Tag Archives: history

Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

We would like to share the following announcement.  Prof. Elliot Ratzman, who has taught in Swarthmore’s Religious Studies Department and the Peace and Conflict Studies program, will interview Dr. Albie Sachs and the film’s Director after the screening on Saturday Nov. 21, 2015.

SOFT VENGEANCE: ALBIE SACHS AND THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA

CLOSING NIGHT!
Date:
Saturday, November 21
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts –  TICKETS

We close out this year’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival – Fall Fest with the 2015 Peabody Award-Winner, SOFT VENGEANCE: ALBIE SACHS AND THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA.

In this powerful documentary about the fall of apartheid and the rise of a free South Africa, Director Abby Ginzberg takes a different, but no less rewarding, route than most who have tackled the subject. A great many apartheid-related documentaries tend to focus on the larger-than-life Nelson Mandela, while simultaneously simplifying the conflict into a “blacks are good; whites are bad” scenario. Ginzberg moves this film in a more compelling direction, introducing us to the incredible true story of Albie Sachs.

Sachs, a Jew of Lithuanian descent, was born in South Africa and as a young man used his law degree to help those suffering under South Africa’s harsh racial laws. This made him a marked man to authorities, which directly led to his imprisonment, exile, and a brutal near-death experience. But this was only the beginning of Sachs’ life-affirming journey, which is told by Sachs himself, along with other notables, including Desmond Tutu and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Soft Vengeance

Official Selection of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Australia Jewish International Film Festival, DocNYC, International Women’s Film Forum, Movies That Matter Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, Reframe Film Festival, South African Jewish Museum – Cape Town, Toronto Jewish Film Festival

Special Guests: Film followed by Tikkun Olam Award Presentation and discussion with Albie Sachs and Director Abby Ginzberg. All guests are invited to attend PJFF’s Closing Night Party at Hamilton Hall, The University of the Arts.

Sponsors: The Carole Landis Foundation for Social Action, David and Helen Pudlin, Pam and Tony Schneider, Sterling Trustees LLC

Lost Yiddish Songs of the Holocaust

From our friends in History and Music:

LOST YIDDISH SONGS OF THE HOLOCAUST

Tuesday, November  10
1:00 to 2:15
Lang Concert Hall
Lang Music Building

“Avant-bard” singer/songwriter/performer Psoy Korolenko and Professor Anna Shternshis of the University of Toronto bring to life lost Yiddish songs of the Holocaust in this combined concert and lecture.  Written and transcribed by surviving Ukrainian Jewish writers of the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture after World War II as a testament to their struggle for survival, these rare Yiddish artifacts were confiscated and hidden by the Soviet government in 1949.  They have only recently come to light.  Come learn about the incredible stories behind these treasures, savor the music, and revel in the creativity of Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors.

Korolenko_Yiddish

Sponsored by the Departments of History, Music and the President’s Office

Historic marker placed in memory of Mildred Scott Olmsted

by Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

On September 13, 2015, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission unveiled a historic marker in nearby Rose Valley, PA to honor Mildred Scott Olmsted.

Olmstead_marker_2015

Mildred Scott Olmsted, who lived most of her long life in Delaware County, was a leading figure in twentieth century social reform movements-women’s rights, civil rights, birth control, and especially the peace movement.  Olmsted (1890-1990), was best remembered as the leading voice of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in the U.S. for over forty years, leading that organization through the years of the creation of the United Nations, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, fears over the spread of Communism,  protests against atomic weapons and civil defense, protests against the Vietnam war, and the rise of the women rights movement.

Mildred Scott Olmsted
[Swarthmore College Peace Collection.]

As a young woman, fresh out of Smith College, in 1912, Mildred Scott entered the new field of social work.  She volunteered with the YMCA, the Red Cross, and the  American Friends Service Committee providing relief services in France and Germany in the aftermath of World War I Europe to assist in .  The devastation and suffering she found in Europe convinced Mildred to become a life-long pacifist and active worker for the cause of peace.  In 1922, Olmsted became Executive Secretary of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She assumed additional responsibilities in 1934 when she became National Organization Secretary of WILPF, U.S. Section. In 1946, Olmsted became National Administrative Secretary and she held that position until her “retirement” in 1966. She remained Executive Director Emerita of WILPF and was active almost to the very end of her life at 99.

Olmsted_Baez_250
Olmsted with Joan Baez, about 1975.

While she was best known for her leadership in WILPF, Mildred Scott Olmsted served many organizations. She was on the Board of Philadelphia SANE-against nuclear weapons, Promoting Enduring Peace, the Upland Institute of Crozer Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, vice-chairman of the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union, and representative to the United Nations Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, among others.  An early leader in the birth control movement, Olmsted helped set up the first clinic in the Philadelphia area. She championed the causes of women’s suffrage, civil liberties, the protection of animals, and conservation of natural resources. Her hobbies included gardening, travel, antiques, and historic preservation.

