Strategic, Successful, and Spiritually Grounded Activism

Strategic, Successful, and Spiritually Grounded Activism
Speaker: Eileen Flanagan

Wednesday, April 1, 2015; 5:00 PM
Bond Hall at Swarthmore College (directions)
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA

After five years of campaigning, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) has pushed the seventh largest bank in the US into issuing a policy that effectively ends its investment in mountaintop removal coal mining. Eileen Flanagan will share her own story of feeling led to join EQAT’s campaign and what she is learning about nonviolent direct action.

Eileen Flanagan

Eileen Flanagan is the clerk of the board of Earth Quaker Action Team, a teacher in Pendle Hill’s new Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness program, and a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting. Her newest book, Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope , is about the spiritual crisis that led her to climate justice activism.

This event is open to the public.

Flanagan_RENEWABLE

 

Political Homophobia in Africa

“Political Homophobia in Africa”
A Talk by Professor Kim Yi Dionne
Thursday, March 26th, 7:30 PM
Kohlberg Hall 116
Swarthmore College (directions)

Sponsored by STAND, Forum for Free Speech, and the Political Science Department

The last few years have seen significant state-led homophobic actions in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and a number of other African countries, with Uganda even introducing a bill that would make homosexuality punishable by death.

Kim Yi Dionne

STAND is bringing Smith College Professor of Government Kim Yi Dionne to discuss the recent homophobic trends in African politics. She will discuss its modern and colonial roots, the political benefits homophobia offers to governments, and the effects of state-sponsored homophobia on LGBT communities.

Kim Yi Dionne’s work focuses on politics, development, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT rights. She has written for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, appeared on the BBC, and is a regular contributor to the Washington Post.

The event is sponsored by STAND, Forum for Free Speech, and the Political Science Department.

Memoriam: Charlotte Lacey and The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

We would like to share this loving memorial to Charlotte Lacey by her partner, Michael Panella:

In Memoriam

Charlotte Lacey, the only Delaware County native and the youngest member of the the peace group, The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives, passed away on January 5th in Vancouver, Canada.

Charlotte was 18 years old when on one night in 1970 she along with 10 nuns, priests and young people simultaneously burglarized three of the four Philadelphia draft boards destroying the files of those young men about to be involuntarily sent to Vietnam to kill and be killed. The group also burglarized the lobbying offices of GE in Washington. The GE documents taken exposed the collusion between Congress and GE, the second largest war contractor at the time.Charlotte Lacey and The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

Charlotte, at that young age, had not only the strong moral compass to see that the Vietnam war was wrong but she had the courage to put her liberty and maybe her life on the line in her effort to stop that war.  The 11 members of the Conspiracy to Save Lives published their names with a photo taking responsibility for this non-violent resistance to the war, the draft and the military-industrial complex.

Charlotte was a very special loving person who lived the rest of her life in Canada.  Delaware County and all peace loving Americans should be very proud to have had her as their courageous daughter.

Charlotte Lacey and the The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

From Mississippi to Jerusalem: Jewish Civil Rights Veterans of SNCC

Jewish Civil Rights Veterans S2015

Come learn about the intersection of Judaism and civil rights activism! This 2-day event series features Jewish activists Dorothy Zellner, Ira Grupper, Larry Rubin, and Mark Levy, all of whom participated in the Civil Rights movement as part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Come to one or all of the three events! There will be light food and drink!

Hosted by SASS, Race to Action, and formerly-known-as Hillel at Swarthmore College  (directions)

Racial Justice Action Now and Past: Learning from SNCC
March 24
Bond Hall
4:30pm
Too often the civil rights movement is considered a thing of the past. In this panel discussion, we will hear from our panelists how strategies from the Civil Rights movement can be used to effectively advocate for justice today.

Practical Organizing Workshop
March 24
Location TBD – possibly Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Come learn important skills from experienced organizers! We will discuss topics ranging from self-care to dealing with the press.

From Selma to Jerusalem
March 25
Bond Hall
5:30pm
Our panelists will discuss the relationship between the Civil Rights movement and the current situation in Israel-Palestine.

Facebook invitation for this event.

Moore Research Fellowship at Swarthmore College

Interested in conducting research in the Friends Historical Library or the Peace Collection at Swarthmore College?  Apply for the Moore Research Fellowship!

Margaret W. Moore and John M. Moore Research Fellowship
Swarthmore College

SYNOPSIS:  The purpose of the Margaret W. Moore and John M. Moore Research Fellowship is to provide a stipend to promote research during the academic year or summer months using the resources of the Friends Historical Library and/or the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Deadline(s):      03/31/2015
Established Date: 04/10/2003
Follow-Up Date:   02/01/2016
Review Date:      02/26/2015

Contact:  Christopher Densmore, Curator

Address:
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.

