Tag Archives: peace

UPCOMING WORKSHOP — Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

How do we identify and address intersectional concerns (e.g. from racism, to poverty, to militarism, to homelessness, and more) in our sustainability work and activism? How do we connect our various initiatives within a framework of environmental justice? How do we communicate these visions with others?
On Monday, November 20, join Peace and Conflict Studies and Environmental Studies for a workshop with Prof. Randall Amster, former Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.Workshop Flyer

Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

The confluence of contemporary crises represents a direct threat to human existence, yet also a remarkable opportunity to implement alternatives and cultivate visions for a more just and sustainable world. The framework of “climate justice” increasingly subsumes many of these issues and possibilities, providing a basis for transforming our thinking and acting in relation to essential resources including food, water, and energy production. Likewise, critical issues of equity, access, and distribution are brought to the fore, with the nexus of environmental justice and peacebuilding offering potential avenues for change. What theories and actions are informing current movements and responses? How can policymaking and the lived experiences of people and communities equally inform the discourse? How can we promote an ethos of responsibility in both senses of the word, as a form of accountability and a locus of empowerment? Drawing upon examples from local to global scales, this session will seek to spark a collaborative dialogue for cultivating resilient responses to today’s most pressing challenges.

Randall Amster

Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is Director and Teaching Professor in the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. He serves as Editor-in- Chief of the Contemporary Justice Review. He teaches and publishes widely on subjects including peace and nonviolence, social and environmental justice, political theory and movements, and the impacts of emerging technologies. His recent books include Peace Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB, 2008); and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013). His current research interests include environmental peacebuilding, climate justice, intersectionality and ecology, community and sustainability, and the justice implications of contemporary technology.

 

Peace Ecology Book Cover

The workshop begins at 4:15 pm and will take place in Kohlberg Hall, Room 116.

This event is sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Studies, the Provost’s Office, the President’s Office, and the Office of Sustainability.

Peace advocate Jeremy Stone ’57 dies at his home

We were saddened to learn recently of the death of Jeremy Stone ’57, a visionary and tireless advocate for peace and our Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

He spoke about Catalytic Diplomacy for Peace on campus in April 2016, and you can watch a video recording of the talk he gave on our blog.


The New York Times printed his obituary.

Jeremy Stone in Science Center 101

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

Jeremy J. Stone, a mathematician whose ideas about minimizing the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe influenced arms-control negotiators in the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, died on Sunday at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 81.

The cause was heart failure, said Steven Aftergood, his executor and a former colleague at the Federation of American Scientists.

Mr. Stone’s focus on arms reduction began in 1963 with what he called “an electric thought”: If the Soviets could be persuaded not to build a missile defense system, then perhaps the United States could be persuaded not to build one of its own.

“Both sides would then avoid the waste of expensive, ineffective systems that would, still worse, accelerate each side’s interest in buying offsetting offensive missile systems,” Mr. Stone wrote in “Every Man Should Try” (1999), one of his two autobiographies.

It was a counterintuitive argument: that national missile defenses could encourage both sides to build more offensive weapons. But it was central to the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which limited the number, type and placement of missiles that the United States and the Soviet Union could deploy to shoot down attacking nuclear missiles.

Mr. Stone was not the only policy expert, in or out of the government, who thought that way. But Matthew Evangelista, the author of “Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War” (2002), and other arms-control historians said that Mr. Stone made an important contribution: the regular trips he took to the Soviet Union to cajole scientists and foreign-policy experts about the wisdom of limiting missile defense systems. His wife, Betty Jane Yannet, also a mathematician (better known as B. J. Stone), learned Russian to help him on his missions.

“He was one of the leading figures in arms control,” Mr. Evangelista said. “It took a while for the Soviet side to appreciate the arguments, and he was involved in contacts with Soviet scientists over many years to persuade them. He changed a lot of minds.”

By 1966, Mr. Evangelista said, some Soviet scientists who were involved in military research and were close to Soviet leaders like Prime Minister Aleksei N. Kosygin were calling an American plan to limit missile defenses “Jeremy Stone’s proposal.”

Morton Halperin, who served three White House administrations in national security and diplomatic positions, said in an interview that Mr. Stone “understood what many advocates don’t: that if you want to influence governments, you have to give them an idea for what they can actually do rather than lecture them about peace or arms control.”

During the debate over the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars, the space-based missile defense system pushed by President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Stone told a meeting of Soviet scientists in 1985 in Moscow that disarmament was the best response to the White House plan.

“You people are saying that if we go ahead with Star Wars, there can be no disarmament,” Mr. Stone is quoted as saying in “The Master of the Game” (1988), a biography of the nuclear-arms negotiator Paul H. Nitze written by Strobe Talbott. “I agree, but you should turn it around. You should see that if both sides go ahead with disarmament, there can be no Star Wars.”