In 1987 Swarthmore College presented Olmsted with an honorary doctorate degree, as several other institutions, including her alma mater Smith. She was honored on numerous occasions by WILPF and received its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986.

Olmsted resided for most of her life in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She was a member of the Society of Friends and attended the Providence (Media, PA) Meeting where she served as clerk. She was a member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on Reorganization in 1973 and 1974 and also served on the Executive Committee of the Peace Education Committee of the American Friends Service Committee.

The Mildred Scott Olmsted Papers and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section Records are available at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Peace symbol atop Parrish Hall?

By Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

The weather vane atop Parrish Hall is in the shape of a feather.

People with sharp eyes may have noticed that the feather has been
fashioned into a quill pen. This is easier to see in the old Parrish
Hall weathervane mounted on the wall on the center staircase of Parrish Hall between the first and second floor.

Weathervane in Parrish Hall

This earlier weathervane was replaced by another (maybe the current version) in the 1930s. For an institution of higher learning, a quill pen seems quite appropriate. However, there is a possible additional reference. It may be a reference to William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. If this is the case, it is also a peace symbol, referencing William Penn’s treaties with the Indians.

The following is from a 1798 letter to the Six Nations (the
Haudenousnee):

“To our Indians Brethren of the six Nations Brothers; We rejoice that you are now at peace and we pray to the Good Spirit that he may continue to preserve you from the miseries of war, We have always had your welfare at heart, ever since our Grandfather, Onas came into this country; and the present time appears to us to be a favourable one, again, to manifest our unalterable friendship for you We cannot forget the harmony that subsisted between our forefathers and the Indians during the first settlement of this country.”

The Haudenosaunee referred to William Penn as Onas, their word for feather, and by extension, a feather quill pen.

At least this is more likely than the story appearing in the Phoenix in
1941, claiming that the feather was from the golden phoenix, dropped when that bird took flight from Swarthmore following his/her rebirth in fire.

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to speak at Swarthmore College

“Women in Peace and Conflict:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

A panel discussion with Jody Williams (1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative), and Wendy E. Chmielewski, George R. Cooley Curator, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Moderated by Marjorie Murphy, James C. Hormel Professor in Social Justice

Date: September 28, 2015
Place:  Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College (Directions)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Open to the public, Reception to follow

Jody WilliamsJody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman – and third American woman – in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize.  Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights.

Williams chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative and from 1992 she oversaw the growth of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines to over 1,300 organizations in 95 countries working to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. In an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, she served as a chief strategist and spokesperson for the ICBL as it dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during a diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. Since 1998, Williams has also served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL.

She holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston where she has been teaching since 2003.  In academic year 2012-2013, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Her memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams:  A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize was released by the University of California Press in early 2013.

Wendy ChmielewskiWendy E.  Chmielewski is the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, a position she has held sine 1988.  Trained as a historian, she has specialized in the history of women, social movements, and social reform.  Chmielewski received her Phd in American History from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1989, and her dissertation explored issues of feminism and women’s roles in U.S. communal societies and utopian literature of the nineteenth century.    Parts of this work were published in a volume she co-edited Women in Spiritual and Communitarian Societies in the United States, Syracuse University Press, 1993. Chmielewski has since published several articles, essays, and books on the history of women, peace, and communal societies, with her most recent publication being a co-edited volume on Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Jane Addams: Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy, edited by Marilyn Fischer, Carol Nackenoff, and Wendy Chmielewski, University of Illinois Press, 2009.

Chmielewski’s most recent projects include work on  the role women played in both the in the nineteenth century British and American peace movement.   She is also one of the founders and directors of “Her Hat Was in the Ring:  U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920,” <www.herhatwasinthering.org>, a digital humanities project tracing over 5,000 women who campaigned for elective office before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.  For her work on this continuing project Chmielewski received two fellowships in 2013-2014 from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center on Women and Politics at Iowa State University.

Chmielewski has worked on the board of several institutions, including the Archives Committee of the American Friends Service Committee, the Communal Studies Association, the Centre for Peace History at the University of Sheffield, and the Peace History Society.  From 2002-2004 she was the president of the PHS.    In 2014 Chmielewski was invited to join the Advisory Council for the American Museum for Peace.  She has also served on the board of her local public library in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.


Marjorie MurphyMarjorie Murphy teaches courses on U.S. history, especially in the fields of working-class history, women and gender, and foreign affairs. Her other scholarly interest are in the history of the teachers union and educational reform.

Murphy earned her Ph.D. in History at the University in California at Davis in 1981, under the guidance of David Brody. She taught at Loyola College and Bryn Mawr College before coming to Swarthmore in 1983. Professor Murphy’s book, Blackboard Unions, came out in 1991.

Co-sponsors:
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College
President’s Office, Swarthmore College

(Williams’ bio was adapted from the website of the Nobel Women’s Initiative.)

