Tag Archives: awards

Layla Hazaineh ’20 Wins Next Generation Peacemaker Award

Congratulations to Layla Hazaineh ’20 from all of us in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program!!


From Swarthmore News and Events

Layla Hazaineh '20 receives PJSA Next Generation Peacemaker Award
Hazaineh was recognized for her video blog on female empowerment at the Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference, attended by 10 Swarthmore students and faculty.

Layla Hazaineh ’20 recently received international recognition for her efforts on behalf of women who have been harassed and treated unfairly.

The peace & conflict studies major received the Next Generation Peacemaker Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) for providing empowerment to women and encouraging them to exercise freedom as an act of rebellion to these injustices.

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.”

Swarthmore alums win PJSA thesis awards two years in a row

Elowyn Corby ’13 received the Undergraduate Thesis Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association this weekend. Sa’ed Atshan ’05 was there in Waterloo, Ontario to congratulate her.

Elwoyn Corby
Elowyn Corby presented her thesis at the annual PJSA meeting, held this year in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

We also learned that last year’s Graduate Thesis Award went to a Swarthmore alum, Sara Koopman, who graduated in 1993. Prof. Joy Charlton was her adviser and she was a Sociology and Anthropology major.

Dr.Sara Koopman
Dr. Sara Koopman ’93

Dr. Koopman won the award for her geography thesis, “Making Space for Peace: International Protective Accompaniment in Colombia (2007-2009)”

The website of the Balsillie School of International Affairs of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) offers the following information about Dr. Koopman:

Dr. Koopman is a feminist political geographer who does collaborative research with international solidarity movements to support their efforts to decolonize the relationships between global North and South. Her work also speaks to dynamics in humanitarianism, development, and peacebuilding more generally.

She has written about the movement to close the US Army’s School of the Americas, the World Social Forum, and her most recent research is on international protective accompaniment, a strategy used in conflict zones which puts people who are less at risk literally next to people who are under threat because of their work for peace and justice. The paradox of accompaniment is that it uses global systems that make some lives ‘count’ more, to build a world where everyone ‘counts’. In doing so it can both reinforce and wear away systems of inequality.

Her postdoctoral research builds on her arguments for understanding some grassroots activism as altergeopolitics by asking what an alterbiopolitics might be, and how the two might work together to foster peace, rather than war. To do so she is creating a public digital archive of stories from conflict zones in Colombia shared by international accompaniers (often as calls for action to pressure states), and engaging in a collaborative analysis with both accompaniers and those accompanied as to what worked well in those stories, with the intention of focusing on best practices for sharing stories online from conflict zones for purposes of solidarity and peace building.

Select Publications

  • Making Space for Peace: International Protective Accompaniment. 2013. Invited chapter in Geographies of Peace, ed. Fiona McConnell, Nick Megoran, and Philippa Williams. (I. B. Tauris), forthcoming.
  • Alter-geopolitics: Other securities are happening. 2011. Geoforum 42:3 (June), 274-284.
  • Let’s take peace to pieces. 2011. Political Geography 30:4 (May), 193-194. (cited 3 times)
  • Cutting through Topologies: Crossing Lines at the School of the Americas. 2008. Antipode. 40:5, 825-847.
  • Imperialism Within: Can the Master’s Tools Bring Down Empire? / Imperialismo Adentro: Pueden las Herramientas del Amo Derribar el Imperio? 2008. Acme: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 7:2, 1-27. (cited 21 times)
  • A liberatory space? Rumors of rapes at the 5th World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, 2005. 2005. Special Issue of Journal of International Women’s Studies on Women and the World Social Forum, 8:3 (April), 149-163. (cited 7 times)
  • Bringing Torture Home: Women Shutting Down the School of the Americas. 2006. Field note in special issue on the Global and the Intimate. Women’s Studies Quarterly. 34: 1-2 (Spring/Summer) 90-93.

Congratulations to both Sara Koopman and Elowyn Corby for their continuing contributions to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Elowyn Corby ’13 Awarded Undergraduate Student Thesis Award by the Peace and Justice Studies Association

We are thrilled to announce that Elowyn Corby, class of 2013, has been awarded the 2013 Undergraduate Student Thesis Award by the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) for her honors thesis titled Training for Change: Moving from Theory to Practice in Adult Education for Empowerment.”

The PJSA is a professional association for scholars, K-12 teachers, and grassroots activists in the field of peace, conflict, conflict resolution, and justice studies, and it is the North-American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association.

Elowyn CorbyElowyn was an honors student, who graduated with majors in Peace Education and Political Science and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Here is the abstract from her thesis:

This research examines the possibility of using adult activism training to facilitate the development of participatory skills.  It considers the impacts and pedagogy of Training for Change, a social action training collective in Philadelphia.  As well as surveying the major democratic theory on participation and the educational theory dealing with education for empowerment, the research includes a qualitative and quantitative analysis of Training for Change’s work.  Based on a survey of past-participants, Training for Change tends to increase participatory skills among trainees, as well as identification with social change maker identities like ‘leader’ and ‘organizer’ and the frequency and intensity with which trainees participate in social change work.  These effects were disproportionately pronounced among participants of color.  This finding counteracts the effects of more traditional skill-development institutions such as the workplace or non-political organizations, which disproportionately increase participatory skills among the most privileged members of society.  At the same time, people of color were slightly less likely to report that they felt the training was designed to be helpful for people like them, indicating that TFC has a complex relationship with questions of cultural relevance in the training space.

The award will be presented to Elowyn at the Awards Banquet during the association’s annual meeting October17-19, 2013. The meeting will be held in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and it will be hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University Department of Global Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, and the University of Waterloo Peace and Conflict Studies Program. Elowyn will have the opportunity to present her research at the conference.

We would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Elowyn. That her work was recognized as exemplary by a committee of peace scholars and educators is a testament to her hard and careful work.

Prof. Lee Smithey and Prof. Diane Anderson, who co-advised Elowyn’s thesis and submitted it to the competition, report that they are excited that Elowyn has been honored in this way and that the award is fitting, not just with regard to the final thesis but for the way Elowyn executed the research for more than a year.