Tag Archives: Peace and Justice Studies Association

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.”

Daniel Hirschel-Burns ’14 awarded PJSA thesis award

Last week, the annual meeting of the Peace and Justice Studies Association was held at the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego.

At the closing banquet, Daniel Hirschel Burns ’14 was awarded the undergraduate thesis award.  As Danny was unable to attend, Professor Smithey had the honor of accepting the award on his behalf.

We offer our congratulations again to Danny for his outstanding and now internationally-recognized work.

Hirschel-Burns '14 award
Prof. Lee Smithey received the 2014 Undergraduate Thesis Award from Randall Amster, Executive Director of the PJSA,, on behalf of Danny Hirschel-Burns ’14.

 

Daniel Hirschel-Burns '14
Daniel Hirschel-Burns, class of 2014

PJSA thesis award

Another Philadelphian, Nico Amador, Co-Director of Training for Change, received the Peace Educator of the Year Award.

Nico Amador PJSA 2014
Nico Amador, Co-Director of Training for Change, received the Peace Educator of the Year Award

Daniel Hirschel-Burns ’14 awarded the 2014 Peace and Justice Studies Association Undergraduate Paper Award

We are thrilled to announce that, for the second year in a row, a Swarthmore peace and conflict studies special major has won the Peace and Justice Studies Association‘s Undergraduate Student Paper Award. Danny Hirschel Burns ’14 will receive this year’s award for his thesis, “Filling the Gap: Nonviolent Strategies for Civilian Self-protection during Mass Atrocities.” (Elowyn Corby won the award last year.)

Daniel Hirschel-Burns 14

The PJSA is the primary professional association for peace and conflict studies educators and researchers in North America, and it is the North American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association.

Danny’s thesis was co-advised by Professors Krista Thomason and Lee Smithey.  The award will be presented at the association’s award ceremony on October 18, 2014 during the annual PJSA meeting at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. Danny’s award comes with a $500 travel stipend and an invitation to present his thesis at the conference.

Danny is currently serving as an atrocity prevention intern at Humanity United in Washington D.C.

Please join us in congratulating Danny (@DHirschelBurns) on his excellent work!

Extended article on Elowyn Corby’s 2013 PJSA Thesis Award

Many thanks to Swarthmore’s News and Information Office for this piece that has appeared on the College’s webpage. Congratulations again to Elowyn Corby!

Elowyn Corby ’13 Wins Peace and Justice Studies Thesis Award

by Jenni Lu ’16
October 21, 2013
Elowyn Corby
Elowyn Corby (class of 2013) Special Major in Peace Education

Elowyn Corby ’13 presented her winning thesis at the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s awards banquet this past weekend.

If you want to be heard, speak up. It’s a basic concept that has driven the progression of democracy, the rise of cohesive communities, and now, Elowyn Corby’s [’13] thesis research, which recently caught the attention of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA).

Titled “Training for Change: Moving from Theory to Practice in Adult Education for Empowerment,” Corby’s thesis garnered her the association’s 2013 Undergraduate Student Thesis Award. Corby, a peace education and political science major with a minor in conflict studies from Santa Cruz, Calif., accepted the award and presented her work this past weekend at PJSA’s annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario.

Participation supports both the individual and the collective, according to Corby. It allows for the formation of social trust and social connection between people and within a society, and prevents communities from becoming too insular and controlling. However, participation has always been unevenly distributed.

“What we see is certain people getting heard a lot, often because they tend to participate a lot,” she says. “The government listens to those who participate. My question was, how does education tie into this? We know we need democratic skills and participatory skills. How do we get there? Is that something that can be trained?”

Corby’s hope was to determine whether activism training could reduce the inequalities that typically arise out of the most common way people develop activism skills: in the workplace.

“The experience that you accrue in the workplace is very biased along racial and socioeconomic lines,” she explains. “So if you’re developing leadership experience in the workplace, it’s much more likely that you’re a white male from a privileged socioeconomic background than you’re a person of color, or a woman, from a working class background.”

For her research, Corby chose to focus on Training for Change, an activism training organization that she had been in contact with since her freshman year at Swarthmore. Using them as a case study, she conducted 278 surveys and seven long-form interviews over the span of a year and a half.

“Statistically, Training for Change does increase [participants’] democratic confidence and how much they can engage in issues they care about across the board,” Corby says. “They engage more frequently, they attend more meetings, they run more meetings.”

However, Corby also stumbled upon a second discovery. Not only did Training for Change equalize the participatory playing field, it did so by exponentially increasing activism skills among people of color.

“Training for Change is not only increasing democratic participatory skills,” she says, “but it’s also doing it in a way that disproportionately affects communities that are much more likely to be silenced by our current democratic system. So it’s combating larger social inequalities.”

Corby’s findings have solidified her staunch belief that anyone can become an activist, and hopes that her research can compel more people to consider the inequalities found in current activist participation in a new light. It’s just a matter of channeling your passion and honing your skills.

“I think one of the things that holds activism training back is that it’s not understood very well,” she says. “It’s not seen as something that’s actually viable for facilitating and catalyzing social change. So there’s a lot of need for activism training.”

Corby credits her advisers, Associate Professor of Educational Studies Diane Anderson and Associate Professor of Sociology Lee Smithey, with providing support and encouragement. “Lee in particular spent hours and hours with me going over the data and number crunching,” Corby says. “I feel strange taking credit for this because it was all of us.”

Report on Tri-college trip to PJSA 2012

Fifteen peace and conflict studies and environmental studies students and faculty from the Tri-Colleges (Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr) attended this year’s Peace and Justice Studies Association meetings at Tufts University October 4-6, 2012.

[Tri-College Trip to the 2012 Peace and Justice Studies Meeting at Tufts University from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.]

This year’s theme was “Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace”, offering a perfect opportunity to team up with the Environmental Studies Program and our Tri-college peace studies partners for a joint trip. The opportunity also aligned well with President Chopp’s leadership on climate issues and Swarthmore College’s long commitment to peace and social justice concerns. In fact, a write-up about our trip appeared in the conference program. You can also read more about the trip in a story by Taylor Hodges that appeared on October 11 in The Phoenix.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to our co-sponsors: The President’s Office at Swarthmore College, The Dean’s Office at Swarthmore College, The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College, The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore, Peace and Social Justice Program at Bryn Mawr, Peace Conflict and Human Rights at Haverford, and the Tri-College Environmental Studies Program. Thanks also to George Lakey of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore and Chloe Tucker of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford who also went on the trip.

The conference organizers were very helpful in organizing homestays for our students with Tufts students, many of whom take Swarthmore alum Sa’ed Atshan’s ’06 course at Tufts, “Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies”!

Students speak for themselves about their experience at the conference in a story that appeared in The Phoenix and in the video interviews above.

In order to bring some of the flavor of knowledge of the conference back, we have also curated tweets from the conference below (in reverse order).

Follow the Peace and Justice Studies Association conference online

The Peace and Justice Studies Association 2011 meeting is being held at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, October 20-23.  The PJSA has partnered with the Gandhi King Youth Conference to design a joint conference this year.

You can follow the conference online. Follow and contribute to the #pjsa-gkc hashtag on Twitter, or watch the conference Livestream embedded on this page. The schedule for the conference is also available online.

Video streaming by Ustream