Celebrating 100 years of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

FOR_tree

 

 

 

 

This year the Fellowship of Reconciliation is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The FOR is the largest, oldest interfaith peace organization in the United States, working for peace, justice and nonviolence since 1915.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is mounting an exhibit to honor this remarkable century of activism for peace, social justice, and international understanding.

The exhibit will open on July 29, 2015, and run through August 11, 2015.

Location:
McCabe Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081
Directions

Time:
8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays.

Open to the public.

For further information contact Wendy Chmielewski at wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu.

Celebrating 75 years of the Center on Conscience and War

Center on Conscience and War 75th

Swarthmore College McCabe Library Exhibit celebrating 75 years of work in defense of conscience and objection to war from The Center on Conscience and War.

Open to the public
July 9-27, 2015

Reception and opening event for the exhibit:
July 16, 2015,
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
McCabe Library, Lobby
Refreshments served

For 75 Years the Center on Conscience and War has been working to assist those whose conscience leads them to object to war, as conscientious objectors. Hear from past and current conscientious objectors, including:

  • Bill Galvin, CCW’s Counseling Coordinator and Vietnam-era CO
  • Bill Yolton, CCW’s former Director
  • former Senior Airman Jarrod Grammel, whose CO application was approved earlier this year

Learn about the current legal climate for rights of conscience in the U.S. from Peter Goldberger, a local lawyer, from Ardmore, PA, who has practiced CO law for some three decades.

Contact Wendy Chmielewski (wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu) for more information.

Celebrating 100 Years of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-2015

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is sponsoring three exhibits this summer. The first opens this week.

Celebrating 100 Years of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-2015

WILPF_exhibit_2015

Exhibit:
McCabe Library Atrium, June 10, 2015 through June 30, 2015

Opening Event:
June 11, 2015, McCabe Library Atrium, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with reception
“Our Grandmother’s Voices” with WILPF member Robin Lloyd, whose grandmother attended the first WILPF meeting at The Hague in 1915.

Co-sponsored by the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and the Greater Philadelphia branch of WILPF

contact Wendy Chmielewski at wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu for further information

New cases added to the Global Nonviolent Action Database

Seventy-six new cases have been added to the Global Nonviolent Action Database by students in the spring semester Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle course at Swarthmore College.

The Global Nonviolent Action Database presents cases of nonviolent civil resistance from around the world, spanning decades and even hundreds of years. Data is provided in a narrative format, and each case is classified across a number of criteria to allow for comparisons and advanced searches.

A selection of the new cases include:

Glasgow rent strike 1915 BBC CC
Glasgow Rent Strike during World War I (BBC)

To view more than one thousand cases of nonviolent civil resistance in the database, visit http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Moore Research Fellowship at Swarthmore College

Interested in conducting research in the Friends Historical Library or the Peace Collection at Swarthmore College?  Apply for the Moore Research Fellowship!

Margaret W. Moore and John M. Moore Research Fellowship
Swarthmore College

SYNOPSIS:  The purpose of the Margaret W. Moore and John M. Moore Research Fellowship is to provide a stipend to promote research during the academic year or summer months using the resources of the Friends Historical Library and/or the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Deadline(s):      03/31/2015
Established Date: 04/10/2003
Follow-Up Date:   02/01/2016
Review Date:      02/26/2015

Contact:  Christopher Densmore, Curator

Address:
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.

E-mail:  cdensmo1@swarthmore.edu
Web Site: http://www.swarthmore.edu/library/peace/
Program URL: http://bit.ly/185AMb7
Tel:              610-328-8557
Deadline Ind:     Receipt
Deadline Open:    No

Award Type(s):    Facilities-Access To Fellowship Summer

Citizenship/Country of Applying Institution: Any/No Restrictions

Locations Tenable:    U.S.A. Institution (including U.S. Territories)

Appl Type(s):

  • Faculty Member
  • Researcher/Investigator
  • Graduate Student

Target Group(s):  NONE
Funding Limit:    $0   NOT PROV
Duration: 0
Indirect Costs: Unspecified
Cost Sharing: No
Sponsor Type:  College/University
Geo. Restricted:  NO RESTRICTIONS

OBJECTIVES:  The purpose of the Margaret W. Moore and John M.
Moore Research Fellowship is to provide a stipend to promote research during the academic year or summer months using the resources of the Friends Historical Library and/or the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Strong preference will be given to projects utilizing resources only available at Swarthmore. Moore fellows will be asked to give a lecture at Swarthmore College subsequent to and based upon their research at a date agreed upon by the Moore Fellowship Committee and the Moore fellow.

ELIGIBILITY
Those eligible to apply include Swarthmore College students and
faculty, as well as faculty, graduate students, and scholars from
outside the Swarthmore College community.

FUNDING
The amount of the stipend will be announced.  (jap)

KEYWORDS:

  • American History
  • Religious History
  • Conflict/Dispute Resolution
  • Social Change
  • Peace/Disarmament/Amnesty