2021 Conference Session Descriptions

Panel – Health and Food Justice  

“Advocating for Food Justice”, (Michael Chadukiewicz, Nova Southeastern University):

This interactive presentation will explore misogyny, racism, social inequity, and barriers to health through the lens of the nation’s food system fractured by the Covid-19 pandemic.  In New Haven, CT pre-pandemic rates of household food insecurity were 22%, affecting 1 in 4 children: more than twice the national rate of 10.5%. During the pandemic, it is estimated food insecurity rates increased fourfold. Advocating for Food Justice is a case study that explored food insecurity through the actions of a diverse group of food advocates comprised of public health researchers, government actors, grassroots organizers, and emergency food providers. 

“Grappling with Food, Environmental Justice and Health Inequities: Some Lessons from Philadelphia”, (Ashley Gripper, Harvard University):

How do food insecurity and food sovereignty discourse provide pathways to addressing health inequities? What are the opportunities for framing food as a key public health issue with implications for peace and environmental justice? We use illustrative examples of responses to food insecurity in Philadelphia to highlight linkages of food sovereignty/food security and health inequities in relation to public policy, gender, identity politics, education, and social and cultural capital. Strategies for participation in this discursive space are identified through iterative collaborative conversations and analyses of the results emerging from ongoing citywide urban farming mapping project. Possible future actions are articulated and discussed.

“We Lack Peace in Our Hearts: The Ethics of Hunger”, (Anne Dressel, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Hunger is a social issue.  It impacts social structures, changes the dynamics of family and community interactions, and creates suffering.  Our session will share findings from qualitative research conducted with families in rural Malawi that focused on knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to nutrition, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.  Participants noted they “lacked peace in [their] hearts” due to envy of their neighbors who had more to eat.  Proscribed gender roles impact women’s access to adequate nutritious food, and larger structural forces such as climate change, in which we are all complicit, exacerbate hunger and food insecurity in countries like Malawi.    

“Food as Grounds for Peacebuilding”, (Rebekah Akers, Iowa State University):

Fostering peace in communities and societies requires a multidisciplinary approach towards nurturing and sustainably adapting to community needs. Food intertwines with social, economic, and environmental issues with opportunities to build community food security and peace-minded food citizens. Utilizing a theoretical food peace framework, this interactive workshop will explore the role of food to promote peace with an emphasis on health and sustainability. This workshop will include the analysis of peacekeeping versus peacebuilding in the context of food. Through written responses and break-out discussions, participants will actively explore what it means to build peace through food.

Roundtable – “Peace Chronicle Magazine”,

(Wim Laven, PJSA Peace Chronicle Editor):

This panel looks at the critical reflective of personal narratives within the larger context of cultural, ideological, philosophical, political, and social meanings and understandings. Panelists describe their experiences of health, equity, and peacebuilding as it has presented in their lived experiences and created struggles for peace and justice in the world. These challenges, conflicts, dilemmas, and paradoxes are answered in the lessons of our experiences. We have absorbed wisdom from our communities and families and we share these lessons—as we understand them—with the hope that we can better understand the conditions of health, equity, and peacebuilding. Our experiences and sources of knowledge are different, but we share similar goals and motivations, these narratives are important.

Room 3: Workshop – “Power of Plain Language to bridge gaps in health equity: Advancing health literacy through critical praxis”,

(Holly Nerone, Cardinal Stritch University):

Disproportionately low literacy and health literacy levels are reported among individuals who are economically disadvantaged, elderly, immigrants, and/or racial minorities (Bastable, 2011). Individuals with limited literacy may not benefit from the type or amount of medical information they are given to maintain or manage their health (Bastable, 2011).  Implementing “plain language” guidelines in oral and written communications can mitigate these barriers (Warde et al, 2018).  The purpose of this interactive, interdisciplinary workshop is to provide tools that enable individuals and organizations to implement and advocate for plain language.  Participants will utilize these tools to review before and after materials, respond to case studies, and revise written communications. 

 Virtual Panel – Peace Education 

“Empathetic Citizens: The Role of Service-Learning”, (Christine Henke Miller, Cardinal Stritch University):

Our world is becoming increasingly more complex. To navigate effectively in this new world, children need a new kind of skill-set to understand the cultures, perspectives, and desires of people unlike themselves. They need to understand whole-systems thinking to address global environmental and economic issues and have the social skills to work cooperatively with an array of individuals. With nurturing guidance and explicit instruction, children can develop perspectives that build empathy and the prosocial behaviors that lead to civic engagement as adults.  Healing a broken world through relationships and understanding begins with teaching our children and offering them the place to practice those lessons in the real world.

“Exploring Peace and Justice in a community engaged Senior Capstone Course”, (Sarah Foust, Cardinal Stritch University):

In Fall 2021, Cardinal Stritch University, a small liberal arts university in Milwaukee, begins its new senior capstone course, a course that pairs teams of students across majors with local organizations to complete a significant project for a local business or non-profit.  With a focus on civic literacy, as well as critical thinking, collaboration, and digital literacy, the experience is meant to enrich students’ learning and experience by way of engaging them in the world beyond the classroom, as well as to support the needs of local organizations.  As the instructor piloting this course, my talk will share what I have learned so far about identifying these community-based experiences and supporting the students working with their community partners. I will also highlight how this experience is exposing our undergraduates to peace and justice issues within the community through strategic community partner engagement and project formation. 

