As we mourn the loss of our lives in another recent mass shooting and as neighbors endure the persistent tempo of gun violence here in Delaware County, Heeding God’s Call will sponsor a rally and walk at Swarthmore Friends Meeting House on our campus this Sunday, November 4. You are invited to attend and show your concern.
Delco interfaith group to hold gun awareness walk and memorial in Swarthmore on November 4
Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, a faith-based organization, will hold a Delco Gun Violence Awareness Day walk and memorial in Swarthmore on the afternoon of Sunday, November 4. It will begin at 2:00 P.M. with a gathering at the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House, 12 Whittier Place, on the Swarthmore College campus, to be followed by a walk through Swarthmore. The walk will end at Trinity Episcopal Church, 301 North Chester Road. Those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence will be among the speakers at the closing ceremony. A Memorial to the Lost display of T shirts with the names of Delaware County victims will serve as a visual reminder of the heavy toll in lives from gun violence. While, as a tax-exempt organization, Heeding God’s Call does not take sides in elections, it urges people to find out where candidates stand on the gun violence issue and let them know where they themselves stand.
Dr. Maura Finkelstein
Monday, October 29
4:30pm, Science Center 101
“Rumors, Strikes, and Industrial Debris in Mumbai, India”
This talk addresses the decline of Mumbai’s textile industry, once covering 600 acres of the central city’s geography. Now most mills have been closed and are being redeveloped into sites of middle class consumption (popularly framed as “mills to malls”). Lingering industrial spaces disappear beneath this emergent vertical city. One can now drive along overpasses, from downtown to the suburbs, without actually seeing these older and declining regions of the city. Such invisibility contributes to city-wide narratives of closed mills and dispersed workers. However the mill lands are still lively spaces, inhabited by resilient working class communities. This talk focuses on my ethnographic field site of Dhanraj Spinning and Weaving, Ltd, a textile mill still operating in Central Mumbai. Through worker engagements with labor strikes and rumors, I show the persistent life and labor of the remaining mill workers and unregulated industries inside the mill gates: the place in which formal and informal economies collide and life continues despite conflict, expected trends, and future projections.
Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co- Sponsored by Asian Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.
Murray-Thomas and Boozarjomehri will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects this year and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.
“It is through the vision and generosity of Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 that communities facing significant challenges have come to know Swarthmore College students and alumni like A’Dorian and Fatima as social change-makers,” says Jennifer Magee, senior associate director of the Lang Center, who designed the Lang Social Impact Fellows program with input from Ben Berger, executive director of the Lang Center, and Salem Shuchman ’84, former Lang Scholar and current Board of Managers chair.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to innovate and build upon the success of the Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program with this pilot program in its second year,” Magee adds. “And we are motivated and inspired to work with A’Dorian and Fatima as they sustain and scale their initiatives.”
The fellowship will allow Murray-Thomas to scale up her SHE Wins project, which started as a Lang Scholar project working with 12–15-year-old girls in Newark, N.J., who had lost a parent or sibling to homicide. Since then, SHE Wins has expanded to an Engaged Scholarship project that works at “the intersection of educational studies, restorative justice, and adolescent psychology” to “empower the next generation of young women leaders.”
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with various parts of the greater Swarthmore College community to further enhance the SHE Wins model, and to use my experience to give back to current Lang Scholars, like so many other Lang alumni have given to me,” says Thomas-Murray, who graduated from Swarthmore with a special major in political science and educational studies and, in 2016, was named College Woman of the Year by Glamour and a White House Champion of Change.
Boozarjomehri will expand her efforts with the Afghan refugee population of southern Tehran, designing projects to improve education access and quality for Afghan youth and diversifying economic opportunities for Afghan women. This year, she will broaden the scope of The Fanoos Project, a vocational training program for single mothers.
“I am most looking forward to continue building strong partnerships with local [nongovernmental organizations] and expanding the reach of the program to more mothers in new locations and with better facilities,” says Boozarjohmehri, who majored in Islamic studies and peace & conflict studies at Swarthmore, with support from the Project Pericles Fund. “I’m also really excited about developing a sustainable business model to ensure the continuation of the program for many years.”
