Can Big Bird Fight Terrorism?

A book talk with Naomi Moland, Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Services at American University.

Wednesday, December 4th
4:30p.m.-6:30p.m.
McCabe Library Atrium

big bird terrorism-2

For fifty years, Sesame Street has taught generations of Americans their letters and numbers, and also how to better understand and get along with people of different races, faiths, ethnicities, and temperaments. But the show has a global reach as well, with more than thirty co-productions of Sesame Street that are viewed in over 150 countries. In recent years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided funding to the New York-based Sesame Workshop to create international versions of Sesame Street.

At this talk, Dr. Naomi Moland will discuss her new book, Can Big Bird Fight Terrorism? which looks at the Nigerian version, Sesame Square, which began airing in 2011. The show  seeks to promote peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, where segregation, state fragility, and escalating conflict raise the stakes of peacebuilding efforts. This book offers rare insights into the complexities, challenges, and dilemmas inherent in soft power attempts to teach the ideals of diversity and tolerance in countries suffering from internal conflict

The Swarthmore Campus & Community Store will provide books for purchase and author signing.

Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies with co-sponsorship from Film and Media Studies and Education Studies

Swarthmore Hosts Aspiring Academics of Color at Mellon Mays Conference

Swarthmore Hosts Aspiring Academics of Color at Mellon Mays Conference

The Communications Office
14 November 2019

Jayanti Owens '06 and Sa'ed Atshan '06 Jayanti Owens ’06 (left), a professor at Brown University, will speak at the conference, organized by Assistant Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies Sa’ed Atshan ’06. Both are MMUF alums.
Jayanti Owens ’06 and Sa’ed Atshan ’06
Jayanti Owens ’06 (left), a professor at Brown University, will speak at the conference, organized by Assistant Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies Sa’ed Atshan ’06. Both are MMUF alums.

 

Jayanti Owens ’06 credits the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program with playing a “defining role” in her Swarthmore experience and in her decision to pursue graduate school.

Now the Mary Tefft and John Hazen White, Sr. Assistant Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs at Brown University, Owens is returning to Swarthmore to share insights from that journey when she gives the first keynote address at this year’s MMUF Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference this weekend. About 80 people are expected to attend the event from Swarthmore as well as Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Cornell, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I will be talking about pulling back the curtain on graduate school applications and navigating the ‘hidden curriculum’ for success in graduate school,” says Owens, who graduated from Swarthmore with honors in political science and educational policy. “My hope is that by sharing both my personal experiences and the evidence base of social science research around the unique challenges faced by many students and faculty of color in the academy, students will leave with some strategies and a larger sense of some of the factors they might think about as they set out on their own journeys.”

Swarthmore is one of eight founding members of the MMUF Program, which primarily aims to increase diversity in the faculty of institutions of higher learning. In the program’s more than 30-year history at Swarthmore, nearly 150 students have graduated as MMUF Fellows. Of them, 47 have earned doctorates or are in the process of doing so, in addition to those who have earned law or medical degrees.

“The conference is a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty, and staff who care about the MMUF program in our region to connect,” says conference organizer and Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies Sa’ed Atshan ’06. “The student presentations are the heart of the conference, where the fellows will be able to showcase their excellent research and to engage in dialogue and intellectual exchange with each other.”

In addition to the support that she received to conduct original research and to attend intensive writing retreats to complete her dissertation, Owens cites the program’s fostering of lifelong friendships with peers and mentors that supported her journey through graduate school and beyond. She also credits Swarthmore’s first MMUF coordinator, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of English Literature Chuck James, with providing unfailing support and advocacy. “I will be forever grateful to him,” she says, “and to MMUF and all the colleagues and friends I have formed through its network.”

Atshan, also an MMUF alum, is now in his first year as coordinator of Swarthmore’s program. “This is a tremendous honor and such a dream come true,” he says. “I would not be here today if it was not for Swarthmore and the MMUF program, and I feel that this is my moral responsibility to give back for this rising generation.”

To learn about Swarthmore’s commitment to access and inclusion, visit lifechanging.swarthmore.edu.

Students tour Mariner East 2 pipeline

Twenty-five students from the Peace and Conflict Studies / Environmental Studies course “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” toured the route of the Mariner East 2 pipeline (ME2) construction that runs near Swarthmore College.

Mariner East pipes like along the route.
Mariner East pipes lie along the route.
A ship is docked at Marcus Hook near the terminal where natural gas liquids are transferred.
A ship is docked at Marcus Hook near the terminal where natural gas liquids are transferred.

The ME2, a Sunoco project, runs through highly populated neighborhoods in Delaware and Chester counties and beyond. It will carry compressed propane, ethane, and butane from fracking operations in the Marcellus shale fields of western Pennsylvania to the port of Marcus Hook, for shipping, mostly to Europe for the production of plastics (enough to produce 1 billion single-use bottles every day).

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The ME2 pipeline carries highly flammable liquefied gases under pressure through populated suburban neighborhoods, often only feet from homes, schools, residential facilities, detention facilities, and businesses. The gases are odorless, invisible, and heavier than air, raising concerns about the possibility of evacuation in the event of a leak. The pipeline has generated significant and growing local opposition and has raised questions about risk and regulatory processes.

map indicating trip route

Our tour took us to Marcus Hook and its refineries, Hershey’s Mill Village, a large retirement community in the potential blast zone of the pipeline, and an elementary school near a valve station, where we met with a local resident and activist. We are immensely grateful to our guide, George Alexander, author of the Dragonpipe Diary, where you can find more investigative work on the pipeline and local campaigns to stop or regulate the pipeline.