“Education and Peace Agreements”, (Khalil Dokhanchi, University of Wisconsin – Superior):

Education plays a significant role in terms of reducing tensions in the post conflict societies such as Bosnia or Northern Ireland.  Yet, peacemakers pay little attention to this topic.  Education is considered a “domestic” or “internal” issue and outside of the boundaries of peace agreements which are supposed to be concerned with putting an end to the violence and addressing the situation on the ground.  This paper examines the situation in Bosnia in particular and how education has contributed to escalation of conflict after the signing of the peace accord.  It also makes an argument that education should have been addressed in the Dayton Peace Accord for the following reasons: 1.  Education is one of the pillars of peacebuilding in a post-conflict society.  Education has the potential to alleviate some of the ethnic tensions; 2.  Education should be de-nationalized particularly in the aftermath of an ethnic conflict; 3.  Education is a domestic/internal issue, but this should not mean that education can not be addressed in the peace accord.  A closer examination of the Dayton Peace Accord, which brought an end to the war in Bosnia, illustrates that some of the other issues that have been viewed as domestic/internal were included in the Dayton Accord, such as the right of return, refugee re-settlement, etc.

“Somatically-Based Solutions for Peacebuilding”, (Monica Anna Day, Arcadia University):

All people have bodies, all bodies have nervous systems, and all nervous systems share similar patterns of neurobiology that drive our ability to respond and adapt to change, trauma and conflict. While many of the circumstances that lead to conflict are cognitive, the impact is always physical. This session focuses on the impact on bodies of being displaced, how bodies adapt to a change in place, and what bodies need to resettle after being displaced. From this, we examine how an embodied approach to peacebuilding solutions can improve the health and wellness of affected individuals and communities.

Panel – “Promoting the health of minoritized communities – community health nursing as it applies to Milwaukee”

(Sarah Morgan, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Health issues and opportunities in minoritized communities, policy, and practice that promote positive individual and community health. This panel will feature University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Community Health Nursing program students and their related research.

Workshop – “Teaching Peacemaking Undergraduate Reports from the Future”

 (Kelly Rae Kraemer, St. John’s University):

College students often want to change the world, but even those who major in social change based fields like peace and justice studies may graduate doubting that the changes they want to see in the world can happen. In this session, you’ll learn how to engage students in strategic planning to change the world by having them write reports from thirty years in the future about how they helped create a just and peaceful world. Adapted from a workshop developed by peace and futures studies pioneer Elise Boulding, this project will develop students’ planning skills, while helping them envision paths from violence to peace.

Panel – “Defending Against Anti-LGBTQ Legislation: Suggestions for Advocacy”

 (Mark Carrol, University of Mount Union)

The current social and political climate poses risks to the civil rights and wellbeing of individuals who identify as  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender, (LGBTQ+). Current threats to, or infringement of, these rights include bathroom access laws, participation in military service, marriage equality, medical care, and workplace rights. These issues will be explored. An examination of ethical models, including the Ethic of Justice as it pertains to both the individual and society, will be used to demonstrate that no ethical justification exists for discrimination in these areas. Special attention will be paid to the issue of denial of medical care based upon moral objections of medical practitioners. The speakers will discuss unique protections that state licensure boards can offer in the event that federal law was to allow such discrimination to become legal, as has been threatened in recent years. The session will end with sharing of practical information on how to use this knowledge to advocate for individual rights, and defend personal freedoms as guaranteed by law. 

Roundtable – “Confronting the limits of liberal peacemaking” 

(Anthony Dest, Lehman College):

This roundtable will discuss how some communities and social movements exceed the parameters of liberal peacemaking. By drawing on experiences from Colombia, Western Sahara, South Africa, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, we will explore how these struggles challenge normative notions of peace that do not address the violence of the state or capital.  

Workshop  – “Collaboration between indigenous and university communities”

(Mike Klein, University of St. Thomas):

Universities have a troubled and extractive history with Indigenous communities. This session will explore concepts and practices for developing collaborative work in research and course-based engagement, including land acknowledgment, memoranda of understanding for ethical research, rights to data and story, structured and sustained collaboration. Participants are invited to bring their own examples and questions about developing equitable peacebuilding relationships between academic and indigenous communities for truth-telling, relationship-building, and justice-doing.

Film – “The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment” 

(Derek Johnson, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Film is a powerful medium to show, in addition to tell, the stories of communities striving to be healthier. Located in northwest Milwaukee, Westlawn is home to Wisconsin’s largest public housing development.  The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment is a nationally-recognized 10+ year collaboration between the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, community partners, and Westlawn community members. In our short film, we will showcase the history of the partnership and more recent COVID-19-safe activities such as the Westlawn Gardens Prep Day and “Get Wheelin’ in Westlawn” events, including free bicycle repairs, community bike rides, and a bike camp for kids. 

Roundtable – “High-Risk Advocacy: Shaping institutionalism toward progressivism”

(Brooke Moreland, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis):

Educators, workforce development professionals, and advocates have to drive decision-making in complex social systems. These individuals represent the interests of millions of people, many of whom are high-risk and need leaders who can garner support for initiatives that could improve their lives.  Many times, leaders have to implement untested ideas systemwide. This session empowers leaders to engage policy leaders in more strategic and intentional ways through the use of an action research model. Leaders will learn how to evaluate the dispositions of their home institutions along with their own practices. This knowledge is important, because leaders will be able to better strategize how to remove barriers to equitable opportunity in education and the workforce. 

Community member presentation – “Rental Housing Resource Center”

(Joanne Lipo Zovic):

Panel – Gandhi and Conceptualizing Peace and Violence 

“The Primacy of Mind in Gandhi’s Core Distinction: Rethinking the Terminology of “Violence” and “Nonviolence”, (Todd Davies, Stanford University):

The words “violence” and “nonviolence” are imperfect, and increasingly misleading, English translations for the Sanskrit words “hiṃsā” and “ahiṃsā”. The latter was used by Gandhi as the basis for his philosophy of satyāgraha. Drawing on Gandhi’s writing, as well as scholarship addressing these Sanskrit concepts and Gandhi’s life and thought, I will make a case for re-reading hiṃsā as “maleficence” and ahiṃsā as “beneficence”. These two more mind-referring English words — along with others more prevalent in religiously-inspired discourse of the past relative to today — capture the primacy of desire and intention implied by “hiṃsā” and “ahiṃsā”, much better than “violence”. and ” nonviolence” do. Contemporary understandings of “violence” and “nonviolence” reflect a political turn in moral accountability over the past century that can be demonstrated through linguistic evidence, and which obscures Gandhi’s intended meanings. New terminology, I argue, could clarify the distinction in a way that might prevent some misunderstandings of Gandhi that are common among 21st Century English-language native speakers. Language referring to mental states also connects these concepts to contemporary ideas in psychology which may shed light on the range of meanings they can have in practice. Based on a forthcoming chapter for the book *Gandhi’s Wisdom*, edited by Vinod Kool. 

