Be a courageous pioneer, fostering a
humanistic culture of impartiality.
Be an oasis of hope, fostering open
dialogue between civilizations.
Be a cradle of wisdom, fostering
global citizens of tolerance
The Center for Art and Spirituality in International Development was founded in 1999 with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our mission is to help international development practitioners connect their work and the results they produce to their behavior, beliefs, capacity for self-awareness, and the growth and development of their own character. We define spirituality broadly. It may describe a specific religious tradition or ethic, as well as a conscious, self-aware effort to grow and create humanistic relationships of value for oneself and others in the context of international development. CASID helps international development practitioners to consciously manifest and fuse their wisdom, values and personal development with their technical knowledge and expertise to increase the effectiveness of international development projects and programs.
CASID's services encompass international development, education, art and research. In international development, CASID provides consultants who conduct project design, evaluation and social-economic impact analyses on international development projects. Our Global Education Initiative brings the millennium development goals and international development issues into high school classrooms enhancing the curriculum and developing youth as global citizens and advocates for social justice. CASID provides international development institutions opportunities to use creativity to solve problems related to project implementation and management. CASID uses art to expand the constituency of informed citizens and also as a starting point for public conversations about the issues, challenges and realities of using foreign assistance effectively to address global poverty and its related problems. CASID’s research identifies the legacies created and the leadership exemplified by outstanding global citizens in international development. Our research also identifies the spiritual challenges faced by individuals that work globally and CASID provides workshops, initiatives and other programs to help individuals effectively meet these challenges.
CASID’s perspective on how international development can contribute to peace in the 21st century is rooted in an acknowledgement that an individual’s character, beliefs, and level of self-awareness have a profound affect on one’s behavior and work. Therefore, it is important for individuals in international development to understand how they connect their faith, and beliefs to their behavior in order to develop sustainable solutions to the problems they hope to resolve in developing countries. CASID was established to help practitioners understand that there is a direct relationship between what they believe, who they are, and what they do.
International development has the potential to be a vehicle for peace. To do so we must ask ourselves how can we use our work to develop greater character and exhibit profound leadership and how can the development of our character and self-awareness positively influence our work? How can we become wiser and more humanistic as a result of our interactions with diverse populations throughout the world? What is our vision of what international development is meant to accomplish that goes beyond project outcomes and results? How can we make our self-identity and the way we treat others a part of what it takes to realize this vision? How can we convey our wisdom to the next generation of international development practitioners? CASID’s research, training and artistic programs are designed to help individuals and institutions live the answers to these important questions. For CASID, effective international development includes the spiritual growth of the international development practitioner. There is no separation. Each is connected to the other.