Hazaineh, who was raised in a Palestinian refugee family in Amman, Jordan, was granted the award for the video blog (vlog) she started last year. The vlog features a series of videos challenging the unfair treatment of women in Arab societies, connecting with and encouraging women to express themselves. In the videos, Hazaineh shares her own struggles, such as the courage it took for her to remove her headscarf.
For Hazaineh, the Peacemaker award was motivation to keep reaching toward a peaceful and equitable society.
“Winning the award reminded me that despite the hardships and burdens of activism, there will always be communities in which we feel supported and empowered,” she says. “The support and appreciation I felt gave me hope and increased my determination to keep going.”
Associate Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies and Sociology Lee Smithey had the honor of presenting Hazaineh with the award. Smithey shared his excitement and pride in her accomplishment.
“In the midst of the debate over the [Brett] Kavanaugh hearing … issues of patriarchy and misogyny were on everybody’s mind,” says Smithey, “and so Layla receiving the award for the work that she’s done to challenge toxic masculinity seems timely.”
Hazaineh received the award at the PJSA Conference at Arcadia University last month. PJSA, affiliated with the International Peace Research Association, is a professional association that brings together activists, scholars, K–12 teachers, and professors throughout the United States and Canada to discuss peace-building and social change. The theme for this year’s conference, attended by 10 Swarthmore students and faculty, was “Revolutionary Nonviolence in Violent Times.”
Swarthmore was also well-represented at the conference by alumni and former professors, including former Lang Professor George Lakey, who spoke about revolutionary nonviolence, and Jim MacMillan, former journalist-in-residence for War News Radio who spoke about gun violence policy and reform.
For students, the conference was an opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives about social justice and learn directly from researchers and activists in the field. Killian McGinnis ’19, a peace & conflict studies and gender studies special major from Baltimore, Md., described how a workshop she attended granted her new insights for her senior thesis that would be hard to obtain in a classroom setting.
“The research of Ph.D. candidate Carol Daniel Kasbari on everyday acts of resistance in Palestine presented me with a grounded view of activism,” McGinnis says, “and an approach to theory using culturally informed understandings of people’s circumstance to define it rather than imposing external conceptualizations.”
Following the conference, Hazaineh felt most empowered by connecting with a community of change-makers, people who are also rebuilding peace within modern society.
“The people in the conference created a beautiful space where I felt solidarity and connection, despite not knowing everyone there,” she says. “I am greatly grateful for that recognition and experience.”
Looking Back at the Great War: A Talk by Mystery Writers Charles and Caroline Todd
Thursday, November 8th at 4:30 p.m. McCabe Library atrium
We wish to extend an invitation to you, and your network, to attend a talk by writers Caroline Todd and Charles Todd. This mother and son team have written over 30 mysteries, based in Britain following the Great War.
The Todds will be at Swarthmore College to talk about their writing process and their perspective on World War I from a writer’s point of view. This exciting event will occur on Thursday, November 8th, at 4:30 p.m. in the McCabe Library atrium, in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit about WWI.
The Todds are New York Times bestselling authors. Their most popular character, Inspector Ian Rutledge, is a WWI veteran who struggles with overcoming shell shock in the midst of solving mysteries for Scotland Yard. In their Bess Crawford mystery series, the Todds explore the role of women in the war as front line nurses.
Overall, their books describe the devastating effects of war on individuals and society. A new Bess Crawford mystery is due out on September 18th.
Copies of A Forgotten Place will be available after the talk. The Book Store in the Swarthmore Inn will also hold a raffle for a signed copy of the book. Raffle tickets will be available in the Store from November 1 through noon on November 8, and the raffle winner will be announced at the 4:30 event in McCabe. (Winner does not need to be present to win.)
For her Lang Opportunity Scholarship project over the summer, Ferial Berjawi ’19 designed and ran the BetterFly Camp, a six-week program that brought 30 young refugee girls in Lebanon together to discuss body image, legal rights, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health.
The program, which Berjawi discussed with the Arabic news source FutureTV and on Journal Post, targeted Syrian and Palestinian refugee girls in Lebanon between ages 10 and 15. It emerged from Berjawi’s personal experiences and motives.
“I’ve always found myself surrounded by broken women who never received sufficient awareness to determine their own paths,” says the economics and peace & conflict studies special major from Beirut. “I developed the program to empower these girls to become the pioneers of change in their societies.”