“Aurobindo Ghose’s Critiques of Mahatma Gandhi’s Early Mass Mobilization”, (Ted Ulrich, University of St. Thomas):

Aurobindo Ghose (1872-1950) was at the forefront of the agitation for Indian independence a decade prior to Gandhi’s involvement. Unlike Gandhi, he was an advocate of armed rebellion. However, after a year in prison (1908-1909) in conjunction with a bombing, Ghose withdrew and gradually developed a reputation as a spiritual master. Yet, he continued to argue for the legitimacy and, in some cases, the necessity of violence in the affairs of state. This study will show his critiques of exclusively nonviolent approaches in his Essays on the Gita (1916-1920) and how he subsequently applied those critiques to Gandhian mass mobilization after its early failures in the 1920s.

“Peace – What Prevents It? Understanding the conditioned mind”, (Terrence Webster-Doyle):

Can we look at how we approach “solving the problem” of conflict conventionally so we can see if this is possibly the very thing that prevents it?

Roundtable – “Linking Social Network Analysis and Transformative Justice to Prevent Gun Violence”

(Theodore Lentz, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Gun violence is an ongoing public health crisis that is concentrated in marginalized communities. Research shows that the risk of gun victimization spreads among individuals through social relationships. Much like interventions for HIV/AIDS and drug overdose, social network data can be analyzed to identify individuals at heightened risk of gun victimization. Most prevention strategies rely on the police and criminal legal system, but alternatives that use restorative/transformative justice are increasingly desired. This roundtable will bring together community leaders and researchers to explore strategies leveraging social network analysis and transformative justice to prevent gun violence without police intervention. 

Virtual Panel – “Peace and Justice Narratives in the Shadow of Covid 19”

(Gabriel Ertsgaard, PJSA):

Narrative is a topic with many faces. It can describe everything from personal testimony to fictional story arcs. This panel will explore a range of intersections between the COVID-19 pandemic and narrative theory and practice, including the following: (1) anti-Asian narratives and anti-bias counter narratives deployed during COVID-19, (2) the impact of online teaching on narrative peacebuilding pedagogy, (3) original poetry composed during the pandemic, with authorial commentary, and (4) the themes of healing and inequity in the fairy tale “Godfather Death,” with connections to American health inequities during COVID-19.

Panel – Addressing Trauma

“Trauma-informed Response to Community Legacies of Violence: Refocusing Peace Work on Trauma and Emotions to Level Health Disparities”, (Jeremy Rinker, University of North Carolina Greensboro):

Attempts to disempower peace work, on either instrumentalist or normative grounds, is often couched in a lack of understanding about the impacts and historic legacies of collective traumatic and violent events. For too long conflict resolution has been plagued by rationalist assumptions that the emotional resonance of trauma only gets in the way of establishing lasting peace after instances of violence. Steeped in interest-based negotiation, traditional mediation practice, and rational choice conflict frameworks, the field of peace and conflict studies is often portrayed as a set of skills and practices that can be mastered with a requisite level of training and ‘practice.’ This paper critically explores trauma as an under explored resource in addressing local community violence. More than therapeutic, such emotional sharing of the past is critical to “reweave the social fabric of relationships torn apart by decades and generations of hatred” (Lederach, 2005, 42).

“Transforming Trauma: Exploring an Exemplarist Moral Theory”, Paul Jefferies, Ripon College):

Trauma is a ubiquitous human phenomenon occurring at many levels, such as interpersonal, local communities, regional or national, and international.  How people cope with such conflicts can vary as much as the traumas themselves. Some people deal with these traumatic situations in truly remarkable ways. Their abilities to transform these challenges make them noteworthy moral exemplars who can teach us much about what it means to be moral and to live good lives. This paper will explore what philosopher Linda Zagzebski calls an “exemplarist moral theory.”  She suggests that we can ground a sufficiently robust moral theory on our admiration of heroes, saints, and sages, many of whom have overcome traumatic experiences. 

“Compassion Cafe: Trauma-Informed Empathic Approaches to Teaching”, (Sarah Madoka Currie, University of Waterloo):

Real-world activism in the classroom for teachers in higher education, methods I’ve tried in my own class that increase resiliency and are centered for psychotic survivors, instead of treating them as a one-off failed case. Teaching strategies that purposely INCLUDE students with psychosocial dis/ability, rather than teaching “in spite of ” those personas in the classroom.

“Compassionate Courage in Identity-Based Conflicts”, (Pushpa Iyer, Middlebury Institute of International Studies):

It is common practice today to call-out someone because they said or acted in ways that offend, discriminate, and (violently) harm members of an identity group. While some public figures must be held to the highest level of accountability, many of the “ordinary” individuals (justly or unjustly) accused of being discriminatory cannot bounce back from public humiliation, defamation, and pain. Those who accuse others of being prejudiced and those who have been publicly called-out, experience injury. Injured human beings, apart from suffering trauma, end up as polarizing figures. This is because the community around them is forced to take sides or turn completely neutral. Taking sides leads to deep divisions in the community, while being neutral deprives all sides in the conflict of receiving justice. It is indeed a paradox, but what if a third approach helped bridge the extreme responses of taking sides or being neutral? The Compassionate Courage approach is a conflict prevention and intervention approach that emphasizes the need for both Courage and Compassion when working to resolve identity-based conflicts. In this paper, I present the approach and suggest ways in which a community can be trained to be compassionate and courageous simultaneously. 

