Josh Moore is Senior Director of Global and Immersive Learning and Co-Director of the Weissberg Program in Human Rights and Social Justice at Beloit College in Wisconsin. His work lives at the intersection of racial justice, international education, and human rights. Josh credits the Kroc Institute for helping him to gain a unique cross-cultural experience and better understand the issues around inequality, discrimination, and privilege.
He was drawn to studying peace at the Kroc Institute while consulting in Senegal on topics related to academic programs and cultural adjustment. Living in a Muslim country in a post-9/11 world made him see the gaps in understanding between cultural groups, religions, and global powers. He credits cultural diversity as one of the most memorable highlights of his life on campus. At that time, all peace studies fellows lived together in one building.
“I think that putting someone in an apartment with twenty-three people from around the world is a way of pushing them outside of their comfort zone and helping them understand the diversity of identities and meta experiences,” he recalls. “Notre Dame is the first place where I learned about privilege and the first place that I was called out, and I was quite embarrassed.”
That experience helped him critically reflect on global issues and understand different perspectives around them, and he has been bringing these ideas into his work ever since.
After graduation, he went back to consulting in Senegal where he helped to launch a peacebuilding and social justice program. Afterwards, he worked in the field of mediation, and later on, joined the administration at Beloit College, first as an Associate Director in the Office of International Education, and later as Director of the Center for Immersive and Experiential Learning Opportunities.
In this role, Josh manages study abroad, pre-college programs, and summer language institute in addition to running the human rights program. He also educates students about how to deal with conflict and develop dynamic understandings of global threats. As part of his work with the Weissberg Program, he is also developing a peer-to-peer mediation and facilitation program on campus.
“A root of all of these areas is understanding, empathy, and respect for other people regardless of differences in their identities like ethnicity, economic background, or citizenry,” he says. “There is also an element of understanding yourself and a moral responsibility toward fairness and equity and how you conduct your life.”
In his work, Josh emphasizes that these characteristics can be cultivated through education, especially education that exposes you to diverse cultures.
“This is where you can get yourself out of a structure where your assumptions go unquestioned, and it puts you in a situation where you have to question what you know, your identity, and your power,” he says.
Josh keeps in touch with his fellow students and faculty from the Kroc Institute and follows their work. He also uses the Strategic Peacebuilding Wheel at Beloit to help students understand the interconnection of various world problems and possible solutions. In addition, he brought former Kroc Institute Professor David Anderson Hooker to the Beloit campus for a keynote and a discussion, which received excellent feedback.
“We're facing really critical threats and, in order to solve them, we have to work together and get to the root of them rather than addressing them through brute force or exploiting them to consolidate power,” Josh says. “It’s crucial to be able to understand critical global issues from a variety of perspectives and to understand how we are all affected by them.”