E-mail:  cdensmo1@swarthmore.edu
Web Site: http://www.swarthmore.edu/library/peace/
Program URL: http://bit.ly/185AMb7
Tel:              610-328-8557
Deadline Ind:     Receipt
Deadline Open:    No

Award Type(s):    Facilities-Access To Fellowship Summer

Citizenship/Country of Applying Institution: Any/No Restrictions

Locations Tenable:    U.S.A. Institution (including U.S. Territories)

Appl Type(s):

  • Faculty Member
  • Researcher/Investigator
  • Graduate Student

Target Group(s):  NONE
Funding Limit:    $0   NOT PROV
Duration: 0
Indirect Costs: Unspecified
Cost Sharing: No
Sponsor Type:  College/University
Geo. Restricted:  NO RESTRICTIONS

OBJECTIVES:  The purpose of the Margaret W. Moore and John M.
Moore Research Fellowship is to provide a stipend to promote research during the academic year or summer months using the resources of the Friends Historical Library and/or the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Strong preference will be given to projects utilizing resources only available at Swarthmore. Moore fellows will be asked to give a lecture at Swarthmore College subsequent to and based upon their research at a date agreed upon by the Moore Fellowship Committee and the Moore fellow.

ELIGIBILITY
Those eligible to apply include Swarthmore College students and
faculty, as well as faculty, graduate students, and scholars from
outside the Swarthmore College community.

FUNDING
The amount of the stipend will be announced.  (jap)

KEYWORDS:

  • American History
  • Religious History
  • Conflict/Dispute Resolution
  • Social Change
  • Peace/Disarmament/Amnesty

Stanley Hauerwas to speak on “light”

“How to think about light theologically”
A lecture by Dr. Stanley Hauerwas

Where: Bond Memorial Hall at Swarthmore College (directions)
When: Monday, February 23rd at 7:00 pm

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas is perhaps the most famous American
ethicist-theologian alive today.  Dr. Hauerwas is currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School where he  also holds a joint appointment in the Duke University School of Law.

Hauerwas1

Among his many honors, Dr. Hauerwas was named in 2001 “America’s best theologian” by TIME magazine.  Also in 2001, Hauerwas delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures at St. Andrews College in Scotland.

As the country’s foremost Christian pacifist, Hauerwas has written on a wide range of topics from war, peace, law, American politics, the Christian Church and ethics.  In ethics, Dr. Hauerwas has been at the forefront of the resurgence of Aristotelian virtue ethics in the American academy.

This task he undertook in collaboration with the equally renowned
philosopher, Dr. Alasdair MacIntyre, with whom he worked and taught for many years.  This Monday at 7pm in Bond Memorial Hall, Dr. Hauerwas will speak on the topic “How to think about light theologically.”  Don’t miss this lecture by one of the most famous living pacifists and theologians!

Contact: ekast1

Theater of Witness covers new ranges of emotional spectrum

The following piece appeared in the most recent issue of The Phoenix.

Theater of Witness covers new ranges of emotional spectrum

Theater of Witness is a series of staged dramatic performances and cinema pieces through which subjects recount complex personal histories. It was brought to Swarthmore on Monday, February 10 by its founder and director Teya Sepinuck. Sepinuck served as adjunct faculty in member in the college’s dance department for almost 20 years before leaving to found the Philadelphia-based TOVA: Artistic Projects for Social Change in 1991. More recently, she has been in Northern Ireland expanding the Theater of Witness program.The program opened with Sepinuck reading a short passage from her book, describing an encounter with children who were unwitting victims of war. It seemed generic, too distant to be meaningful. Sepinuck then moved towards presenting the actual “theater” of witness.She started with some footage of a young boy narrating on and off camera, accompanied by footage of his Philadelphia neighborhood. It is part of a piece connecting mothers of young gang violence victims to the perpetrators of said violence. The relationship between victim and perpetrator is essential and unique to Sepinuck’s work.“It’s harder to identify with the perpetrator,” said Sepinuck. “But it’s important.”Teya SepinuckAfter a brief and interesting, if not completely comprehensive, introduction to the methods of the program, Sepinuck showed a few particularly powerful Theater of Witness performances.The first video featured a man named Hakim Ali telling his story. Ali had committed acts of gang violence, and had not spoken about it or outwardly reflected on it before participating in Sepinuck’s program.

“It’s very healing,” said Sepinuck.

On stage he is full of emotion, the kind of regret and loss that is easy to feel and almost impossible to communicate. Sepinuck shared a story about how the mothers of victims and convicted perpetrators alike were in tears, moved to unabridged expression by the stories of their sons. But none of them were shown on screen, and the distance remained.

Next was the story of a couple from Sepinuck’s film “Raising Our Voice.” The work was inspired by a man who called Sepinuck, requesting to participate after having seen one of her programs. He confessed to committing domestic abuse and told Sepinuck that he kept hearing her name when he was praying. The film opens with a monologue from the man’s wife, who decided to participate in the program after watching him. She fights tears on screen as she outlines a history of helplessness and running away, ending on a note of strength and confidence. The scene then cuts to the man’s own story as the film follows him through a saga of masculine pressure that poisoned his protective instincts of love. The two end up on stage together, dancing closely. The “healing” capability that Sepinuck had referred to earlier was more than just cathartic introspection. It unifies parties that have damaged each other. As the couple dances on screen, there is not exactly forgiveness, but there is still love.