Workshop  – “Refugee for 50 minutes”

(Khalil Dokhanchi, University of Wisconsin – Superior):

Refugee for 50 Minutes: From Syria to Germany traces the refugee journey that many refugees experienced in 2015.  This workshop is designed to teach our community members why refugees flee, what happens to them when they flee, and what kinds of protections they can expect.  In the process of the journey, participants will learn about the legal definition of refugee, displaced persons, stateless people, and migrants.  

Workshop – “Engaging citizens to build equity and inclusion in majority white suburbs”

(Ann Heidkamp, Tosa Together):

In this 90-minute interactive workshop, participants will gain knowledge and skills for organizing in white majority suburbs for systemic change towards equity and inclusion in segregated metropolitan areas. The workshop will begin with a presentation of research on several such efforts in the Milwaukee Metro area by UW-M faculty in the Peacebuilding program. Three of these local projects, Tosa Together, Shorewood Moving Forward, and Bridge the Divide will then provide brief overviews of their organizing approaches, priorities, and accomplishments.  Using these organizations as case studies, participants will then work in small groups to identify and analyze the variety of engagement strategies used and discuss their applicability to communities that they are familiar with. The workshop will conclude with sharing of insights from the groups and determination of general principles to guide citizen based equity and inclusion efforts in white majority suburbs.  

Workshop – “Creating Space to Converse World Cafe Dialogues as Student-Led Pedagogy” 

(Amy Finnegan, University of St. Thomas):

This will be an interactive student-led workshop on the World Café dialogue method. Students will share their experience leading dialogue for 100 student participants on the theme of policing in the Twin Cities in the midst of ongoing police violence against protestors, the murder of Daunte Wright, and the high-profile Chauvin trial. Students will offer insights gleaned from their collective project and will involve PJSA participants in a pedagogical practice of student leadership and World Café dialogue.

Panel – Public Narratives and storytelling

“Survivor-Witness Narratives: Transgenerational Remedies to Historical Injustices”, (Roy Tamashiro, Webster University):

Can survivor-witness narratives at historic sites of profound suffering bring remediation to persistent historical injustices? This paper explores the social healing effects of oral history accounts told by survivor-witnesses at memorial museums such as (1) The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN; (2) International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, Switzerland; and (3) The Sơn Mỹ Memorial Museum, the site of the 1968 Mỹ Lai Massacre in Vietnam. The oral histories draw attention to transnational and existential values, inspire solidarity and communitas with all who suffered, highlighting the quest for dignity and humanness for both the individual and the collective. 

“Black is Beautiful and Traumatizing: Stories of Everyday Trauma in Toni Morrison”, (Michelle Collins-Sibley, University of Mount Union):

Trauma is often conceptualized as a one-time event, a physical wounding, with long term effects; to speak of “everyday trauma” evokes a paradox not unlike Lena Waithe’s comment that “being black is beautiful” and “also traumatizing.” This paper explores intersections of alienation/double consciousness, colorism and gender in Toni Morrison’s fiction, specifically her final novel God Help the Child in which she renders visible the impact of everyday trauma in the body of her protagonist, Bride, whose own mother rejects her emotionally because she “was so black she scared” her. Bride’s physical regression from woman- to childhood marks the stages of her journey to de-alienation and a model for reconciliation.  

“The Right to Health: Representations in Peace Museums”, (Joyce Apsel, New York University):

Human rights and wrongs and their representations are interconnected. This paper begins with the framework of peace museums as a small number of museums and sites globally whose content and activities include histories and cultures of peace and social justice themes. Since the right to health is part of the broader human rights norms that evolved in the post-1945 era, this paper examines a series of health related exhibit themes in peace museums and sites worldwide. The themes represented include access to clean water and food;  violence (in times of war and peace) and its impact on people’s health and bodily integrity; and ongoing hazards in the environment such as the use of nuclear energy. Finally, this paper will look at how peace museums reflect the politics of peace, potential centers for education and lobbying; and sometimes serve as sites of resistance to the ongoing denial/absence of history and access to the right to health worldwide.

“Being moved by art: exploring the influence of art on interfaith empathy in Indonesia”, (Melanie Nyhof, Carthage College):

Religious conflicts tend to be particularly intractable, but for those living in pluralistic societies, such as Indonesia, finding ways to promote peaceful coexistence is essential. Can the creation and sharing of art help promote both psychological well-being and understanding in a setting of interfaith conflict? In this paper, we will present a review of the psychological literature on art and empathy and a proposed research project that will examine the effectiveness of an art intervention program in Salatiga, Indonesia, in increasing both well-being and empathy for others among adult participants with different religious affiliations. 

Panel – Militarization & Extremism in Society  

“Murder and the Military, How Society is Distorted in an Age of Empire”, (Robert Reuschlein):

I will start with my chart of leading economies showing how military spending varies almost exactly with murder rates in the G7 countries.  I will then offer two main explanations, one economic and one cultural with evidence.  Then I will use my pie chart model to walk you through the logical dynamics shaping an empire stagnant society versus a fast growing society. Then I will broaden the picture to include a comparison of the income inequality theory in the book “Spirit Level” with my theory of empire to explain murder and other health and social statistics among the industrialized nations.  Using the factors of the Spirit Level index, I show that my correlations are much stronger, especially for homicides and prisoners, bringing the argument full cycle.

