Sherrie Alexander is an anthropologist and researcher with a background in both cultural and biological anthropology. Her Master’s thesis focused on human-nonhuman primate interactions and community conservation in northern Morocco. She has also conducted ethnographic research on Muslim foodways and perceptions of animal welfare in Islam. Ms. Alexander’s later coursework in peace and conflict studies sparked an interest in ethics, human rights, and medical anthropology. She recently completed her DEI Certificate with the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and is an adjunct instructor in the UAB Department of Anthropology. In her free time, Ms. Alexander loves to spend time outdoors gardening and enjoying the company of her human family, as well as two cats, three dogs, and two goats
Swasti Bhattacharyya is Professor of Philosophy & Religion at Buena Vista University. Along with her work in the academy, she worked for 10 years as a Registered Nurse in both neurosurgery intensive care and labor and delivery. This experience gives her thinking on bioethics/medical ethics a direct and practical, as well as deeply philosophical basis. As a comparative religious applied ethicist, her work examines ethical issues (bioethics, environmental ethics, and nonviolence, peace and justice) from different religious perspectives (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim). Her book, Magical Progeny, Modern Technology (SUNY, 2006), provides an example of how she interweaves elements of bioethics and Hinduism. Swasti’s current project is enabling her to combine familial connections, long-term commitments to nonviolence, peace and justice, teaching, and her love of photography. She has been exploring the living legacy of Vinoba Bhave (disciple, friend, confidant, and spiritual successor to Mahatma Gandhi). Through this ethnographic project, she has interviewed 3 generations of individuals living and working for sarvodaya (the holistic uplifting of all: all segments of our global humanity).
Amanda Smith Byron is a social justice educator with over 30 years of experience working with diverse communities to heal trauma and transform conflict. Dr. Byron is especially interested in transforming bias and hatred, forging creative strategies for individual and collective responses. Dr. Byron has been a core faculty member of the Program in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University since 1998/1999, where her research interests center around postsecondary peace pedagogy. She has served a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam and has received multiple awards for her excellence in teaching. Amanda earned her BA in Business Administration at Lewis and Clark College, her MA in Intercultural Management at World Learning/School for International Training, and her EdD in Educational Leadership at Portland State University (Storytelling as Loving Praxis in Critical Peace Education: A Grounded Theory Study of Facilitating Action Toward Social Justice in Postsecondary Education). Dr. Byron’s current research focuses on unsettling the role of identity in conflict and social justice work, understanding enmification and hatred as root causes of violence, developing peacebuilding strategies to effectively address religious conflict, and engaging participant hope and participant discomfort in transforming our collective legacy of injustice.
Alison Castel completed her Ph.D. at George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), where she specialized in narrative approaches to conflict, peacebuilding, and transitional justice. Her ethnographic field research in rural Colombia investigated the narrative dynamics between the state and local communities as reparations laws are implemented as part of current peace processes. Castel holds a BA in Spanish and Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.S. Ed. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. Castel was a Rotary Peace Fellow in 2009 at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, involved in field studies on the Thai-Burma border and in Cambodia.
Michelle Collins-Sibley joined the faculty at the University of Mount Union – then Mount Union College — in 1994; professor of English, she directs chairs the newly implemented Department of Interdisciplinary & Liberal Studies (home to the Africana Studies, Gender Studies, and Peacebuilding and Social Justice Programs). For nearly a decade she served as one of the lead faculty of the annual NEH Summer Seminar, ROOTS: African Dimensions of the History and Culture of the Americas through the Atlantic Slave Trade at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her teaching and research interests focus on Africana literatures, specifically women writers of the African diaspora, literary theory – womanist/feminist, post-colonial – contemplative and peace pedagogies, and comparative literature; recent publications include, “’Becoming the Bear’: A Meditation on Racial Battle Fatigue, Resistance & Grace in Academia,” and, “What Does It Mean to Tweet #BLACKLIVESMATTER: Reflections on Black History Month, 2015.” She is an active member of her local community, having served on the boards of the Alliance YWCA, Haines House: A National Underground Railroad Site, and, currently serving on the board of the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter.