For information from Sunoco on the pipeline, visit their websiteState Impact PA reporting, and the Dragonpipe Diary.

Join us on Wednesday November 13 at 7:00 p.m. for a screening of the film, Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, about resistance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (that we toured in 2017) and the Mariner East 2 pipelines.

 

FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO CIVIL LIBERTIES: The impact of black culture and identity on 21st century diplomacy

A presentation by Justin Davis, Deputy Director, Orientation Division, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State

Friday, December 6th
4:30-6 pm
Sproul 201, Intercultural Center
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a    campus map on the College’s website.

Justin Davis-3

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co-Sponsored by Black Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, the Black Cultural Center, The Intercultural Center, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Feminist dilemmas: How to talk about gender-based violence in relation to the Middle East

A presentation by Nadje Al-Ali, Robert Family Professor of International Studies, Brown University

Friday, November 8th
4:30-6 pm
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a    campus map on the College’s website.

Nadje Al-Ali-2

ORGANIZED BY PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES AND CO-SPONSORED BY ARABIC, GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES, ISLAMIC STUDIES, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY, THE INTERCULTURAL CENTER, THE OFFICE OF EXCELLENCE, AND THE LANG CENTER FOR CIVIC AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves

“The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves”

A presentation by Paula Palmer, Friend in Residence at Haverford College

Thursday, November 6
4:30-6 pm
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a campus map on the College’s website.

Paula PalmerPaula Palmer is a sociologist, writer, and activist for human rights, social justice, and environmental protection.  Since 2012 she travels in Quaker ministry, working with Native and non-Native people to build relationships based on truth, respect, and justice. Her Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples ministry recently became a program of Friends Peace Teams. Paula created and facilitates workshops titled, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples” (for adults) and “Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonization” (for middle schools and high schools). As the 2016 Pendle Hill Cadbury Scholar, she conducted research and produced articles and videos about the role Quakers played during the era of the Indian Boarding Schools. She is a frequent speaker for faith communities, civic organizations, and colleges and universities, and has published widely.

Paula is a recipient of the Elise Boulding Peacemaker of the Year Award (given by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center), the Jack Gore Memorial Peace Award (given by the American Friends Service Committee), the International Human Rights Award (given by the United Nations Association of Boulder County), and the Multicultural Award in the “Partners” category (given by Boulder County Community Action Programs). She is a member of Boulder (CO) Quaker Meeting (IMYM).

Paula Palmer

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co-Sponsored by History, Political Science, Religion, Sociology and Anthropology, The Intercultural Center, The Office of Inclusive Excellence, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility


 

Other Paula Palmer events that may interest you:

Friday, November 1
7-8:15 pm
The Land Remembers:
Connecting with Native Peoples Through the Land
Interactive lecture
Co-sponsored with Family and Friends Weekend
Sharpless Auditorium
Haverford College

Saturday, November 2
1-3 pm
The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves
Slide Presentation
Delaware History Museum
505 N. Market Street, Wilmington DE 19801

Sunday, November 3
1-3 pm
Re-Discovering America
Interactive Workshop for Tribal Youth and Families
Dover, DE

Friday, November 8
1-2 pm
Where the Truth Leads: A Journey of Listening
Sharing her spiritual journey
Co-sponsored by Quaker and Special Collections
Lutnick Library Rm 232
Haverford College

Friday, November 8
4:30-6:15 pm
Two Rivers
The Film and Discussion
Co-sponsored by the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship
VCAM 001 Screening Room
Haverford College

Saturday, November 9
11 am-1 pm
Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change:
Toward Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples
Interactive workshop
MCC: Stokes 106
Haverford College

Monday, November 11
7-9 pm
The Land Remembers: Connecting with Native Peoples through the Land
Interactive talk
Friends Center
15th and Cherry Street, Philadelphia

More about Paula:
In collaboration with the Ojibwe attorney Jerilyn DeCoteau, Paula founded Right Relationship Boulder, a community group that works with local governments and organizations to lift up the history, presence, and contributions of Indigenous peoples in the Boulder Valley. Through workshops and presentations, they promote formation of “Right Relationship” groups in other parts of the country.

For 17 years, as executive director of the non-profit organization Global Response, Paula directed over 70 international campaigns to help Indigenous peoples and local communities defend their rights and prevent environmental destruction.

In Costa Rica, where she lived for 20 years, she published five books of oral history in collaboration with Afro-Caribbean and Bribri Indigenous peoples, through a community empowerment process known as Participatory Action Research. With Monteverde Friends, she helped establish the Friends Peace Center in San Jose and began worshiping among Friends there. She has been a member of Boulder meeting, Intermountain Yearly Meeting, since the mid-1990s.

From 1995 to 2001, Paula served as editor for health and environment of Winds of Change magazine, a publication of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). She holds an M.A. degree in sociology from Michigan State University and has taught courses in the Environmental Studies Department of Naropa University. She is profiled in American Environmental Leaders From Colonial Times to the Present (ABC-CLIO, 2000) and Biodiversity, A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO 1998).