A Child’s Guide to War Mission Statement and Project Description
The “A Child’s Guide to War” project is a multi-faceted campaign to expand
awareness among civilians of the experiences and contributions of America’s service
men and women, to explore the impact of war on soldiers and their families, and to
promote conversations about war among civilian and military Americans.
The project began in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary
film. The fiscal sponsor of the project is Creative Visions Foundation. The project’s
overall mission is to:
- Learn from military Americans to help civilian Americans understand and appreciate the skills, sacrifices, and experiences of those who serve in the military
- Raise awareness of issues related to the impact of war on Americans who serve in the military, including their children and families
- Encourage open and meaningful discussions that help bridge the civilian –military divide
- Promote more inclusive and less partisan discussions about war
- Create discussion guides for families to talk in age-appropriate ways about issues relating to war
- Affirm concern for all families and especially children impacted by war.
The “A Child’s Guide to War” project will include a documentary film, an Indiana public television program, public meetings to help bridge the civilian – military divide, and the development of discussion guides to help families have age-appropriate conversations with children about issues relating to war. Many Americans have no connection to the military or our wars. The impact of war on families is under-reported yet important. The film and program will show a wide range of military experiences, including those of military children and families who manage the absence and return of their soldier loved-ones easily as well as those who struggle. Viewers will include civilians with no experience of war as well as veterans, current military and their families. Producer and Project Director Susan Hackley is also managing director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Director Michael Nash made the highly-acclaimed documentary film “Climate Refugees”, shown at the United Nations, US Capitol, and in many other countries. The Advisory Board for “A Child’s Guide to War” includes veterans, educators, members of military support organizations, and conflict management experts. The rough-cut trailer for “A Child’s Guide to War” can be viewed on the project website at www.achildsguidetowar.com. The website also contains: an interview with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly video clip; a Harvard University symposium on “Why Is It So Difficult To Talk About War” with Iraq war veteran Congressman Seth Moulton video; and a PBS online interview with Susan Hackley describing the film project.