Sarah Doerrer is a student, researcher, and analyst currently living in Los Angeles, California. Her interests range from study abroad to peace education. She is also interested in higher education, international exchanges, and genocide prevention. She worked as an assistant Research Analyst at West LA College. Her education includes Loyola Marymount University – Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and American University.
Sheherazade Jafari is the director of the Point of View International Research and Retreat Center at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. A scholar and practitioner, Sheherazade’s own research and applied background and interests include gender, religion and human rights in conflict and peacebuilding, as well as fostering a more diverse and inclusive conflict resolution field. Her PhD research examined how women’s rights activists in Muslim-majority societies are engaging religion and working across religious-secular divides in response to rising politicized religion and extremism. Sheherazade has worked in the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia with both large and small civil society organizations, and has taught and facilitated dialogues and trainings regarding gender, religion and conflict resolution. In 2016, she oversaw an interfaith youth peace initiative with the U.S. Institute of Peace and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Previously she led the Religion and Conflict Resolution Program at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, where she worked with religious peacemakers from armed conflict zones around the world. She serves on the board of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, where she chairs the gender & sexuality committee, and of Feminist.com
Dean Johnson is director of Peace and Conflict Studies and associate professor of Philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. An interdisciplinary activist scholar, Johnson teaches courses in Peace Studies and Religious Studies. His research interests include religion and social change, race critical theory, critical whiteness studies, gender critical theory, nonviolent activism, community organizing, conflict transformation, and critical pedagogies. As an activist and scholar, Johnson is a consultant for nonviolent campaigns and initiatives. He provides workshops and training in the areas of nonviolent direct action, community organizing, and (with his partner Melissa Bennett) anti‐oppression, queer solidarity, and anti‐racism. He is founding board member of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and a member of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. Johnson is an advisory board member and former chair of the SpiritHouse Project of New York, New York.
Nicole (Niki) Johnson is associate professor of religious studies and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, where she also directs the program in Peacebuilding & Social Justice. Niki teaches courses at the intersection of religion and peace studies, including a first-year seminar on faith-based social justice and upper-level courses on religious conflict and peacebuilding, ethics, and theologies of nonviolence. She is the author of Practicing Discipleship: Lived Theologies of Nonviolence in Conversation with the Doctrine of the United Methodist Church (Wipf & Stock, 2009), Faithful Witness in a Fractured World: Models for an Authentic Christian Life (Cascade, 2019), and various articles and chapters. Niki is currently working on two other book projects: an edited volume on the role and contribution of the humanities to the study of peace, and a multi-faith study of the lived religious perspectives of “local” heroes of social justice. Niki lives with her husband (Glenn) and three children (Georgia, Cecilia, and Noah) in Hartville, Ohio
Ellen Lindeen, Professor Emeritus, has worked as an educator, academic, and writer throughout her professional career. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Arts degree in Literature from Northwestern University, and a Certificate of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At Waubonsee Community College from 1996-2018, Professor Lindeen taught English Composition, Shakespeare, and she created and offered the interdisciplinary courses, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights & Social Justice. Her work in Peace Studies includes: a Fulbright-Hays Grant to study Gandhi and teaching non-violence, India, summer 2008; graduate work in International Law and Human Rights at Arcadia University, Arusha, Tanzania, summer 2010; teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University, England, spring 2012; volunteer work, Haiti, summer 2013; and graduate work in Refugee Rights at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Quito, Ecuador, summer 2015. Lindeen wrote the chapter, “Film as a Force for Peace,” for Using Popular Culture to Teach Peace (2015) and she publishes articles in Truthout, Counterpunch, Huntington News, Common Dreams, The Peace Studies Journal, The Portland Alliance, and English Journal, among others. She currently serves on the boards of the Peace & Justice Studies Association and Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Joy Meeker leads the Peace and Justice Studies Specialization within Saybrook University’s Transformative Social Change Program (Oakland, CA). She has taught peace studies and conflict resolution for the past two decades at institutions including Syracuse University (NY), Colgate University (NY), and Northland College (WI). Interdisciplinary in training and practice, she has also taught within environmental studies, gender studies, psychology, and sociology departments. Joy has also been a conflict practitioner for two decades, including founding and coordinating several campus mediation centers and training hundreds of university and high school students in mediation, nonviolence, diversity, and sexual harassment prevention. She also serves as a nonviolence trainer for people who are incarcerated. All of her work aims at making a modest contribution to a more just world, a place where it is even more possible to love.
