadership opportunities in the university, community and the world

The McKay Center is engaged in a number of projects at the university, in the community and internationally in its efforts to further intercultural understanding. They include:

  • Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate
  • Anatomy of Peace Workshops
  • Peace in the Home Workshops
  • Peace in the Hale Workshops
  • BYU-Hawaii Peer Mediation Program
  • Community Service Projects
  • Forums and Special Events
  • Student Internships
  • Graduate Student Field Positions
Think of peacebuilding as a long-term transformative process that gets at the how, when, and why of conflict. It reconciles relationships between people and reimagines structures between groups in a way that creates sustainable harmony and brotherhood.
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Vision

It all started on…
February 12, 1955, David O. McKay, President, and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stood in the middle of a sugar cane field in the tiny village of Laie, on the north shore of Oahu. With a shovel in his hand, he broke ground on what was then called The Church College of Hawaii – a culmination of a vision he had in 1921 when visiting the island of Hawaii as an apostle. In the dedicatory remarks, McKay invoked a grand vision for the school and this tiny village…

“You mark that word, and from this school, I’ll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.”

In 2005, the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding was founded as a way of helping BYU–Hawaii students gain the knowledge and practical tools necessary to be those influences for peace that President McKay foresaw. Since those humble beginnings, the Center has grown rapidly. We now have over 200 students participating in our innovative Intercultural Peacebuilding major and certificate program. Hundreds more participate in dozens of peacebuilding projects on campus, in the community and internationally. Every year we are graduating more and more students determined to establish peace in their homes, their communities and in the world.

The David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding focuses on three areas in which students, alumni, faculty, and the community can get involved.

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Facilitation

How to change the mindset.



Arbinger is a unique program offered at the McKay Center. Arbinger is a team of trained students and staff that serve the community of Laie by facilitating workshops and activities to help foster healthier relationships in participant’s lives. Our facilitators encourage the participants to work together to think through a series of different scenarios in their personal, family, and work environments. The goal of Arbinger is to change mindsets to establish peace.

For more information or to set up an Arbinger workshop, contact us at mckaycenter@byuh.edu
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Mediation

The path to reconciliation.



At the McKay Center, trained student mediators are given the opportunity to work on campus by conducting peer mediation. Mediation is a form of conflict transformation that BYUH students use to try to reconcile parties while resolving conflict. Reconciliation is a process that not only works through existing disputes but also seeks to set relationships that are in need of repair right. The process requires honesty, humility, accountability, and mercy, from both sides of the conflict. Mediators help parties envision a stronger and deeper relationship for the future.

For more information or to schedule a mediation, contact us at mckaycenter@byuh.edu
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Community

Where experience happens.



Our mission is to engage our students in building relationships within our local community of Oahu. We seek to build relationships through sustainable service opportunities and projects. We work with local people and organizations to find the needs of those we serve and how to best help them. Our experience ranges from beach clean-ups to helping elementary schools get air-conditioning to helping with rescued farm animals. The goal is to provide meaningful service opportunities that both impact the giver and the receiver so that our students are prepared to help their own local communities after they graduate.

For more information or to get involved with community projects, contact us at mckaycenter@byuh.edu
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