“Mobilizing America and the “Asymmetry of Threat Perception”, (William French, Loyola University of Chicago):

A central emphasis in ecological ethics is the “prudence principle” which holds that when the stakes are high and we should prepare for the worst case scenario. The prudence principle guides action in a context of uncertain levels of future threat.  The prudence principle is invoked also regarding military threats. When it comes to military spending it is entrenched in American society that we prepare for the worst case scenario. This drives our over-spending on the military. But when climate change is discussed major sectors of American society breezily dismiss rising ecological threats out of hand. Bill McKibben is right to hold that carbon and methane are among the top threats we face today. We need to mobilize for climate security.  I will examine briefly the history of US post-WWII tax policies to suggest how to pay for the Green New Deal.

“Disrupting an Apocalyptic Narrative: Cautions and opportunities”, (Joel David Elliot, Brandeis University):

In this paper I argue that it is possible for state actors to stage interventions that strategically disrupt an apocalyptic narrative of a violent apocalyptic cult in order to decrease its legitimacy, therefore degrading its ability to retain and recruit followers. I use case studies of three types of apocalyptic cults to analyze historical ramifications of state actors disrupting their apocalyptic narratives. Branch Davidians, Islamic State, and Qanon are all apocalyptic cults that fall along the lines of a spectrum that illustrates how closely their eschatology is tied to a sacred text. I argue that the more literalist an approach a group takes when engaging with its sacred text, the more rigidly it holds to specifics of its apocalyptic narrative, potentially creating vulnerabilities that state actors can exploit in disrupting the narrative. I also consider whether a cult views End Times prophecy as being predictive or prescriptive – in other words, do they wait to see prophecy fulfilled, or do they take it as a mandate to fulfill it themselves? All of these factors help determine how vulnerable a violent cult will be to state disruption of its apocalyptic narrative. However, outside actors must tread cautiously when attempting such an action, and must rely upon religious experts to tailor the intervention, as risk runs high that the intervention will only escalate or precipitate more violence. 

“Cracked World: All the cracks into which things fall”, (Suzanne Holt, Kent State University):

The world wherein I was raised was hierarchical–through and through. We all got that memo: Don’t question. Don’t comment. Human order has been much shaken–its tidy schemes of tops bottoms middles, its oft-torturous sense of self and other–thoroughly cracked: necessarily cracked. Exposed are rawest facts papered over, buried evidence how bests were won: the specifics from which such words are born as bigotry, disparity, misogyny. Words themselves are suspect: eerily reckless–the banality of evil–and presumptuous, naming people in the fashion of things, stifling cries, masking hunger for mercy, reckoning and change. My proposed session aims to tour the cracks: dive into energies of causes vs counter-causes, warring agendas, the real riggings, modi operandi. In short, I propose to search the crevices within our easy narratives of progress–bettering the world–and conservatism–keeping the world from going awry. To disturb our memes and slogans. Maria Schneider’s Grammy-winner Data Lords juxtaposes two worlds we invariably navigate at the same time: a natural world of bodies in contexts where illness, poverty, war and violation/violence take toll on a data-driven world of motive, imagination and competition for position, advantage and primacy. The struggle for wellness may well require a search and rescue for all that’s gone missing — hidden, hiding in the liminal spaces our words don’t go, in the crevices unheralded in the buzz du jour.

Poster Session

“Advocating for Children and Young Adults with Mental Illness: A peaceful social justice approach”, (Cathy Bullock-McCalley, Iowa State University and Cardinal Stritch University):

The purpose of this poster presentation is to raise awareness in the audience of the systemic discrimination experienced by children and young adults with severe mental illness, and the trauma that discrimination inflicts. A brief history of this discrimination to the present day will be described, as well as some of the struggles experienced by families of children and young adults with severe mental illness as their child transitions from high school to young adulthood. Suggestions for peaceful, collaborative problem-solving strategies will be included.

“Social Media and Russia’s Regional Civil Society”, (Alexandra Kuznetsova, Kazan National Research Technological University):

It is often assumed that civil society in Russia, plays marginal role in political transformation and governance. Significant limitations to civil society organizations (CSOs) in Russia’s regions also come from the apathy of the population. In addition to the new legislation that puts more limitations on CSOs’ registration and funding sources, the government continues to control Russian-based social media outlets. In March 2021, Twitter users in Russia also experienced difficulties downloading Twitter content. According to the authorities, the slowdown was a reaction to Twitter’s violation of the Russian legislation. In Russia’s regions, civil society activists have been actively using social media for public support and resource mobilization. This paper will explore how civil society activists in Tatarstan (Russia) use social media to mobilize public support, how the severe control of social media impacts civic activism, and what divisions within the civil society sector social media has created.

“The Controversial Dark Tourism that is Developing from Commemoration of the Troubles in Northern Ireland”, Ashley Reuter, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point):

In this research project, I consider the impact that dark tourism has on Troubles’ commemoration. I articulate that, while controversial, dark tourism is a vital instrument in commemorating the Troubles. I utilize dark tourism as a theoretical framework to analyze how those who experienced the Troubles feel about the commemoration of these events in areas they interact with every day. More specifically, I argue that commemoration of the Troubles by keeping and taking care of the peace walls and the murals naturally advocates for the improvement of dark tourism. Improving the dark tourism of Northern Ireland could be a quintessential tool in supporting the commemoration of this time in Northern Ireland’s history.

“Racism’s Impact on Child Health: Exemplar Childhood Obesity”, (Julia Snethen, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Racism negatively impacts children’s health. The social determinants of health clearly establish that racism affects the health and well-being of children within communities of color. Racism is a public health crisis, as is childhood obesity, and the prevalence is disproportionately distributed among Black, Indigenous, Latino, and all people of color in the United States.  Both racism and obesity have long been seen as a personal ‘failing’ on the part of individuals. Notions of a biological basis for race have been discredited, yet with both racism and childhood obesity, the social stigmatization continues. The social constructs of race, racism and stigmatization have real world consequences. The purpose of this session is to explore and discuss how systemic racism may contribute to social determinants of health that exacerbate inequity and disparity as exemplified in childhood obesity. 

