December 12th, 2016
Swarthmore News and Information
Ken Hechler, an urbane historian who carpetbagged his way into West Virginia’s gritty politics, where he battled destructive coal-industry practices, unsafe mining conditions and felonious county officials, died Dec. 10 at his home in Romney, W.Va. He was 102. …
During 18 years as a Democratic congressman, 16 more as West Virginia secretary of state, and a final act as a do-gooder without portfolio, Dr. Hechler never tired of crusades.
“I used to be an agitator, then an activist,” he wrote at age 94, in 2009. “Now I am a hellraiser.” This was soon after he was arrested while protesting mountaintop removal.
In 2001, Hechler received an honorary degree from Swarthmore. He sang his acceptance speech to the tune of the College’s alma mater, which he rewrote for the occasion (lyrics below). Hechler last spoke on campus in 2011 about mountaintop removal coal mining and the struggles of Appalachian communities to stop the practice.
As we leave old Swarthmore College
and this campus fair;
Join the fight for racial justice,
show the world you care!
You will be remembered one day,
not for wealth or power;
But your work for all the people,
that’s your finest hour.
There’s a need for more crusaders,
give your heart and soul;
Fight against the special interests,
that should be your goal.
We must get along together,
with all peoples too;
Differences should be respected,
and their points of view.
Mother Earth needs conservation,
can’t you hear her cry?
We must work for preservation,
or the earth will die.
Peace and freedom for all nations;
feed and house the poor.
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater;
Hail, All Hail, Swarthmore!
Making Moral Arguments About Divestment
Hans Oberdiek, Professor Emeritus
Krista Thomason, Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
Monday, April 6, 2015
Science Center 199
In conversations about divestment, economic arguments often take center stage. What about the moral arguments? Is divesting the right thing to do? Could there be moral arguments against divestment? Moral philosophers have been making moral arguments since the earliest days of philosophy, so the tools and skills they use can be helpful in thinking about the moral issues surrounding divestment. Join us for a conversation about the moral arguments for and against divestment.
This event is presented by the Philosophy Department and the Peace & Conflict Studies Program
We have learned that one of our Swarthmore alums, Ann Yasuhara, passed away on June 11,2014. Ann, a Quaker, had become a strong influence in the direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), working to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Friends lovingly referred to her as their “Mountain Woman”. EQAT recently honored Ann as one of their Elders at a special ceremony at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.
Others gathered for a memorial service and outdoor reception in Princeton:
We encourage you to read all of the obituary published in Princeton’s Town Topics, but we offer a few excerpts here:
A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family. Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.
Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”
“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.
We appreciate Ann for her profound influence on so many pursuing peace and justice.
The Peace and Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this upcoming event. Please mark your calendars.
Whose Planet? Whose Economic Development?
Jobs vs. Environment in the United States and Latin America
November 12, 2013
Aviva Chomsky lecture: 4:30 p.m.
Noam Chomsky lecture: 7:00 p.m.
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Her most recent books include A History of the Cuban Revolution, Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class, and They Take Our Jobs! And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration. She has been active in Latin America solidarity and immigrants’ rights movements for several decades.
Noam Chomsky joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955, where he is institute professor and professor of linguistics emeritus. Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs, and United States foreign policy. Among his recent books are New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind; On Nature and Language; The Essential Chomsky; Hopes and Prospects; Gaza in Crisis; How the World Works; 9-11: Was There an Alternative?; Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions, Empire, and Resistance; The Science of Language; Peace with Justice: Noam Chomsky in Australia; and Power Systems.
Phone: (610) 328-8000
Original Earth Day Proclamation Arrives on Campus in Time for This Year’s Celebration
by Mariam Zakhary ’13
April 22, 2013
The original 1970 Earth Day Proclamation, signed by 35 international dignitaries, is now a permanent part of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, thanks to a gift from the family of its author.
“John McConnell’s work for the last 50 years helped many to connect international peace with the need to preserve the environment,” says Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator, of the holiday’s founder. “McConnell reached many world leaders, as the Earth Day Proclamation shows, but his message also inspired ordinary people around the globe.”
In 1968, McConnell, a Presbyterian minister and peace activist from Iowa, designed the Earth Day flag showing planet Earth as seen from space. He proposed the idea of Earth Day the next year in order to celebrate a peaceful planet. McConnell also authored a second proclamation, the Star of Hope, with signatures from world scientists. That doucument, as well as a large collection ofMcConnell’s papers detailing his 50-plus years of work for world peace, is also part of the Collection.
The Earth Day proclamation is a poster-sized, hand-created, and hand-colored document. Among the 35 signators are anthropologist Margaret Mead, former Senator Eugene McCarthy, Nobel Prize-winning former President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Earth Day is now celebrated internationally on the Vernal Equinox.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace. The Collection’s holdings on the environmental movement span the papers and records of numerous peace organizations and activists who have worked for the benefit of the environment during the second half of the 20th-century and beyond.
As I write this, Visiting Lang Professor, George Lakey has begun a week-long fast (with only water) from April 7-13 for the people of Appalachia, with a concern for PNC Bank’s funding of mountaintop removal coal mining. This is part of a 40-day fast conducted by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), leading up to the annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh.
