From Ferguson to San Francisco: Queer Liberation and Black Lives Matter

“From Ferguson to San Francisco: Queer Liberation and Black Lives Matter”
A conversation with Darnell Moore

Monday, October 5, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College (directions)

Darnell L. Moore is a Senior Editor at MicNews and Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire. Along with NFL player Wade Davis II, he co-founded YOU Belong, a social good company focused on the development of diversity initiatives. 

Darnell’s advocacy centers on marginal identity, youth development and other social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad. He has led and participated in several critical dialogues including the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington National Panel on Race, Discrimination and Poverty, the 2012 Seminar on Debates on Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School, and as a member of the first U.S. delegation of LGBTQ leaders to Palestine in 2012.

A prolific writer, Darnell has been published in various media outlets including MSNBCThe GuardianHuffington PostEBONYThe AdvocateOUT MagazineGawkerTruth OutVICEGuernicaMondoweissThought CatalogGood Men Project and others, as well as numerous academic journals including QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World MakingWomen Studies QuarterlyAda: A Journal of GenderNew Media & TechnologyTransforming Anthropology, Black Theology: An International Journal, and Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among others.

Darnell has held positions of Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Divinity School, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is presently Writer-in-Residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexuality, and Social Justice at Columbia University. He has taught in the Women and Gender’s Studies and Public Administration departments at Rutgers University, Fordham University, City College of New York City and Vassar College. Darnell has also provided keynote addresses at Harvard University, Williams College, Stony Brook University, New Jersey City University, Stanford University, and the New School.

Darnell received the 2012 Humanitarian Award from the American Conference on Diversity for his advocacy in the City of Newark, where he served as Chair of the LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Commission. He is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Academic Leadership Award from Rutgers University LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center for his contributions to developing the Queer Newark Oral History Project. He received the 2013 Angel Award from Gay Men of African Descent and the 2014 Gentleman of the Year Award from the Gentlemen’s Foundation. He was listed as a one of Planned Parenthood’s Top 99 Dream Keepers in 2015 and was featured in USA Today’s #InTheirOwnWords multimedia feature on contemporary civil rights activists. He assisted in organizing the Black Lives Matters Ride to Ferguson in the wake of Mike Brown’s tragic murder.

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and co-sponsored by the President’s Office, the Black Cultural Center, the Intercultural Center, Sociology/Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Black Studies.




Israel/Palestine Film Series – Fall Semester 2015

The Peace and Conflict Studies program invites you to an Israel/Palestine Film Series this semester.

All six screenings will be held on Wednesdays at 4:15pm in the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC) Cinema. (Directions)

The screenings are open to the public and faculty, staff, administrators, students, and local community members are welcome to attend. A brief moderated discussion will follow each film.

A trailer for each film is available below.

IsraelPalestine Film Series Fall 2015

September 16

Frontiers of Dreams and Fears

Palestinian filmmaker traces the pen-pal relationship between Palestinian teenage girls in Bethlehem and Beirut refugee camps.

September 23

The Flat

Israeli filmmaker discovers the history of his grandparents who previously had a relationship with a high ranking Nazi officer.

September 30

The War Around Us

American filmmaker follows the only two international journalists who covered the 2009 Israel-Hamas War in Gaza.

October 7


Israeli filmmaker documents a group of Israeli and Palestinian children meeting for the first time in and around Jerusalem.

October 21

Paradise Now

Palestinian filmmaker produces this Academy Award-nominated fiction film examining the final hours before two Palestinian friends prepare to commit acts of violence in Tel Aviv.

November 4

Eyes Wide Open

Israeli filmmaker produces this breathtaking fiction film examining a love affair between two Orthodox Jewish men in Jerusalem.

Sponsored by Swarthmore Peace and Conflict Studies

Historic marker placed in memory of Mildred Scott Olmsted

by Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

On September 13, 2015, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission unveiled a historic marker in nearby Rose Valley, PA to honor Mildred Scott Olmsted.


Mildred Scott Olmsted, who lived most of her long life in Delaware County, was a leading figure in twentieth century social reform movements-women’s rights, civil rights, birth control, and especially the peace movement.  Olmsted (1890-1990), was best remembered as the leading voice of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in the U.S. for over forty years, leading that organization through the years of the creation of the United Nations, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, fears over the spread of Communism,  protests against atomic weapons and civil defense, protests against the Vietnam war, and the rise of the women rights movement.

Mildred Scott Olmsted
[Swarthmore College Peace Collection.]