“The Unintended Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on Early Childhood Health”, (Carly La Berge, University of Victoria):

Never before the COVID-19 pandemic have families been impacted so suddenly and so broadly, which poses a monumental time for policy and early childhood vulnerability. A systematic review was conducted on all the available research in Canada on the unintended impacts of the COVID-19 response on early childhood health (ages 0-6) and existing inequities were illuminated and discovered to disproportionately impact families living in rural areas, Indigenous families, low-income families and children and youth with support needs. Using these findings, recommendations for strategic policy development were created to promote health equity among these groups after the pandemic. 

“Growing a healthy future: Gardening during pregnancy to cultivate peace”, (Gretchen Feldpausch, Iowa State University):

During pregnancy, poor dietary patterns have been associated with negative health outcomes for mom and baby. Gardening is an effective tool for increasing vegetable intake with the potential for long-lasting positive impacts on mental and physical well-being. Additionally, growing food can improve access and equity for all populations. Peace, defined as right and just relationships with self, others, and the Earth, can be fostered through gardening by promoting autonomy, community-building, and a connection between land and people. The culmination of these positive outcomes supports the potential for gardening to build peaceful and sustainable communities, now, and into the future.

“Monumental Monologues – The ‘Lost Cause Narrative’ as embodied in Confederate Monuments”, (Katelin Princl, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Confederate monuments are enduring symbols of White supremacy and surrogates for an ideology celebratory of the disenfranchisement of Black Americans. Monuments have an instructive role; by looking at Confederate monuments, we acknowledge their presence and their oppressive narrative, whether we realize or consent to it. All generations of Americans have directly and indirectly been affected by their presence. The continuing national division on the status of these monuments in public spaces serves as a catalyst for further objection on who writes the overarching autobiography of the United States. This in-progress exploration follows the impact of the ‘Lost Cause Narrative’—past, present, and future, the mental models of the former Confederate States of America; and the contemporary undercurrent of its insistence through Confederate monuments established in public spaces throughout the United States.

Panel – Disability & Healthy Equity 

“Re-engineering Prosthetic Limbs to Achieve Social Equity for Persons Living with Disabilities”, (Obasesam Okoi, University of St. Thomas):

This study investigates options for lower cost manufacturing of prosthetic and orthotic devices without compromising quality and comfort for the patient. According to the Amputee Coalition, approximately 185,000 amputations occur each year in America, and amputees suffer from loss of mobility at varying degrees. While prosthetic limbs can be an effective technology for enhancing the self-worth of amputees, the options are limited for many disabled persons due to cost. How then can we re-engineer prosthetic limbs to achieve social equity for persons living with disabilities? This study attempts to establish the connection between engineering, social justice, and peace. 

“Building Back Better: Why Disability Communities are Vital to Health, Equity, and Rebuilding”, (Art Blaser, Chapman University):

 I will compare and contrast how different communities built back from COVID-19 or not in the United States and Mexico.

“Improving Health and Equity in those who live with disablement and infirmity”, (Sheryl Holt, University of Mount Union):

My session describes an area that I find inconsistently equitable and just in the USA. That area is systemic health care practices, a system based in insurance driven economic rules that disadvantage and minimize the infirm, putting life choices in hands of often uneducated gatekeepers, rationing their life supplies and opportunities for health, wealth, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, based on their proportionate ability, thus making them less than by design and definition. This impacts the field of PT and our service delivery. Pro Bono may address part of the issue but under the agreement to the system. The session will invite and share ways to rewrite these presumptions as well as challenge others to advocate for themselves and others who are made smaller and less healthy by their in-access and exclusion.

“Grey’s Anatomy: Unblurring health inequities”, (Christen Bass, University of North Carolina Greensboro):

COVID-19 unveiled the reality of the disparities among marginalized groups when receiving health services and the impact of health crises. This session will focus on policy changes within the health sector through diverse and inclusive training. The focus on diversity and equity within peace and conflict is necessary for facilitators and mediators to accurately understand the historical context of health-based violence and practice peacebuilding within health divisions. By addressing the weak points in peace, conflict, and health professions due to a lack of diversity and inclusion, more drivers of opportunity can surface for PCS practitioners to create improve the health condition for marginalized groups.

Panel – Covid and Public Health 

“Public Health, Critical Theory, and Democratic Futures:  Exploring “Participatory Paternalism,” its Justification, and Potential Contributions”, (Matthew Sargent, Madison College):

Pandemic responses have highlighted the fragility of public health advocacy and application, suggesting a need to reexamine the relational framework of public health logic within an assumed democracy.  It is the argument of this work that incorporating a Frankfurt School Critical Theory analysis would strengthen public health institutions and applications, assisting in a “participatory paternalism” development where an inclusive and equitable totality of health is inherently supported.  Contributions from each generation of the Frankfurt School lineage will provide tools to assist in building a participatory model.  In doing so, a more critical understanding of public health will be outlined along with the proposal for a constitutional view of health.  The combination of both, I argue, may contribute to a more successful democracy.

“Peace, Pandemic, and Conflict”, (Noah Tayler, University of Innsbruck Austria):

In this session, I explore the complex relationships between pandemics, peace, and conflict. I begin by assessing the degrees to which a pandemic is an existential risk factor and the dynamics by which it poses threats to humanity. I then assess the ways in which conflicts contribute to the prevalence of pandemic diseases, which has been the primary thrust of previous research in PCS. Building on the literature that addresses this question I then consider the inverse set of relationships; how do pandemics influence peace and conflict? This articulation of the question has been much less explored in the field of PCS. Building from this observation I follow the current research on the COVID-19 pandemic from the initial fears of how the pandemic may result in an increase in conflict worldwide, to the brief hope that there may be a pax pandemica, to what current research says about this question. I examine the impacts of the pandemic on current peace processes, the effects of the pandemic on the Global Peace Index, how the pandemic has surfaced deep tensions related to cultural and structural violence, and the ways in which methods of cooperation have been affected by the pandemic. I then discuss peacebuilding opportunities that exist through responses to pandemics. I assess methods of cooperation within the framework of “global health” and “medical diplomacy”. Through reflecting on the cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union on polio eradication during the cold war and other examples of health cooperation during times of conflict from the Mekong Basin, Middle East, and East Africa I distill lessons learned on ways in which working for peace and working to end a pandemic can dovetail.