The students of Peace Studies and Action (PEAC 077) will hold class on Tuesday at 2:45 with Professor Lakey
A Fast for the People of Appalachia,
with a concern for PNC Bank’s funding of mountaintop removal coal mining
Week-long fast with only water, April 7-13
A Message from Professor Lakey:
On April 7 I expect to start a week-long fast on behalf of the people of Appalachia who continue to suffer from the relentless actions that destroy their mountains, livelihoods, health, and culture. The mining also contributes to climate change, which hurts us all.
The fast will largely be conducted at my workplace, Swarthmore College, with public opportunities to engage with students, faculty, and staff
- The first public event will be Monday at the Quaker Meetinghouse, 11.30-1pm.
- The last event will be at the Swarthmore PNC Bank branch on Saturday, 10.45-12.
- In between I will be on the first floor of Parrish each day for some period of time. Classes of students will visit me during that time as well as the
- Swarthmore Gospel Choir singing at 8pm Thursday.
For the latest schedule email: email@example.com
This is part of a 40-day fast conducted by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), leading up to the annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh. The fast is a tool for spiritual preparation and outreach. EQAT has for three years been in dialogue with PNC Bank as well as nonviolent action which shines the light on the bank’s role as a leading funder for blowing up mountains. EQAT plus allies will take action at the shareholders meeting.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Green your money: if you bank at PNC, move it to a community bank or credit union and tell EQAT.org. Over $3 million has already been moved.
- Join the fast by skipping one meal or many, and tell EQAT.org.
- Come to Pittsburgh to shine the light on PNC’s board of directors.
- Join EQAT’s project of shadowing PNC board members when they make public appearances.
- Research on PNC and the health effects of mountaintop removal available at EQAT.org.
Green Islam in Indonesia: Lecture by Anna M.Gade’89
Fri., Feb. 22, 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Science Center L26
Muslim Indonesia is becoming known globally as a leader in faith-based responses to environmental challenges. Based on fieldwork in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, Gade will explain recent trends in this area. She focuses on a new movement in traditional Islamic education, called “eco-pesantren,” that embraces revitalized approaches in teaching, learning, and practice of global Islamic ecology with respect to multiple issues of concern, including deforestation, water management and climate change.
Dr. Gade teaches in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia and the Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also a faculty member of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment. She is author of the books, “Perfection Makes Practice: Learning, Emotion and the Recited Qur’an in Indonesia” (University of Hawaii Press, 2004), “The Qur’an: An Introduction” (Oneworld Publications, 2010), and revising editor of “The Cham Rebellion: Survivors’ Stories from the Villages” by Ysa Osman (Phnom Penh: Documentation Center of Cambodia, 2006). Short videos on “Green Islam in Indonesia” are available on www.vimeo.com/hijau.
Gade received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1989 and a M.A., Ph.D., from the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Sponsored by Islamic Studies , Environmental Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, and the Department of Religion
Over 200 people from 70 student campaigns nationwide are coming to Swarthmore for a Fossil Fuel Student Convergence organized by Swarthmore Mountain Justice. Guests include speakers from communities fighting extraction, socially responsible investment funds, and programs focused on intersectionality and environment. There are several events open to the wider community, and the organizers are excited to invite people from all different perspectives to participate.
Here’s a schedule of the weekend:
Silent Solidarity March// Location and time tbd
Swarthmore students, faculty, staff, and alumni will join together for a march through campus during the Board of Managers meetings to urge powerful action on climate change through fossil fuel divestment.
(For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Before Rachel Carson: Workers and the Origins of Environmentalism in the United States”
Sci. 181 // 9:30 & 10:30 AM
Chad Montrie is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell, and author of To Save the Land and the People, Making a Living, and A People’s History of the Environment. His talk confronts mainstream visions of environmentalism, focusing instead on working class resistance to extraction. (Sponsored by Environmental Studies & History Dept.)
“Resisting Fossil Fuels: Voices from the Frontlines” – Panel Discussion
Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, tar sands resistance, Canada
Yudith Nieto, Tar Sands Blockade, TX
Junior Walk, Coal River Mountain Watch, WV
Deirdre, anti-fracking organizer, PA
Michael Bagdes-Canning, Marcellus Outreach Butler, PA
“Growing Stronger: From Divestment to Climate Justice” – Keynote
Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, tar sands resistance, Canada
Aura Bogado, The Nation, NY
Ellen Dorsey, Wallace Global Fund, Washington DC
Divest the Nation Action
1PM // Meet in Front of Parrish
Join students from across the country in a monumental show of support for the national divestment movement, frontline communities, and international action for climate justice!
“What We Can Learn from Economic and Immigrant Justice Work”
Location TBA // 9:30 & 10:30
Chris Hicks (Jobs with Justice)
Unite Here! Organizer
Erika Nuñez (DREAMer and Bryn Mawr Student)
(personal outreach only at this point) “Environmental Justice in Chester” Panel –
Location TBA // 9:30 & 10:30 AM
Speakers: Ciara Williams (Swarthmore student), Desire Grover (community media maker and organizer), Mike Ewall (Energy Justice Network)
If you have questions about the weekend or the events, feel free to send an email to Swarthmore Mountain Justice at email@example.com