Matthew Johnson holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Hacettepe University (Turkey) and a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland, where he began his activism organizing against war, poverty, racism, mass incarceration, and gender-based violence. He also studied nonviolent civil resistance under Michael Nagler and attended the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict’s first James Lawson Institute. During the Occupy Movement, he began a career in (local) conflict resolution and restorative justice, introducing those practices to the Occupy encampments in D.C. He has published several articles and contributed to many books related to gender, racial, social, and restorative justice and is co-author/editor (with Dr. Laura Finley) of the 2018 book Trumpism: The Politics of Gender in a Post-Propitious America. He’s a frequent contributor to PeaceVoice and The Good Men Project, and he is known for criticizing orthodoxy and groupthink — even among those whose goals he shares. He has also served as an educator in a variety of contexts including public and private schools, summer camps, detention centers, community colleges, and the virtual space (as a cross-cultural dialogue facilitator and trainer for Soliya). He is currently in the process of becoming a UX Designer, where he plans to use design thinking to address social problems.
Pushpa Iyer has many years of experience as a scholar, practitioner, and activist in the field of Conflict and Peace. Her work and research in Gujarat, India, South and South-east Asia, and parts of Africa have focused on identity-based conflicts, non-state armed groups, and peacebuilding in societies emerging out of war and violence. Her efforts to bring peace between the divided Hindu and Muslim communities in Gujarat laid the foundation for her passion in social justice. She continues her activism work in her new home, the United States, through programs designed to fight racial inequity, discrimination, and violence in higher education institutions and beyond. As Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution in the Graduate School of Policy and Management, she teaches courses related to conflict, development, peace, and race. As the first Chief Diversity Officer of the Institute, she coordinates various efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school. A project she started in 2016 and continues to coordinate its Allies at MIIS, a research-cum-activism project to build allies for racial equity on campus. Her more recent efforts are focused on getting students and faculty to consider how our colonized minds impact knowledge acquisition and dissemination. She publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Black Mirror, which focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in higher education and has organized various conferences on race and conflict. Outside of the Institute, she serves as the co-chair of the Dean’s Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at her alma mater, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University for 2019-2020 and is a member of 2020 conference planning committee of National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). She is also the founding Director of the Center for Conflict Studies, where she plays the role of editor, trainer, researcher, and organizer. Dr. Iyer has published articles and chapters in various newsletters, journals, and books.
Anna Hamling is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Media Studies at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. She is the author of four monographs on the religious essays of LN Tolstoy (Russia) and Miguel de Unamuno (Spain). She has written over 50 articles and encyclopaedia entries covering diverse topics of religion, philosophy and Spanish and Latin American culture and literature. Her analyses of Tolstoy’s convictions subsequently led her to pursue research on nonviolence and she had two chapters published in 2018 in The Routledge History of World Peace from 1750 to the Present and in Gandhi and the Word, Lexington Books, Lanham. She has an active research agenda that focuses on nonviolence and intercultural dialogue and her edited volume on Icons of Nonviolence is currently in press. She co-organized the conference on nonviolence and intercultural dialogue at Birkbeck College in London, UK in June 2019. She is also engaged in the variety of events that promote nonviolence and intercultural dialogue.