“Globalization, Liberalism, and Decentralization: How the World is Effectively Going Against the Pandemic and the Way Forward”, (Christelle Barakat, University of North Carolina Greensboro):

Ever since its propagation, COVID-19 has put a strain on national healthcare systems. Quickly becoming a global pandemic, it has re-emphasized to world leaders the need for cooperation. By examining different country case studies and delving into the concepts of elimination, mitigation, and suppression tied to infectious diseases, I hope to showcase strategies that have worked in combating COVID-19. Then, I will pinpoint the increased need for practical implementation of the liberal concepts of cooperation, globalization, and decentralization to mark the way forward. It is only through global cooperation that the pandemic can be eradicated and that vaccination for all and good health and well-being can become a reality. Leaving no one behind requires, more than ever, transformational diplomacy.

“Post-Pandemic Problems & Solutions”, (Gracyn Sage, University of Mount Union):

As a nursing student, it is important to wonder what a post-pandemic future contains. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an extensive amount of health inequities that are present in the United States. It is clear that there are specific groups affected in different ways than others, specifically in regard to race. I plan to delve into the many ways that people may be at a disadvantage with their healthcare. I will explore concrete ways in which nurses can be advocates for patients, not just care-providers. In order to do this, I will conduct interviews with nurses, research health inequities because of COVID-19, and propose a solution for the future of health care. 

Panel – Refugee & Immigration Health 

“Refugee Well-being in times of Pandemic: A Comparative Ethnography of the Effects of COVID-19 in the Rohingya Refugees Resettling in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Fort Wayne”, (Helal Mohammed, University of Notre Dame):

The effects of a pandemic on marginalized social groups are often unclear, which prevents their appropriate policymaking. About five thousand Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are currently resettling in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Fort Wayne, whose precarious conditions create even worse effects on their well-being – given that they are a minority compared to other minority populations in those cities, and very new as a diaspora, with most members having arrived in the US after 2007. As part of my Ph.D. project, which studies refugee well-being in the Midwest, I will be asking participants from each city regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic might have shaped their resettlement experiences at home, workplaces, and social spheres and bring the data into comparison.

“High Needs School Leadership and Learning: A Case Study of Best Practices in Meeting the Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs of Recent Refugee Children in a Norwegian Elementary School”, (Mette Baran, Cardinal Stritch University):

Throughout the past decade, schools in Nordic countries have been reported to have educational systems superior to those in the United States. Success factors including teacher training, structure, and culture have been studied. Some educators in the US believe the success of these schools points to an attenuated emphasis on standardized testing. Additionally, some US educators are critical of the comparisons, speculating that lack of student diversity may influence their success. However, migration from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq are seeking refuge in Europe and Scandinavia has increased diversity. Furthermore, these refugee families and their children have experienced unimaginable circumstances in their homelands and carry with them emotional distress due to trauma. Additionally, refugees arrive in their new home countries with limited knowledge of local language, customs, and culture. Thus, the influx of high needs refugee children into Nordic schools has generated new challenges for school leaders. 

“Promoting Health Equity among Older Adult Immigrants in the United States”, (Maren Hawkins, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

Healthcare providers need to be able to work with immigrants and refugees, especially aging immigrants and refugees. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are over 7.3 million older adult immigrants in the US, and this number is growing. However, in examining 20 years of literature on the health of older adult immigrants in the US, the guidance for healthcare providers is both broad and vague. Hence, in this presentation I seek to explain the parallels between guidance presented in the literature and Hayek’s knowledge problem, and then provide recommendations for healthcare providers serving immigrants and refugees grounded in a Cultural Safety approach. 

“Peacebuilding through health and equity and spatial transformation in North Carolina”, (Zulfiya Tursunova, Guilford College):

This presentation examines the role of non-profit organizations in addressing health disparities among immigrants, refugees, and undocumented residents in North Carolina. Non-profit organizations and health clinics have created programs, practices, and spaces that create a sense of belonging, community health, and peacebuilding. By offering various services to vulnerable populations ranging from sanctuary spaces, community advocacy for the driver’s license for undocumented people to food, diapers, and health care, they have also formed creative spatial transformations and solutions that address systemic racism in promoting community health. 

Workshop – “Peacemaking Careers” 

(Chris Jeske, Marquette University):

Explore the Making a Living, Making a Difference career guidebook to learn about discernment, peacemaking careers, the job search, financial confidence, and work-life balance. This session is relevant for college students interested in peace and justice related jobs as well as for faculty, staff, and mentors who assist students in discovering ways to pursue careers that promote peace and justice.   

Panel – Reimagining Health  

“Highlighting Health Inequities to Reimagine and Reframe Global Health Challenges”, (Alex Otieno, Arcadia University):

This paper argues that, reframing global health challenges by focusing on inequity has the potential to advance global public health by allowing us to reimagine the policy discourse on global health with a focus on politics of values and interests. It uses two specific approaches to global health policy which highlight potential alternative futures rather than focusing on presently existing health problems. It emphasizes collaborative solutions alongside socio-economic determinants of health, while recognizing the need for simultaneously advocating multifaceted justice and human rights-based frames, as seen in access to HIV/AIDS treatment and COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Introduction to social determinants of health”, (Beth Canfield-Simbro, University of Mount Union):

Social determinants of health have been long-recognized by public health professionals as issues critical to the health of communities and individuals. Events of the past two years have more people talking about social determinants of health (SDOH) and their impact on health and quality of life. This session will describe the impact of 5 SDOH, housing, healthcare, education, economic stability, and social/community context, and action steps that are being taken to enhance SDOH across the country.

