Tag Archives: women

King, Women’s March, Swarthmore College, and Quakers

A message from Chris Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College:

A few years ago, I was looking for documentation of Martin Luther King Jr. and the early days of the Civil Rights Movement in the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends.  It seemed like something for the Race Relations Committee to handle, but there was nothing there.  A little more digging located the records I was seeking in the Peace Committee and more specifically in a subcommittee on non-violence.

This week began with commemorations of Dr. King.  On Saturday, there will be a Women’s March in Washington, DC, and Sister Marches worldwide.  I was both pleased and a bit surprised to read their statement of “Guiding Principles” on their website which was explicitly based on Martin Luther King Jr., and the principles of non-violence. It also strikes me that these principles and this approach to conflict comes close to how some people understand Swarthmore College’s heritage of Quaker values.  It is not just a strategy for confronting the evils of the day, but a strategy for daily living. It is what King and others referred to as the Beloved Community.  \

— Christopher Densmore, Curator, Friends Historical Library.

March on Washington

Ultra-Nationalism and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel

Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Ultra-Nationalism and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel

ASmadar Lavie
Professor of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Thursday, October 29, 2015
4:30 p.m.
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College (directions)

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Israeli-American anthropologist Smadar Lavie will discuss her new book, “Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture.” The Mizrahim are the Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who comprise Israel’s majority Jewish population. They suffer from systematic discrimination by Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews who drive Israeli policymaking. Lavie’s is the first English language ethnography about single mothers in the Middle East. This is one of the very few ethnographies about single mothers outside North America. The book explores Israel’s intra-Jewish racial and ethnic conflicts from a feminist perspective. It analyzes how the plight of Mizrahi single mothers relates to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, as well as its tensions with Iran and other neighboring Arab countries. Lavie uncovers the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that
uses its bureaucratic system to repeatedly inflict pain on its
non-European majority who, despite this pain, is willing to sacrifice
their lives for what they conceive of as the state’s security.

Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—what, arguably, can be seen as torture, Smadar Lavie explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its
non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system. The book presents a model of bureaucracy as divine cosmology and posits that Israeli State bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that fuses the categories of religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.

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Dr. Smadar Lavie

Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies

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.

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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.

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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.

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.)

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh November 19th and 20th, 2014

Join the Womyn’s Resource Center and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in conversation around street harassment and art in activism.

Stop Telling Women to Smile

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Poster installation with the artist
November 19th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
meet in Kohlberg coffee bar at 1pm

Artist’s lecture and reception
November 19th 7:00 pm – 8:30pm
Science Center 101

Catered Lunch and Discussion
November 20th 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Scheuer Room
limited space, please RSVP at http://goo.gl/forms/TEmOqYPnaC
++open only to women and trans folks++

Sponsored by: Forum for Free Speech, the Serendipity Fund, Interpretation Theory, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Art Department, Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of History, and Dean Henry’s Office.

http://stoptellingwomentosmile.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1559189750979291

Stop Telling Women to Smile Fazlalizadeh

Mary Walton to speak about Alice Paul at Swarthmore Friends Meeting

Swarthmore Friends Meeting is pleased to announce:

Mary Walton, author of A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot, will speak at Swarthmore Friends Meeting, this Sunday, February 23, at 11:45 in Whittier Room. Alice Paul was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement during 1913-1920, and a New Jersey Quaker in a lineage of women Quaker activists. She was also a pioneer of nonviolent resistance. She is compared to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, in terms of her vision for and leadership of the women’s suffrage movement. Through nonviolent direct action, she and her followers spurred a recalcitrant Congress and President to approve the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Join us as we learn more about the struggles and sufferings of those involved in this movement from Mary Walton this Sunday. Mary Walton is author of four books, a former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a community organizer.