Jeremy Rinker is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. In his written works Jeremy explores the intersections between narrative, violent conflict, and nonviolent conflict transformation. He is currently engaged in research that explores the intersections between marginalization, collective trauma, and systems of oppression. Jeremy’s peace research and conflict practice have long focused on South Asian communities, untouchability, human rights, and narrative meaning making in social justice movements. As PJSA liaison to institutions, Jeremy is eager to help build the association’s institutional membership. Jeremy also serves as the editor of the Journal of Transdisciplinary Peace Praxis (JTPP), a peer-reviewed biannual scholarly journal bringing together peace practitioners with academics to explore radical responses to social conflict, war, and injustice. As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (’95-’97, Kazakhstan) and a 2013 Fulbright-Nehru Fellow (Banaras, India), Jeremy loves to travel and experience new adventures.
Polly O. Walker is of Cherokee descent and a member of the Cherokee Southwest Township. She is currently Director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Elizabeth Evans Baker Professor of Peace Studies at Juniata College in Pennsylvania. Dr. Walker was awarded her doctoral degree at the University of Queensland, Australia, where her research focused on conflict transformation between Aboriginal and Settler Australians. She has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals and contributed chapters to a number of edited volumes on topics related to cross cultural issues in conflict transformation, Indigenous approaches to peace, and the role of ritual and performance in peacebuilding. Polly is co-editor, along with Dr. Cynthia Cohen and Prof. Roberto Varea, of Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict Vol. I: Resistance and Reconciliation in Regions of Violence, and Vol. II: Building Just and Inclusive Communities. She is the co-author of the related toolkit, and contributor to the project documentary Acting Together on the World Stage. Dr. Walker is an experienced trainer. She was a lead trainer and programdeveloper in a six-year international Kastom Governance program in Vanuatu, which was conducted under the auspices of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, AusAid and The Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs. Polly also conducted mediation training with the Solomon Islands National Peace Council, and conflict transformation training with an Aboriginal Community Development organization on Palm Island in Queensland, Australia.
Steven Schroeder is Teaching Chair in the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Schroeder completed his Ph.D. in modern European history at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the root causes of oppression and conflict, and the attempts to establish durable peace in the aftermath of violence and war. Schroeder is currently teaching in the History and Peace and Conflict Studies programs at UFV, and he coordinates the community engagement component of the peace program, in which Peace and Conflict Studies students apply peacebuilding skills in conflict transformation and reconciliatory work in the community.
Amal Khoury is Assistant Professor of International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Khoury specializes in peace and conflict studies, with an area focus on the Middle East. She also has an active research agenda that focuses on peacebuilding and post-conflict reconciliation. Her scholarship includes a co-authored book Unity in Diversity: Interfaith Dialogue in the Middle East, Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace Press, 2007; journal articles, “ Lebanon after the Civil War: Peace or the Illusion of Peace?,” The Middle East Journal. Vol. 65, No. 3, Summer 2011 and “The Case of the 2006 War in Lebanon: Reparation? Reconstruction or Both?”, International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 17, Issue 1, January 2013; and book chapter “Bridging Elite and Grassroots Initiatives: The Road to Sustainable Peace in Syria,” in Post-Conflict Power-Sharing Agreements: Options for Syria. Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.
Jinelle Piereder is a second year PhD student in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. Supervised by Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Jinelle uses approaches and tools from complexity science to study how ideologies are constructed, contested and perpetuated. In the context of specific global challenges, she hopes to add to what is known about the role of ideological conflict – on psychological, social, and material levels – within public policy-making and social movements. While completing her Masters of Global Governance at the BSIA, Jinelle worked as a CIGI Graduate Fellow on Asia Pacific security and empathy-building in the East and South China Seas. As part of her degree, she also completed an internship with a leading civic rights network, CIVICUS, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jinelle completed her undergraduate work at Wilfrid Laurier University, focusing on international humanitarian law and disarmament, and North and Sub-Saharan African conflicts. She was a researcher for Project Ploughshares’ 2013 Armed Conflict Report and assisted in coordinating the PJSA 2013 Conference.