Sepinuck then presented her more recent work on the lives of those who had lost loved ones due to separatist and military violence in northern Ireland. She showed individually narrated short films: one of a young woman named Victoria, whose father was killed in an IRA related bomb attack and one of a young man named Fionbarr, whose father died at the hands of suspicious British police. Sepinuck then showed a Theater of Witness project featuring a young woman who had given herself to the IRA years ago as she tells the story of her impassioned extremism and its abrupt end due to a brain hemorrhage. She is then shown on stage together with the wives of men killed by IRA activity, in an example of the show’s careful exploration of the relativism of innocence and the universality of pain.

To conclude, Sepinuck showed material from her film “Living with Life”, a Theater of Witness project done at the State Correctional Institute in nearby Chester. A group of men sentenced to life in prison are interviewed about their free lives and current emotions at an unexpected, almost inconceivable depth. This is followed by their performance of an original composition by the prisoners, about how they must hold on to some fragments of sanity while confined. It is a perspective on life that, as consumers of a media saturated with grotesquely fantasized prison environments, is almost never seen.

Lakey workshop “Get on your feet: Organizing for Peaceful Protest”

GET ON YOUR FEET: ORGANIZING FOR PEACEFUL PROTEST
A workshop with George Lakey

Thursday, February 26
7:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Keith Room – Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
Swarthmore College (Directions)

George Lakey

You *can* go beyond the boring limits of choosing between a march or a rally by coming to this workshop and learning about:

  • action logic
  • edgy actions
  • using actions leadership development
  • maximizing the empowerment potential of the actions you design
  • one-offs vs. campaigns

The workshop includes question time on the use of nonviolent direct action compared with other techniques for social change.

George Lakey is formerly a Lang Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He founded the Global Nonviolent Action Database.

Engaging Human Differences: a teach in with Professor David Kyuman Kim

Engaging Human Differences:
teach in with Professor David Kyuman Kim

February 19, 2015
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in Kohlberg Hall Room 116
Swarthmore College (directions)

Ferguson, Staten Island/NYC, Paris. Philadelphia. In this time of intensifying and proliferating tensions regarding how the law and the police state engage human differences of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class (amongst many others), the need to find language and spaces of dialogue have become more urgent. ​

For this event, David Kyuman Kim (Connecticut College scholar of race, religion, and public life) will lead a teach-in with the Swarthmore community taking up these issues, especially as they effect the stakeholders of Swarthmore. A successful teach-in will take the temperature of the constituents of Swarthmore (students, staff, faculty, and local community) in regard to these tensions around race and the like, and build-up an organic dialogue that will serve as a catalyst for on-going conversations at Swarthmore and beyond.

David K. Kim

Sample questions:

  • How has Swarthmore engaged questions of race, religion, and public life?
  • How have Swarthmore’s initiatives around diversity helped and/or hindered an effective dialogue that enables students, staff, and faculty to engage what is happening in Ferguson, NYC, and beyond?
  • What discourses around race, religion, gender, sexuality, class, and state authority are working and which are not working at Swarthmore? And how might we begin a conversation to transform these discourses to help equip the community to be more effective in addressing these pressing issues?

This event is part of the ongoing residency: Radical Democracy and Humanism: Intersections between Performance and Action

Theatre of Witness: Bearing Witness to Stories of Suffering, Transformation, and Peace

Theatre of Witness: Bearing Witness to Stories of Suffering, Transformation, and Peace

A Public Presentation by Teya Sepinuck
Monday, February 9th, 7 pm
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Swarthmore College (directions)
Free and Open to the Public

Join Teya Sepinuck, founder and Artistic Director of Theatre of Witness for an inspiring multi-media program of films and life stories from her work creating original testimonial theater with those whose stories haven’t been heard in society. For the past 29 years, Teya has created Theatre of Witness productions in the US, Poland and Northern Ireland with ex-combatants, victims and survivors of war, prisoners and their families, refugees, and asylum seekers, and those affected by inner city violence, poverty and homelessness. Teya will speak personally about the power of bearing witness and using personal and collective story to inspire healing and peace building both for the performers as well as audiences.

Teya Sepinuck

Teya is the founder and artistic Director of Theatre of Witness – a form of performance in which the true life stories of those who haven’t been heard in society are performed by the people themselves as a way for audiences to bear witness to issues of suffering, transformation and peace. She is recently back from Northern Ireland where The European Union awarded two multi-year Peace grants for her work with former soldiers, security forces personnel, and victims and witnesses of the more than 40 years of violence from the ‘Troubles’. The productions have since been made into film documentaries for ongoing dissemination in workshops, and one of her most recent productions has aired on the BBC. Her work humanizes the other and is founded on the premise of ‘finding the medicine’ in stories of deep suffering. Teya’s book, Theatre of Witness, Finding the Medicine in Stories of Suffering, Transformation and Peace was published by Jessica Kingsley Press. Teya taught at Swarthmore College from 1974-2002.

Sponsored by: SWARTHMORE COLLEGE Departments of Music and Dance and Theatre, Programs in Black Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and the William J Cooper Foundation