Mr. Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state under President Bill Clinton who is now president of the Brookings Institution, said in an interview that Mr. Stone “understood the technology and theology of nuclear war.”

Jeremy Judah Stone was born on Nov. 23, 1935, in Manhattan. His father was I. F. Stone, the radical journalist who published the muckraking newsletter I. F. Stone’s Weekly. His mother, Esther, ran the newsletter’s administrative operations.

After attending the Bronx High School of Science, Mr. Stone attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one year before transferring to Swarthmore College, from which he graduated. He met Ms. Yannet while they were students there. In 1960, he received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University.

After working at the National Bureau of Standards, the RAND Corporation and the Stanford Research Institute, he joined the Hudson Institute, which was run by the physicist Herman Kahn, a leading thinker on nuclear strategies.

Mr. Kahn assigned Mr. Stone to study the hypothetical evacuation of American cities if a Soviet invasion of Western Europe were to be met with an American first strike, leaving a retaliatory strike by Moscow inevitable. In his report, Mr. Stone concluded that it would take three days to evacuate cities in the Northeast by car and rail. When he briefed the federal Office of Civil Defense, which had paid for the study, he was asked if he thought the plan would work.

“Thanks so much for asking,” he recalled replying. “No, I don’t think it would work at all!”

In 1970, he took over the Federation of American Scientists, which was formed by some of the scientists who had built the first atomic bomb and who were dedicated to reducing nuclear dangers. Mr. Stone used a monthly newsletter to turn the federation into a policy research organization that studied issues like nuclear proliferation, energy and government secrecy.

It also became a platform for Mr. Stone’s views on arms control and the value of scientific exchanges with the Soviet Union and China, and for his defense of the dissident Soviet physicist Andrei D. Sakharov.

Mr. Stone left the organization in 2000 and formed his own firm, Catalytic Diplomacy, to try to privately resolve conflicts in countries like Cambodia, Kosovo and Peru.

Mr. Stone is survived by a sister, Celia Gilbert, and a brother, Christopher Stone. His wife died last year. They had no children.

Mr. Stone never wanted to be a journalist like his father, whose views twice jeopardized the son’s security clearance. But Jeremy Stone, like his father, was a gadfly, and in recent years he helped to perpetuate his father’s memory by establishing an I. F. Stone website and helping to raise money for a documentary about him.

“With a free press,” Mr. Stone wrote recently, repeating what his father had told him, “if the government does something wrong, it will become known and the government can fix it. But if something goes wrong with a free press, the country will go straight to hell.”

Correction: January 6, 2017

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this obituary misstated the middle name of Mr. Stone’s wife. She was Betty Jane Yannet, not Betty Jean.

Swarthmore to ring bells on International Day of Peace

In celebration of Peace Day 2016, International Day of Peace, at noon on Wednesday, September 21st, Swarthmore College bells will ring in solidarity with the ringing of bells for peace worldwide.

The United Nations Association of Australia Peace Program initiated the ringing of the peace bells worldwide last year on Peace Day. Bells around the world will sound alongside of bells of Sydney University, St Jones Cathedral located in Brisbane Australia and St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney CBD.

There is strength in unity and the sound of peace bells ringing throughout the world will focus on the importance of peace in our lives.

Swarthmore Bell Tower

Peace Day, also known as International Day of Peace, was brought into being by the United Nations Resolutions in 1981 and 2001. Millions of people worldwide and thousands of organizations across the globe now actively observe Peace Day on and around September 21. For more local events see http://www.peacedayphilly.org/


Choose Peace Concert

Listen to and Sing Songs of Peace

Also, on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 7:30-9:00 p.m., a “Choose Peace Concert” will be held at the Swarthmore Friends Meetinghouse on the Swarthmore College campus.
This event is free and open to the public.

What is visionary peace and what are the choices we can make to live our lives into such a possibility? We are invited to explore linking the cultivation of personal peace to identifying innovative steps toward global peace through song with Rev. Rhetta Morgan, singer, songwriter, interfaith minister, and activist. These events are sponsored by the Swarthmore College Peace and Conflict Studies Program. Please contact Ellen Ross, Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies, eross1, if you have any questions.

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.

Omar Offendum: hip-hop, poetry, and peace

Omar Offendum will be coming to Swarthmore on Thursday, November 20th to give a hybrid performance/lecture.

Omar Offendum

In addition to performing some of his songs, he will speak about connections between the artistic community and the Arab uprisings, with a special focus on hip hop.  Omar will also discuss his efforts to use art and music to raise humanitarian relief funds for Syrian refugees. Opening performance by OASiS.