Elavie Ndura, Ph.D., is George Mason University’s 2015-2016 Presidential Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, and a tenured Professor of Education. She is an international education expert and practitioner with over 20 years of experience in developing, implementing and managing intercultural education, peace and nonviolence capacity building programs in the United States and Burundi. She is the founder and coordinator of the Shinnyo Fellowship for Peacebuilding through Service and Education at George Mason University. She has pioneered youth peacemaking leadership development through community engagement in Burundi. Her signature interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and practice that unite multicultural peace education, and conflict prevention and transformation have been featured in her six books, more than 30 book chapters and professional journal articles, and numerous invited presentations and keynotes highlighting the central role of formal and non-formal education in advancing inclusive excellence, social cohesion, and peacemaking leadership.
Michael Minch, Ph.D. is a professor of peace studies and political philosophy at Utah Valley University. He was the director of the Peace and Justice Studies program at UVU for 12 years, stepping aside in 2016. He is the founder and director of Summit: The Sustainable Mountain Development and Conflict Transformation Global Knowledge and Action Network. This NGO is building the world’s largest database in respect to sustainable development and conflict transformation. It also develops innovative programs on the ground in West Africa, Haiti, the Balkans, and elsewhere. Minch is also on the Board of Directors of the Education for Global Peace Forum. He conducts research and fieldwork, teaches, and directs study abroad programs, in addition to the locations noted above, in Latin America, Russia, Central Asia, Northern Ireland, and Russia. He has published work on democratic theory, conflict transformation, reconciliation, theology, ethics, economic theory, political ecology, and more.
Wendy Kroeker teaches at the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in the undergrad Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies department and in the MA in Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development program. As well, she is the Co-Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP). Wendy completed her MA Theology at the Mennonite Brethren Seminary in California. After significant years of practice within the conflict transformation field, she has entered the Peace Studies Ph.D. program at the Arthur Mauro Centre at the University of Manitoba where she is a Ph.D. Candidate and close to completing her dissertation on the “Role of Local Peacebuilders: The Philippines as Case Study.” Wendy specializes in community conflict transformation processes as an instructor at CMU and in locations around the globe. She has over 15 years of experience as a community mediator, conflict transformation trainer, peace program consultant, program manager for international development projects and university instructor. The Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Ukraine, India, Bangladesh, and Palestine are some of the locations in which she has worked over the past two decades with indigenous groups, NGO staff, community and religious leaders, and various educators.
Elham Atashi, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. She is a certified mediator and negotiator having received her training from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Dr. Atashi teaches and writes on issues relating to truth telling and the politics of memory, restorative justice, post-conflict transformation and the role of youth and civic organizations in peacebuilding. She serves on the editorial board of the African Peace and Conflict Journal and has been on a consultative body in assessing and developing mechanisms for dealing with the legacy of the past injustices in countries such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Dr. Atashi also works extensively as a practitioner for several international organizations supporting transformative local community reconciliation, justice and peacebuilding initiatives. She is also a professional dialogue facilitator conducting workshops with a focus on youth as migrants and refugees.
Fatima Ahmed has studied towards a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo and is currently working towards a Masters in Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University. During her career, she has been fortunate enough to work in places like the Canadian Arctic, Vanuatu and Botswana and has completed academic exchange in Sweden. Her community involvement has varied from volunteering and organizing at the grassroots level to serving as steering committee members for regional and national committees. For her self directed graduate program, Fatima is interested in looking at spiritual healing for those experiencing stress-induced mental distress.
Daryn Cambridge leads curriculum development and educational design for US Institute of Peace’s online courses. Daryn joins USIP after 4 years with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, where he served as senior director for Learning & Digital Strategies and helped co-found Freedom Beat Recordings – a record label and website that explores the role of music in nonviolent resistance. Daryn is also a peace educator in residence and adjunct professor at American University in Washington, DC, where he teaches courses on education for international development, peace pedagogy, and nonviolent action. His research interests include peace education, nonviolent action, distance learning, and online pedagogy. He has several years experience designing and facilitating trainings and workshops for learners across the world of all ages. He has worked or consulted in this capacity with organizations such as Common Cause, The Close Up Foundation, The Democracy Matters Institute, The Student Conservation Association, Learn-Serve International, One World Education, and the Institute for Technology and Social Change. He serves on the boards of the Democracy Matters Institute and the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He has a M.A. in International Training and Education and a professional certificate in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, both from American University. He received his B.A. from Middlebury College.