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Wendy Chmielewski awarded honorable mention for historical research on women in politics

Dr. Wendy ChmielewskiDr. Wendy Chmielewski, a member of the Peace and Conflict Studies steering committee has been awarded a 2013 honorable mention award for the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics from Iowa State University for her ongoing project, Her Hat Was in the Ring:  U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920.

From all of us in the Peace and Conflict Studies program, congratulations Wendy!

Challenging the Cold War Warriors: Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles, 1983-1988

Dr. Wendy ChmielewskiOn November 5th, 2013, Dr. Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection will present a paper at West Chester University during a conference on the Cold War.

Dr. Chmielewski’s paper is titled:  “Challenging the Cold War Warriors: Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles, 1983-1988”  Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles was a group of women from Britain, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Congressmen Ron Dellums and Ted Weiss who attempted to sue the Reagan administration in US federal court for human rights and US constitutional violations.

Thanks to Mary Walton for her lecture on Alice Paul ’05 and Mabel Vernon ’06

We would like to thank author Mary Walton for her lecture this afternoon on the courageous work of Swarthmore alums Alice Paul ’05 and Mabel Vernon ’06 in their organizing and nonviolent campaigns to secure the vote for women in the United States.

A standing-room only crowd of people from the Swarthmore community and the local community gathered in the Scheuer Room to celebrate the International Day of Peace, the College’s sesquicentennial, and 125 years since the first peace studies course in higher education was taught at Swarthmore. The audience expressed their appreciation for Ms. Walton’s presentation with extended applause.

We would like to thank all of our co-sponsors who made this event a success, including Peace Day Philly for including our event in the city-wide celebration of the International Day of Peace.

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Sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, the President’s Office, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Friends Historical Library, History Department, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Women’s Resource Center, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, English Literature Department, and Political Science Department.

Mark your calendars: Alice Paul ’05, Mabel Vernon ’06, and the Battle for the Ballot

Mark your calendars for the College’s first sesquicentennial celebration event, a talk by author Mary Walton:

A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul ’05, Mabel Vernon ’06, and the Battle for the Ballot

Mary Walton

September 19, 2013; 4:15 p.m.

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College

Maps and directions

Download a flyer

Mary Walton

On September 19th, Peace and Conflict Studies and co-sponsors will  celebrate the International Day of Peace, 125 years of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore College, and the start of the College’s Sesquicentennial with a talk by Mary Walton, author of A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot.  The focus of Walton’s talk will be Alice Paul (Class of 1905) and her friend and fellow Swarthmore alum, Mabel Vernon (Class of 1906).

A New Jersey Quaker, Alice Paul was the leader of the militant wing of the suffrage movement from 1913 to 1920. Hers was a David-and-Goliath struggle to convince a reluctant congress and a stubborn president to give women the vote. Paul and her followers were the first people to picket the White House. They were arrested, thrown in jail, brutalized and force fed when they went on hunger strikes. A pioneer in non-violent resistance, she was to suffrage what Gandhi was to Indian independence, what Martin Luther King Jr. was to civil rights.

In 1913, Mabel Vernon gladly gave up teaching to join her college friend, Alice Paul, in working full time for the Congressional Union. From that day on, she devoted her life to suffrage and other causes. Mabel Vernon was among the most militant suffragists. In 1916, she stood up in a full auditorium and heckled President Wilson as he spoke about democracy. Vernon picketed the White House and was among the first suffragists to go to jail.

Mary Walton is the author of four previous works of nonfiction. She was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer for many years where she wrote more than a hundred magazine stories as a staff writer for the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. She has also written for the New York Times, Washingtonian, theWashington Monthly, and the American Journalism Review. After graduation from Harvard University, and a turn at social work and community organizing, Walton began her journalism career in 1969 as a reporter for the Charleston (WV) Gazette.

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PCS 125 year logo

Peace Day Philly

International Day of Peace 2013

Sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, the President’s Office, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Friends Historical Library, History Department, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Women’s Resource Center, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, English Literature Department, and Political Science Department.

 

 Bibliographic links for photographs.