Thursday November 20, 2014
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College (directions)

Omar is a Syrian American hip-hop artist, designer, poet and peace activist. He was born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington, DC, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He tours the world performing at international music festivals, lecturing at major academic institutions, and fundraising for humanitarian relief organizations. Most recently, Offendum has been involved in creating several critically acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is also working on several new collaborative projects while touring to promote his solo work.

This event is sponsored by the Arabic Section (MLL), the Intercultural Center, the William Cooper Foundation, the Islamic Studies Program, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Department of Music and Dance, and the Muslim Students Association.

Premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92

Founders Day Concert with the Swarthmore College Chorus and the Swarthmore College Orchestra

December 5, 2014; 8:00 p.m.
Lang Music Building
Swarthmore College (directions)
(Universal moment of silence at 8:00 PM EDT)

Featuring the premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92, commissioned for the Swarthmore Sesquicentennial

James_Matheson_Peace_Talks

The program will also include works for orchestra by Sibelius and Fauré, and choral works from a variety of American composers and traditions.

This event is one of several planned during the 2014 calendar year to celebrate Swarthmore’s Sesquicentennial

Peace drama performed 100 years ago on campus

This story in The Phoenix, Swarthmore College’s student newspaper, from October 27, 1914, only three months after the start of World War I, was brought to our attention this week.

The clipping below reports on the performance of a Founders’ Day “peace drama” about one soldiers’ struggle with the horrors of war, his return home, and a vision for “an era of peace, unsullied by the sword.”

Swarthmore is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year.

article part 1

article part 2

Waging Peace: David Hartsough book talk

David Hartsough book

David Hartsough
Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist

Thursday, December 4, 2014
5:00 PM
Bond Hall at Swarthmore College
500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA

This event is open to the public.
Maps and directions to campus are available.
A flyer is available for download.

David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.

Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. His new memoir, Waging Peace, offers a peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past sixty years, including the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam War movements in the United States and the little- known but equally significant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action and shows how this struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.

Read more about David Hartsough and his work in this 2004 interview in the New Internationalist magazine.

Photo: David Hartsough (seated at right end of counter) with fellow students at a lunchtime sit-in Arlington, Virginia – circa 1960

 

Co-sponsored by Swarthmore Friends Meeting and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College.

Screening of “The 5 Powers” film to celebrate the International Day of Peace

The 5 Powers

A film about the transnational peace work of Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong, and Alfred Hassler.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
7:00 – 8:45 p.m.
Swarthmore College
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema (directions)
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Download a flyer and help advertise the event.

Each year, we mark the International Day of Peace at Swarthmore College as part of Peace Day Philly.

This year, we will screen a new documentary film, “The 5 Powers” about the transnational peace work of Thich Nhat Hanh,  Sister Chan Khong, and Alfred Hassler during the Vietnam War.

Sister_Chan_Khong_ccDiscussion  with the producers of the film (Anthony Nicotera, Gregory Kennedy-Salemi, and Stuart Jolley), Laura Hassler ’70, and George Lakey (who worked with Alfred Hassler of the Fellowship of Reconciliation) will follow the screening.

The 5 Powers film is organized around central tenets of Buddhist philosophy and features a captivating mix of comic book style animation (by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame), live interviews, archival audio, photos, and documents, some of which were procured from the Peace Collection at Swarthmore.

Read more about the film and view the trailer here:

Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, Film and Media Studies, the Religion Department, Asian Studies, the Swarthmore College Libraries, the Peace Collection, and Alumni Relations

5 Powers cover lo res

 

For parking:  See the campus map at http://www.swarthmore.edu/campusmap/ Enter campus at the NORTH ENTRANCE and follow the drive, Whittier Place, to the first large parking lot on the right. For drop-off, continue to follow Whittier Place, turning right at the corner of the parking lot.  The drive will proceed around the back of several buildings to a circular turn around at the Lang Performing Arts Center.  For more information about accessibility at the Lang Performing Arts Center, visit http://bit.ly/1uKd9uR For those parking in the large lot, walk to the corner of the lot, cross the street, and proceed diagonally across the quad to the Lang Performing Arts Center. The cinema is located just to your left as you enter the main lobby.

The big picture on nonviolent resistance and global peace

A couple of interviews that address the big pictures of nonviolent action, militarism, and peace praxis have appeared online.  See them here!

Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, the authors of the award-winning book, Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Works were interviewed on NPR on August 21, 2014

Peace researcher Jan Oberg recently conducted a half-hour interview on RT.

Note from Lee Smithey: There is lots of useful thought here, though his labeling the Ukrainian resistance in Kiev a Western coup is unlikely and unsubstantiated in the interview.