Amy Cox, PhD, earned her doctorate in Political Science from McGill University, an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Temple University. Dr. Cox’s scholarly expertise is international security, particularly political violence, ethnic conflict, and terrorism. She has completed fieldwork in Quebec and Ireland. Dr. Cox is a scholar-practitioner, facilitating numerous conflict resolution workshops including Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops at Graterford SCI. Dr. Cox was awarded the United States Institute of Peace to Support Public Education for Peacebuilding grant to support the IPCR Forum on Transforming Conflict and Building Peace in 2013. Her more recent scholar-practitioner pursuits include the development of the IPCR program and curriculum, the creation and facilitation of ‘Interrupting Hate’ workshops, advancing local social justice efforts and working to bring public dialogue projects to the Philadelphia area.
Timothy Donais is an associate professor in the Department of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he teaches in the field of peace and conflict studies. His current research focuses on questions of ‘ownership’ and ‘inclusivity’ in the context of post-conflict peacebuilding, and he has conducted field research in Bosnia, Haiti, and Afghanistan. He is the author of Peacebuilding and Local Ownership: Post-Conflict Consensus-Building (Routledge, 2012), The Political Economy of Peacebuilding in Post-Dayton Bosnia (Routledge, 2005), and the editor of Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform (Lit Verlag, 2008); he is also the author of more than a dozen journal articles and book chapters. He currently serves as the interim coordinator of the newly-formed Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada (PACS-Can).
Dr. Kevin Higgs is from North Alabama and grew up in the Birmingham area. As a child, he experienced the dynamic changes that took place in this city during the Civil Rights Movement, and has been greatly influenced by its history and politics. Because of this, Dr. Higgs has focused his study, activism, and academic interest on Alabama and its issues of human rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, and the theology and political thought that has come out of the American South. Dr. Higgs approaches these realities with a global, multi-cultural perspective informed by philosophies of nonviolence and theologies of liberation. He has spent significant time as an activist for the homeless community of Birmingham, and has worked diligently in areas of peace-building within the still-segregated racial/cultural divide that continues in Birmingham. Dr. Higgs is an active member of the NAACP in the State of Alabama, working with the “Moral Monday Movement” seeking to organize activism to confront issues of poverty, labor abuse, environmental abuse, voting rights, the Prison-Industrial-Complex, and the Military-Industrial-Complex in the State of Alabama.
Randy Janzen, PhD, is the Chair of the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College, in British Columbia’s southern interior, where he also teaches in the Peace and Justice Studies and Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping programs. Randy’s recent work has involved a focus on community peace education, including mediation, conflict transformation and nonviolent action. Randy’s research focus is unarmed civilian peacekeeping and he is a founding member of the global Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping/Protection Research Network.
Kelly Rae Kraemer, Ph.D., is Professor of Peace Studies at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in central Minnesota, where she served as Chair of the Peace Studies Department from 2013-2016. She is also a member of the Gender Studies faculty. Dr. Kraemer teaches introductory and capstone courses, along with more specialized courses focusing on civil resistance and nonviolent action, gender and peace, race and racism in the United States, the civil rights movement, and indigenous politics. Her research, which focuses on nonviolent action and the role of identity in social movement activism, has appeared in Peace & Change, Taiwanese International Studies Quarterly, and Peace Review among other publications. She is currently working on the manuscript for a book, tentatively titled But What About Hitler?, examining the goals and achievements of six unarmed movements against the Nazis during WWII.
An academic-activist-performer, Kate Meehan is about to begin her Ph.D. in American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Graduating summa cum laude with a degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from York University (Toronto, Canada), she recently completed a diploma with honours in Peace and Justice Studies at Selkirk College (British Columbia, Canada). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including York’s School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Graduating Book Prize for academic excellence, and both the 2016 and 2017 Excellence in Peace Studies award from Selkirk. As a theater creator, Kate is particularly interested in the role of political theater as a method of activism and awareness-building. Her Ph.D. research interests lie in feminist explorations of American civilian militarization post-Vietnam War to the early 1990s, and the impacts of these narratives on contemporary identities and anti-war resistance today.
