Trip to the PJSA meetings in Massachusetts

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a fine start and congratulations to all of our seniors who graduated yesterday.

Time to start thinking about next year already!


The 2012 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference will be held October 4-6 at Tufts University in Medford, MA, which is within driving distance of Philadelphia (about 7 hours). The theme this year is “Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace”

We are exploring student and faculty interest in driving a van or two up from the Tri-Colleges, probably departing on the morning of October 4 and returning on Sunday, October 7. Stay tuned for information about accommodation and registration. Information about the conference is available at If you are interested in going on the trip, please fill out the form at We will be in touch with more information as it becomes available. Contact Lee Smithey at lsmithe1 if you have questions.

Please indicate your interest in attending by filling out the form below by midnight Wed. Sept. 6. Thank you! (You can also access the form at )


Prof. Lakey nears Pittsburgh in walk across Pennsylvania for jobs, justice, and a sustainable environment

For those of you who are not aware, Professor George Lakey is walking 200 miles across Pennsylvania as part of Earth Quaker Action Team to promote sustainable environmental strategy and challenge PNC bank to stop funding mountaintop removal.

Today is Day 13 (nearly two weeks!) and the team expects to arrive in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. George has been blogging each evening along the way, and you can follow his posts via the website.

Here is his first post and video:

Why I’m walking to Pittsburgh

George Lakey walking across PA

Blog post 4.18.2012

I come from Bangor, a Pennsylvania slate mining town, and identify with the hard work, strong community, and bonding with nature in my heritage.  When I visit Appalachian people I see those same qualities, but I also see the horror of beloved mountains blown up, cancer rates rising, and jobs lost.

I’m sad to imagine what it’s like to have your water and air contaminated by poisons, your town on the skids, the jobs disappearing, and 500 mountains destroyed while more mountains are on the kill list.

I was proud to join others in starting the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) in 2010 with its first campaign targeting PNC Bank: Bank Like Appalachia Matters! PNC is one of the major funders of mountain top removal coal mining.

I also figured that I was doing something for the future of my four great-grandkids, who will join the miners in the catastrophes of climate change if PNC and our country don’t convert to renewable energy.

In the beginning of this year I was led to step up my own commitment.  I felt called to walk to Pittsburgh to challenge directly the corporate CEO of PNC Bank: “Why would you rather fundfewer jobs – while blowing up mountains and spreading cancer – than fund more jobs for clean wind power from those same mountains?”

EQAT supported my calling, and is initiating the

Green Walk for Jobs and Justice

Start: April 30 in Philadelphia, walking 200 miles of the route

Arrive: May 16, at PNC Bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh

Stops at PNC branches along the way.

Please sponsor me on this walk, and join me for part of the Walk or events along the route if you can.  Financial sponsors are needed to make the Walk possible.

I also want to know from bank officials: “If PNC calls the destruction of Appalachia ‘responsible banking,’ why should any of us do business with you?” I pledge to close my account in PNC on June 1 if it does not promise to stop funding mountain top removal coal mining.

Adriana Popa ’12 – Blog Post

Adriana Popa '12 - Blog PostAdriana Popa ’12, honors Political Science major and Peace and Conflict studies minor from Pitesti, Romania, is heading to India after graduation, to work under the Davis Projects For Peace Award. The $10,000 Davis grant will support the efforts she and fellow Swattie Riana Shah ’14, from Ahmedabad, India, Sociology/Anthropology and Educational Studies major and co-founder (along with Jwalin Patel) of Independent Thought and Social Action – ITSA, will center around peace education and community building. The project, You(th) for Peace, will promote cross-cultural dialogue and help combat stereotypes, fear, and intolerance, allowing students and their families to envision a common future of peace and cooperation, and will encompass 10 weeks of educational and social action components in India, as well as an international component (through the international team that will join Adriana and Riana in India, the culminating conference, the series of Youtube videos and the curriculum translated into multiple languages that will be launched at the conclusion of activities in India). Adriana and Riana hope the spirit and model of You(th) for Peace will be replicated in various parts of the world. Adriana will draw on her extensive experience in promoting education, youth involvement and peace through her past work with organizations such as the Federation of Young European Greens, Genocide Intervention Network, Peace Child International, and Africa Change International, while Riana will add You(th) for Peace to her already rich experience in advancing independent thinking, social activism, and entrepreneurship to counter the passivity of the Indian education system. Adriana and Riana both have a great deal to thank Swarthmore for in regards to their interest and involvement with education and peace work. Adriana’s Peace and Conflict Studies experience has been one of the most formative ones in her life: “For years I had associated war with a pointed gun and peace with its absence. Through my education, I came to understand that war begins far away from the ammunition warehouses, the same place where peace is born: in people’s hearts and minds. Peace begins with understanding, and education is the best tool for that.” Riana benefited from several generous Swarthmore grants, including the Lang Opportunity Scholar Grant from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, which have contributed to her perspective on a potential avenue of involvement: “The curriculum in many Indian schools is test-driven and rote-memorization based, creating an environment which doesn’t offer students a chance to intensely participate in critical thinking, which is something that Swarthmore prizes and encourages.”Adriana Popa '12 - Blog Post


Congratulations to our graduating seniors in the Class of 2012!

I could save this post for the end of the exam period, but let me go ahead and post now and include a note of encouragement: You’re almost there!

On behalf of all of us in Peace and Conflict Studies, let me further congratulate our seniors of the Class of 2012!

  • commencementEmma Ambrose
  • Michael Cameron
  • Olivia Ensign
  • Naomi Glassman
  • Tarini Kumar
  • Adriana Popa
  • Tarit Rao-Chakravorti
  • Omari Scott
  • Lauren Stern
  • Aden Tedla


Graduating is an important accomplishment. You have worked hard for four years or more, and we appreciate your contributions to the program.

Please be sure to stay in touch with us and keep us up to date on your work and accomplishments, professional or otherwise. Your continued involvement will play an important role in the vibrancy of the program in the future!

We have developed a blog for students and alumni at Please contribute so that we can learn about new opportunities for students and draw on your expertise!  Participating is simple. Send your post in the text of an email to  Remind us of your class year and attach a picture of yourself.  You can see examples that have already been posted at