As a young woman, fresh out of Smith College, in 1912, Mildred Scott entered the new field of social work.  She volunteered with the YMCA, the Red Cross, and the  American Friends Service Committee providing relief services in France and Germany in the aftermath of World War I Europe to assist in .  The devastation and suffering she found in Europe convinced Mildred to become a life-long pacifist and active worker for the cause of peace.  In 1922, Olmsted became Executive Secretary of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She assumed additional responsibilities in 1934 when she became National Organization Secretary of WILPF, U.S. Section. In 1946, Olmsted became National Administrative Secretary and she held that position until her “retirement” in 1966. She remained Executive Director Emerita of WILPF and was active almost to the very end of her life at 99.

Olmsted with Joan Baez, about 1975.

While she was best known for her leadership in WILPF, Mildred Scott Olmsted served many organizations. She was on the Board of Philadelphia SANE-against nuclear weapons, Promoting Enduring Peace, the Upland Institute of Crozer Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, vice-chairman of the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union, and representative to the United Nations Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, among others.  An early leader in the birth control movement, Olmsted helped set up the first clinic in the Philadelphia area. She championed the causes of women’s suffrage, civil liberties, the protection of animals, and conservation of natural resources. Her hobbies included gardening, travel, antiques, and historic preservation.

In 1987 Swarthmore College presented Olmsted with an honorary doctorate degree, as several other institutions, including her alma mater Smith. She was honored on numerous occasions by WILPF and received its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986.

Olmsted resided for most of her life in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She was a member of the Society of Friends and attended the Providence (Media, PA) Meeting where she served as clerk. She was a member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on Reorganization in 1973 and 1974 and also served on the Executive Committee of the Peace Education Committee of the American Friends Service Committee.

The Mildred Scott Olmsted Papers and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section Records are available at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Peace symbol atop Parrish Hall?

By Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

The weather vane atop Parrish Hall is in the shape of a feather.

People with sharp eyes may have noticed that the feather has been
fashioned into a quill pen. This is easier to see in the old Parrish
Hall weathervane mounted on the wall on the center staircase of Parrish Hall between the first and second floor.

Weathervane in Parrish Hall

This earlier weathervane was replaced by another (maybe the current version) in the 1930s. For an institution of higher learning, a quill pen seems quite appropriate. However, there is a possible additional reference. It may be a reference to William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. If this is the case, it is also a peace symbol, referencing William Penn’s treaties with the Indians.

The following is from a 1798 letter to the Six Nations (the

“To our Indians Brethren of the six Nations Brothers; We rejoice that you are now at peace and we pray to the Good Spirit that he may continue to preserve you from the miseries of war, We have always had your welfare at heart, ever since our Grandfather, Onas came into this country; and the present time appears to us to be a favourable one, again, to manifest our unalterable friendship for you We cannot forget the harmony that subsisted between our forefathers and the Indians during the first settlement of this country.”

The Haudenosaunee referred to William Penn as Onas, their word for feather, and by extension, a feather quill pen.

At least this is more likely than the story appearing in the Phoenix in
1941, claiming that the feather was from the golden phoenix, dropped when that bird took flight from Swarthmore following his/her rebirth in fire.

Ethical Loneliness – New Book by Jill Stauffer

Congratulations to our colleague, Dr. Jill Stauffer, Director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at Haverford College on the publication of her new book!

Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard

Ethical_LonelinessEthical loneliness is the experience of being abandoned by humanity, compounded by the cruelty of wrongs not being heard. It is the result of multiple lapses on the part of human beings and political institutions that, in failing to listen well to survivors, deny them redress by negating their testimony and thwarting their claims for justice.

Jill Stauffer examines the root causes of ethical loneliness and how those in power revise history to serve their own ends rather than the needs of the abandoned. Out of this discussion, difficult truths about the desire and potential for political forgiveness, transitional justice, and political reconciliation emerge. Moving beyond a singular focus on truth commissions and legal trials, she considers more closely what is lost in the wake of oppression and violence, how selves and worlds are built and demolished, and who is responsible for re-creating lives after they are destroyed.

Jill StaufferStauffer boldly argues that rebuilding worlds and just institutions after violence is a broad obligation and that those who care about justice must first confront their own assumptions about autonomy, liberty, and responsibility before an effective response to violence can take place. In building her claims, Stauffer draws on the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Améry, Eve Sedgwick, and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as concrete cases of justice and injustice across the world.

Jill Stauffer is associate professor of philosophy and director of the concentration in peace, justice, and human rights at Haverford College. She is the coeditor (with Bettina Bergo) of Nietzsche and Levinas: “After the Death of a Certain God” and has published widely on issues of responsibility within and beyond legality.


Visiting Lang Professor Denise Crossan Touts Social Entrepreneurship

By Ryan Dougherty
September 9th, 2015
Swarthmore College website

Dr. Denise CrossanIs social entrepreneurship an oxymoron?

It has been for many philanthropists, who worry that building a business model will compromise their mission, and for businesspersons who deem the social part too “touchy feely.” But that’s changing, says Denise Crossan.

