About the Peace and Justice Studies Association
The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) serves as a professional association for scholars in the field of peace and conflict studies. PJSA is dedicated to bringing together academics, educators, and activists to explore alternatives to violence and share visions and strategies for peacebuilding, social justice, and social change.
We host an annual meeting and conference, support research and public scholarship, and serve as a network hub for a diverse and growing academic and professional field. As a relatively new and interdisciplinary field, PJSA serves to represent individuals who hold a variety of degree types such as Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Peace Studies, Social Justice Studies, Restorative Justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and more.
Our diverse membership includes academic institutions, community colleges, colleges, university faculty, students and researchers, k-12 educators, practitioners, academics, non-profit workers and activists.
This broad membership helps to facilitate research that is highly relevant, and it allows us to quickly disseminate the latest findings to those who will be among the first to implement new policies. Our abilities to do this have been greatly enhanced in recent years with the formation of a Speakers Bureau, member-centric web services, and the creation of an active publications committee.
Our members share many of the following values and beliefs:
- Active nonviolence as a positive force for social change
- Critical analysis of institutions and social structures
- Societal transformation toward justice
- Equitable sharing of world resources
- Life-long education: community-based and service learning
- Innovative and effective pedagogy
- Liberatory use of technology and media research in support of community needs
- Effective networks and alliances
PJSA works to create a just and peaceful world through:
- The promotion of peace studies within universities, colleges and K-12 grade levels
- The forging of alliances among educators, students, activists, and other peace practitioners in order to enhance each other’s work on peace, conflict and non-violence
- The creation and nurturing of alternatives to structures of inequality and injustice, war and violence through education, research and action.
We are a nonprofit organization formed in 2001 as a result of a merger of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development (COPRED), established in 1970, and the Peace Studies Association (PSA), established in 1987. Both organizations provided leadership in the broadly defined fields of peace, conflict and justice studies. View PJSA’s bylaws. PJSA serves as a professional association, and is the North American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association. For reasons of language, Mexico is part of IPRA’s South American affiliate. In 2013, our offices moved to Georgetown University in Washington D.C., greatly enhancing PJSA’s national and international visibility.
In 2010, PJSA became a bi-national organization with Canada, holding its first Canadian conference in Winnipeg, sponsored by the University of Winnipeg, Menno Simons College, and Canadian Mennonite University. Since then, PJSA has committed to holding its annual conference in Canada every third year. In 2013, our conference was held in Waterloo, hosted jointly by Wilfred Laurier University and Conrad Grebel University College, and our 2016 conference was held at Selkirk College in British Columbia. Our 2019 conference occur in Winnipeg. Today, approximately one-fifth of our board members are Canadians, who are also well represented on the board’s executive committee. Presently, about 10% of our membership is Canadian, and this has been rising steadily.
Michael Loadenthal has served as PJSA’s Executive Director since 2016.
As part of its ongoing activities, the PJSA meets annually with its members and the wider community to engage and build with scholars, students, practitioners, and activist networks and communities. The Association meets annually in the Fall, with past meetings detailed below:
- October 2002: “Confronting Injustice, Ending War: The Role of Peace Educators and Activists After 9/11,” at Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
- October 2003: “Fostering Alternatives to Violence,” at The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA)
- October 2004: “The Challenge of Globalization: Incorporating Peace, Justice and Human Rights,” at the University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
- October 2005: “In Solidarity: Engaging Empire in Activism, Education and Community Strategies,” at Goshen College (Goshen, IN)
- October 2006: “Who Speaks for the Common Good?” at Manhattan College (Bronx, NY)
- September 2007: “Cultural Identity in a Mass Culture World,” at Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, PA)
- September 2008: “Building Cultures of Peace,” at Portland State University (Portland, OR)
- October 2009: “Exploring the Power of Nonviolence,” at Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
- October 2010: “Building Bridges, Crossing Borders: Gender, Identity, and Security in the Search for Peace,” at the Canadian Mennonite University, Menno Simons College (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- October 2011: “A Living Movement: Toward a world of peace, solidarity, and justice,” at Christian Brothers University (Memphis, TN), organized with the Gandhi-King Conference
- October 2012: “Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace,” at Tufts University (Medford, MA), organized with the Tufts Initiative on Climate Change and Climate Justice
- October 2013: “Peace Studies Between Tradition and Innovation,” hosted by the University of Waterloo’s Conrad Grebel University College & Wilfred Laurier University
- October 2014: “Courageous Presence: Shifting stories and practices of peace,” at the University of San Diego (San Diego, CA), organized with the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies and the School of Leadership[ and Education Sciences
- October 2015: “Cultivating the Just and Peaceable Self: Understanding transformation and transforming understanding in research and practice,” at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
- September 2016: “International Peace & Justice Studies“ at the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College (Nelson, British Columbia), organized with the Peace and Conflict and Studies Association of Canada
- October 2017: “From Civil Rights to Human Rights,” at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
- September 2018: “Revolutionary Nonviolence in Violent Times: 50 years since 1968,” at Arcadia University (Philadelphia, PA)
- October 2019: “Local Alignments, Global Upheavals: Re-imagining peace, legitimacy, jurisdiction and authority,” at the Canadian Mennonite University, Menno Simons College (Winnipeg, Manitoba), organized with the Peace and Conflict and Studies Association of Canada
- September, October, November 2020: “Restorative Justice,” “Storytelling & Social Justice,” “Polarization”: 3-month Digital Conference” (Online)
- October 2021: “Health, Equity, and Peacebuilding,” at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
- October 2022: “Vocation of the Peacemaker,” at the University of Mount Union (Alliance, OH)