Berjawi took a research-based approach to the program and used an array of innovative methods piloted by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) like the Danish Refugee Council and the Women’s Refugee Commission. The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, which awarded Berjawi the scholarship, lauded her project as a great example of the impact that students can have around the world through engaged scholarship.
Back at Swarthmore this fall, Berjawi discussed her experiences with and vision for the BetterFly Camp.
How would you describe the work you did this summer with the BetterFly Camp?
Basically, it was a series of psychosocial support sessions that had to do with early marriage, gender-based violence, positive body image–also legal rights, discrimination, power, and positionality. It was just basically addressing the different layers of these girls’ identities and helping them start thinking about who they are and who they want to be in the future. All of them have witnessed [gender-based violence]. All of them have seen it, or might have experienced it. That’s not their fault. They’re not to blame. They’re only the victims, even though they are victims with a lot of agency. So we made sure we were not taking that agency away from them. They should be allowed to find their own agency, look within themselves, and find their own power to rise above social constraint and determine their own paths for the future. So it was more inspiration and empowerment than it was about knowledge.
How did the idea for the project originate?
I grew up with everything that is going on. Just growing up and seeing it, living under the patriarchy, I experienced the sexism, the misogyny, the objectification, the dehumanization of women all the time. So that was part of it. But I never really knew how bad it was until I did an internship with the Danish Refugee Council the summer after my sophomore year. There, I worked closely with the gender-based violence program coordinator [on a large-scale empowerment/education program]. So I thought, “How about I do a similar initiative, but with a different approach?” I thought it would be more effective so the girls could open us up to even more, since it was a smaller group.
What was the Lang Center’s role in the project?
I got the Lang Opportunity Scholarship in December of my sophomore year, and they basically funded my internship that summer with the Danish Refugee Council. I don’t think I would have been able to do it otherwise. They’ve been there, backing me up, all the way. My context is very particular to Lebanon, and even though it may not be their area of expertise, bridging our knowledge together, we were able to make it work.
Is there anything that news excerpts or blurbs tend to miss when describing the big picture of your project? Moments or details that get left out?
There are little victory moments when you’re like, “Yes! This is working!” The final celebration is one example of that. We had our sessions and at the end, I was like, “You know what, girls? Let’s have a final celebration where you present something.” I thought it’d just be an hour. They’d come, they’d get their certificates, and that’d be it. But they wanted to perform. So in a matter of three weeks, we were able to choreograph a dance—two dances, actually—and a play. The parents loved it. After the celebration, they came up to me thanking me for the project. And the girls—five of them were crying their eyes out, so I just started crying, too. It’s one of those moments that are very genuine and very real. I learned more from them than they learned from me, I think.
What are your future plans—for the project or yourself?
Someone actually reached out to me from an American NGO. The director learned about my work from social media, and they want to do another project cycle over winter break. They’re completely funding a new cycle, and I’m going to partner with them on it. And for the future, I’m looking into social impact consulting and nonprofit work. Last summer was super rewarding, but you can do all these interventions and do all this nonprofit work, but their lives will ultimately be shaped by the socioeconomic and political circumstances that they live in. So I want to be working on a more policy level to change the framework itself.
Peace and Conflict Studies Visiting Faculty – Rank Open Swarthmore College: Peace & Conflict Studies Program
Location: Swarthmore, PA 19081
Description The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College invites applications for an open rank full-time two-year visiting faculty position, beginning Fall 2019. Swarthmore College, a highly selective liberal arts college near Philadelphia, is committed to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitment to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Candidates should demonstrate expertise in peace and conflict studies and the humanities. We welcome geographic expertise besides Europe and the Middle East/North Africa. The successful candidate for the position will be expected to teach four courses per year in our interdisciplinary undergraduate program, including the senior seminar for majors. We seek a candidate with strong teaching and research skills and a knowledge and passion for peace studies that will support student advising and contribute to the development of a dynamic program. The strongest candidates will demonstrate a commitment to creative inclusive teaching and a research program that speak to and motivate undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. A Ph.D. in peace and conflict studies or in another discipline should be in hand by September 2019, accompanied by intellectual and professional engagement in the field of peace and conflict studies.
Full consideration will be given to all applications received by November 5, 2018. Candidates should send a cover letter, including teaching philosophy, experience, and research agenda, a curriculum vitae, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.