“Increasingly, I have students and community members coming to me saying, ‘I have this great business idea, and it’s also going to address a societal problem,’” she says. “There’s definitely space for both.”

Crossan will navigate students through that space as the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change this year, responding to a budding interest in doing well and doing good.

“There’s real appetite from students here who want to be engaged in giving back to society through sustainable enterprise,” she says. “It’s about building an organization that makes money that can be reinvested into social purpose or impact.”

Crossan is offering two courses this year through the Peace and Conflict Studies program. This fall, she is teaching a class on what social entrepreneurship is and how to engage in it. In the spring, she will teach a course she calls “finding your inner social entrepreneur,” targeting students who have identified a social issue to which they would like to apply a business model.

“It’s about giving them the space to convert their idea into a viable, sustainable enterprise that creates measurable social change,” says Crossan, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of the subject.

“If anyone wants to have a conversation about their research or interests or work that might potentially spin out into social entrepreneurship and wants to come talk with me, I’d be delighted,” she says.

Crossan comes to Swarthmore from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Business, where she was appointed assistant professor of social entrepreneurship — the first post of its kind in Ireland — in 2009. However, it was her background as community business advisor for the European Union Program for Peace & Reconciliation that helped pave her way to Swarthmore.

John Van Til ’61, professor emeritus of urban studies and community planning at Rutgers University, Camden, was one of Crossan’s external examiners for her Ph.D. Noting her deep knowledge of community organizations in Northern Ireland, he mentioned that Swarthmore was looking for someone to set up a study abroad program there. Crossan’s discussions with Steven Piker, former professor of anthropology and advisor to the Off-Campus Study Office, and Rosa Bernard, assistant director of the Off-Campus Study Office, yielded a successful Northern Ireland Program based in Derry and Belfast that has sent 12 Swarthmore students to study peace and reconciliation with Trinity College students since 2005.

Visiting Swarthmore’s campus each year, Crossan developed admiration for the people and purpose of the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.

“I thought, ‘We need the Lang Center in Ireland,’” she says. “They inspired me to work toward setting up the Trinity Centre for Social Engagement [pdf], which will foster social innovation and entrepreneurial action and help us to understand meaningful engagement in society.”

Crossan also sits on a panel of experts in social entrepreneurship for the European Commission, whose responsibilities include advising the commission on the development of the Social Business Initiative across the European Union. She is creating a digital map of social enterprise and eager to engage Swarthmore students in mapping social entrepreneurship in Philadelphia and beyond.

Before she could outline her academic plans for the coming year, though, Crossan had to overcome what she called the “information overload” of re-locating to the U.S.: “new house, new job, new car, new I.D.”

But since she was born and spent the first 10 years of her life in Ohio, it’s not all new.

“Things that I remember from when I was little are coming back to me,” she says. “It’s the small things, like the sounds of people cutting their grass at night or the bugs in the trees.”

And she already feels at home in the Swarthmore community.

“They’re just the most engaged and incredibly deep-thinking group of individuals you could possibly meet,” she says. “Even better, it comes without judgment. It’s an incredible institution with fabulous thinkers, which is also very humble, open to new thoughts and people and contributions. That, I absolutely love.”

Dee Craig’s latest mural in Northern Ireland

Lee Smithey had the opportunity to meet up in Belfast, Northern Ireland with Dee Craig a couple of weeks ago. Dee is the artist who painted the mural on the Science Center here at Swarthmore. (See photos, video, and more.)

Here is his latest piece on the Newtownards Road in East Belfast!

Craig Achieve mural

Dee sends warm greetings to all of his friends at Swarthmore!


How Nonviolent Movements Can Deal with Repression and Violence

Civil Resistance

Prof. Lee Smithey will be part of a guest Twitter panel on “How Nonviolent Movements Can Deal with Repression and Violence” on Thursday, August 20 at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. EST

The panel is being sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace Global Campus course on “Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Movements.”

Follow #pdoxrep on Twitter on Thursday and feel free to participate!

Professor Smithey is completing an edited book on The Paradox of Repression, co-edited with Lester R. Kurtz.

You can review cases of nonviolent campaigns that have involved repression against nonviolent activists that backfired against authorities in the Global Nonviolent Action Database, based at Swarthmore College.

Celebrating 100 years of the Fellowship of Reconciliation






This year the Fellowship of Reconciliation is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The FOR is the largest, oldest interfaith peace organization in the United States, working for peace, justice and nonviolence since 1915.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is mounting an exhibit to honor this remarkable century of activism for peace, social justice, and international understanding.

The exhibit will open on July 29, 2015, and run through August 11, 2015.

McCabe Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081

8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays.

Open to the public.

For further information contact Wendy Chmielewski at