Dr. Edmund Pries (PhD) is Assistant Professor of Global Studies, Social Entrepreneurship, Religion and Culture, and Community Engagement at Wilfrid Laurier University where his teaching is centered in the area of Peace and Conflict Studies (including: Disarmament, International Humanitarian Law). His research focuses on religion and peace/conflict and on social contracts derived from citizenship oaths and military enlistment oaths. He also writes on pedagogy. Edmund is the recipient of two awards for teaching excellence: from Wilfrid Laurier University (2011) and from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (2014). He is the co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (Canada & US) and on the founding board of the newly-formed Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada. In addition to various articles, he recently co-edited the book Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation (2015). A personal goal he realized last year was to walk across northern Spain along the ancient pilgrimage route known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela – a trek of 900 km.
David Ragland is Co-Founder and Co-director for the Truth Telling project of Ferguson and a Visiting Professor at United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He researches and thinks about the moral dimensions of violence and trauma against vulnerable populations in the U.S as well as envisioning a world with reduced violence on all levels. As an activist, educator and scholar, his recent and past work is the ground level- in his home community near Ferguson, Mo. David’s analysis is drawn from the radical teaching and scholarship of MLK, particularly in his description of the Triple evils of Militarism, Racism and Materials, as an ever present part of American life- calling us to a shift in values Dr. Ragland focuses specifically on how our society conceives justice as retributive and proposes a shift toward restorative justice to transform communities and criminal justice system and take the America’s turbulent history and lives experiences into account for policies at all levels.
Timothy Seidel teaches courses on politics, development, and peacebuilding in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. He previously taught at American University and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Seidel has worked in various development and peacebuilding contexts in North America and the Middle East, including serving for several years with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), first as peace development worker in Palestine-Israel and then as director for Peace and Justice Ministries in the U.S. He is a doctoral candidate in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC.
Cris Toffolo is Professor and Chair of the Justice Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. She is just finishing her third term as co-chair of the board of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. She is also a founding board member of the Educating for Global Peace (EGP), and The Truth Telling Project (TTP), and has served Amnesty International in various capacities for over 25 years. Currently she is conducting research on educational initiatives in post-genocide Rwanda. Cris has worked in many countries of the Global South, was awarded a NEH grant to work on ethnicity issues, and while on sabbatical in South Africa (2005-06) was a senior researcher for a human rights NGO for which she conducted research on anti-racism training programs. She has a Ph.D. from Notre Dame in political theory and comparative politics. Her publications include: The Arab League, Chelsea House, 2007, and Emancipating Cultural Pluralism, ed., SUNY Press, 2003.
Jack Payden Travers has been a social activist since he was a freshman at Iona College during the Vietnam War. Presently on a sabbatical year, he recently retired as the Executive Director of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund. During his career he has organized work projects for Habitat for Humanity International, the American Fellowship of Reconciliation and Witness for Peace. He has worked on the local, state and national levels. He holds a BA in History, an MA in Liberal Studies and a graduate certificate in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. His interest in peace studies goes back to the early 70s with COPRED. He has been a professor, middle school teacher, librarian, carpenter, house husband, cab driver, nonprofit director, etc while supporting his wife’s career as an Episcopal priest. They have two grandchildren and two granddogs.
Dr. Emily Welty is an academic, ecumenist and artist living and working in New York City. She is the Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University where she teaches classes focusing on nonviolence, humanitarianism and reconciliation and transitional justice. Her research focuses on the religious dimensions of peacebuilding with an emphasis on humanitarianism and nuclear disarmament as well as nonviolent social movements. She is the Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs and is the chair of the Nuclear Disarmament Working Group. Emily is part of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) where she works on faith-based engagement in nuclear disarmament. She is the co-author of Unity in Diversity: interfaith dialogue in the Middle East and Occupying Political Science. Emily is also a playwright and has worked with The Civilians, the Acting Studio at Chelsea Rep and the Einhorn School of Performing Arts.