Why Do Protests Fail?

Please join us for a talk *tonight* by Swarthmore alum and Occupy Wall Street co-creator Micah White ’04.

Why Do Protests Fail?
Thursday March 30, 7-8:30 PM
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College

While an editor at Adbusters, White co-created the original idea for Occupy Wall Street. Building off his experience in and research on activism (including while a student at Swarthmore College during the Iraq War), White wrote The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution https://endofprotest.com/.

Micah White '04

In this talk, White will develop his theory of why contemporary protests fail to bring their desired change. In doing so, he will reflect on how activists can learn from these failures and build more effective social movements.

This event is free and open to the public. Please contact aspertu1@swarthmore.edu with any questions.

Co-sponsored by Sociology & Anthropology, The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, The Intercultural Center, Swarthmore Libraries,
Peace & Conflict Studies, Environmental Studies, Computer Science, Film & Media Studies, Political Science, The Daily Gazette, War News Radio, Swarthmore Anti-Capitalist Collective, Swarthmore Democrats, Swarthmore College Computer Society, and Forum for Free Speech

The Syrian Uprising

The Syrian Uprising: Local Struggles and Global Designs
Professor Yasser Munif
Emerson College

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Swarthmore College

Yasser Munif explores the importance of urban settings in shaping national identities during the Arab revolts (Egypt and Syria). More specifically, by investigating the confluence of arts and culture and urban spaces, it analyzes the making and un-making of national identities. While labor strikes, marches, demonstrations, and civil disobedience were vital in toppling authoritarian regimes in several Arab countries, the investigation explores the role of artistic transgressions within public spaces in challenging the deference and violence of totalitarian regimes.

Syrian uprising poster

Munif teaches courses on Race Relations, Urban Sociolgy, Nationalism, Political Economy, and Middle Eastern Politics and Society at Emerson College. He specializes in colonial history, racial identities, and the production of postcolonial space in marginal sites in France and its colonial territories. His research engages with Foucauldian and Fanonian perspectives and is primarily concerned with how French colonial rule designed urban spaces to shape lives and identities. Through archival and ethnographic investigation, he explores the travelling (in time and space) of knowledge within the colonial circuit.

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Sponsored by Arabic, Islamic Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, Political Science, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Historically Black Colleges and the Struggle for Citizenship in America

“Historically Black Colleges and the Struggle for Citizenship in America”

Professor Cally Waite (Columbia University)
National Director, Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program, Social Science Research Council

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Kohlberg Hall Room 228
Swarthmore College

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently described historically black colleges and universities as “pioneers” of the school choice movement, with HBCU leaders from across the United States meeting with President Trump.

How do we contextualize these developments? What is at stake for the historic struggle of Black Americans for citizenship and social justice?

cally waite jpg

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies, Sponsored by the Black Cultural Center, the Intercultural Center, Black Studies, Education, History, Sociology & Anthropology, Political Science, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Three “Reflections From the Field” events

We are thrilled to announce three upcoming events in “Reflections From The Field”, a new speaker series at Swarthmore College, which brings people working on the front lines of conflict and social change to campus to reflect upon *what* they do, *why* they do it and how *they* came to do it.


1. “These Birds Walk”, a film screening and conversation with director and cinematographer Omar Mullick.

Monday, March 13th @ 7:30PM
Science Center 101

In Karachi, Pakistan, a runaway boy’s life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? Simultaneously heart- wrenching and life-affirming, THESE BIRDS WALK documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the humanitarians looking out for them in an ethereal and inspirational story of resilience. Listed by The New Yorker as one of the best foreign films of the 21st century, this is a must see!

Omar Mullick is a film director and cinematographer known for his work on the 2013 feature film THESE BIRDS WALK. A 2016 Sundance Institute fellow, his most recent work can be seen on VICE’s HBO series, Black Markets, and the Gloria Steinem hosted show Woman on VICELAND. Current clients as a director and cinematographer include CNN, PBS, HBO, VICE, Discovery and The Gates Foundation. Trained as a photographer, his work has been published in The New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, National Geographic and TIME. He has received awards from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Western Knight Center for Journalism, Annenberg and Kodak.


2. “Closing the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”, a virtual conversation with Ricken Patel, Founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz.org, the world’s largest online activist community.

Monday, March 27th @ 4:30 PM
Science Center 199

Ricken is the founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz, the world’s largest online activist community with 44 million subscribers in every country of the world.

Ricken Patel

Ricken has been voted the “ultimate game changer in politics” (Huffington Post), listed in the world’s top 100 thinkers (Foreign Policy magazine) and described as “the global leader of online protest” with a “vaunting sense of optimism” (The Guardian). Prior to starting Avaaz.org, Ricken was the founding Executive Director of ResPublica, a global public entrepreneurship group that worked to end genocide in Darfur and build progressive globalism in US politics, among other projects. Ricken has also lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan and Afghanistan, consulting for organizations including the International Crisis Group, the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Harvard University, CARE International and the International Center for Transitional Justice. Born in Canada, Ricken has a B.A. from Oxford University and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard.

3. “From the streets of Kabul to the streets of New York: Reflections on covering war and crime”, a  conversation with New York Times reporter,
Joseph Goldstein.

Friday, April 7th @ 4:30 PM
Science Center 105

Joseph Goldstein’s first newspaper job was at the 6,000-circulation Daily Citizen in Searcy, Ark, where he wrote, among other things, a feature story about how meth-fueled treasure hunters in rural Arkansas were creating an underground economy for  arrowheads and other Native American artifacts.

Joseph Goldstein

He soon moved to New York City, where he worked at The New York Sun, until its demise, and later at The New York Post. He joined The New York Times in 2011 and writes mainly about the criminal justice system in New York. He has reported on the N.Y.P.D.’s over-reliance on stop-and-frisk tactics and about a secretive police unit that combs the city’s jails for Muslim prisoners in the hopes of pressuring them into becoming informants. He has covered Ferguson, the emergence of the alt-right, and Afghanistan, where he was based for a year.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Media Studies, Career Services, and Peace and Conflict Studies.