“Setting New Priorities: Reimagining the US healthcare system”, (Eliza Livingston, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

The current health system in the United States has opportunities for new connections between health and community services. Understanding the relationship between care delivery and local communities in contrast to the profit-driven medical industrial complex can highlight potential system change. We look into the current state of US healthcare delivery and prioritization and how current policies can leverage change. The system of acute treatment and preventative care in medical communities and where the burden is placed on individuals to care for themselves. Our project examines the dynamics of the healthcare sector and how the relationships between patient and provider need to change. We discuss the potential to move towards a holistic health model that values individual care, community wellbeing and sustainable methods of supporting healthcare.

“QAnon is not crazy nor are its adherents: Suppose there IS a conspiracy”, (Gordon Fellman, Brandeis University):

Readers of conspiracy theories like QAnon tend to dismiss them as bizarre, evidence-free hallucinations best met with ridicule. That’s because the theory is taken as a story to be encountered and easily dismissed. But conspiracies are not just stories. I think their critics are not aware that adherence to a conspiracy does not begin with narratives but with feelings. To call QAnon absurd is to ignore the feelings that undergird it and give it plausible meaning.

Virtual Hybrid Panel – “Analyzing the Peace Corps, Power Dynamics, Cultural Imperialism and Impacts”

(Jessica Mendez, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

More than a year and half after being evacuated from Mongolia, 3 Peace Corps Volunteers have come together to reflect on their service and the impact of the Peace Corps around the globe. Both parts research and personal reflection, this session aims to be a panel followed by an open Q&A. Discussing the Peace Corps is important as both Americans and citizens of the globe are impacted by the Peace Corps – either through taxes, volunteerism, or the impact in countries of service.  Are the benefits of the Peace Corps worth the consequences? Who truly benefits?

Panel – “Use and Abuse of Anger in Social Change” 

(Amanda Smith Byron, Portland State University):

The panelists will each explore the political use of anger as a mobilizing force toward change. Shayla Betts’s contribution, entitled “When pain turns to anger,” builds off her dissertation research which examines racial experiences and anti-racist programming as a potential pathway toward racial justice and equity. Amanda Smith Byron will focus on the essential role anger plays in inspiring voice and agency, motivating activism toward change, and Joy Meeker will share feminist insights into both the liberating and problematic aspects anger as a force for change.

Panel – “Intersectionality & Military Draft” 

(Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald, Dartmouth College):

“Selective Service” registration has long been a hot-button issue in the U.S. From the draft resistance and antiwar movements of the 1970s to the modern question of whether U.S. military draft registration should be abolished, made to include women in addition to men, or kept as a male-only requirement, it is clear that the issue of military draft registration persists in political discourse. The nation is now grappling with legislative division and considers legal cases such as National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service, which could change the course of draft registration in the U.S. In this panel, speakers will discuss U.S. military draft registration, the historical role of the draft, and paths forward in policy and public awareness from intersectional perspectives. With a foundation in the idea that issues of peace and security should involve holistic advocacy informed by analyses of the ways that gender, class, race, age and other factors intersect, speakers will engage in dialogue about how the expansion of draft registration could affect marginalized people domestically and abroad

Panel – Racial Justice  

“Social Justice, Modern Technology and Global Protest: Understanding the size of the George Floyd demonstrations”, Jessica Hitch, Fusion Academy Dallas):

Worldwide protests seeking social justice erupted after George Floyd’s brutal death under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.⁠1  These protests, which occurred in all 50 states and at least 40 countries,⁠2 called attention to racism and police brutality in the United States and included calls to defund the police and to remove Confederate monuments and other racially insensitive logos and icons throughout the nation. This paper explores: How did the George Floyd protests compare in size to others in United States history?  Modern technology, including social media, smartphones, and internet streaming, aided organizers and helped demonstrations become global.  This paper will use news reports, as well as data on Woke.net livestreams, to attempt to quantify the size of the George Floyd protests and compare them to other major protests in U.S. history.  This essay will also explore how modern technology, including surveillance and the internet, has impacted protest organizing.

“Listening to love: Understanding the good religious perspective offer in the pursuit for racial justice”, (Kailey Corder, University of St. Thomas):

In the heart of the Twins Cities, a search for religious leaders grounded in racial justice work within various traditions proved the profound importance of listening to love. Explore what 7 Minnesota leaders had to say when it comes to the intersection of religion, race, and where we go next.

“Background checks in student admission and community placement: Public protection or performance piece?”, (Christopher Peters, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

The disparate impact of law enforcement in communities of color may make the background check a greater deterrent to underrepresented students. Some professions, such as nursing, struggle to recruit and retain these students to improve the diversity of the workforce. The background check is thought to protect the public from individuals who would pose a risk if allowed to enter practice. This session will examine how background checks are used in the admission and placement process and question how it may perpetuate the status quo.

“Artificial intelligence and bias: Emerging issues for lie detection, predictive policing, and university cheating detection initiatives”, (Jo Ann Oravec, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater):

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have been examined for potential racial and gender-related biases in an assortment of policing, security, educational, and military venues.  This presentation reviews these issues, then focuses on bias concerns about specific AI-enhanced lie detection, cheating detection, predictive policing, and related cognitive engineering initiatives.  The scientific justification for the use of lie detection technologies for the past century has been spotty; however, technological support for lie detection has been a standard part of control methods in many settings. The uses of AI technologies in detection of cheating in university contexts (such as facial recognition) have brought these issues into immediate focus for students, who often encounter “guilty-before-proven innocent” approaches in everyday testing contexts.

Panel – Restorative Justice 

“Creating spaces for formerly incarcerated voices: Advancing peace through community-based restorative justice”, (Allely Albert, Queen’s University Belfast):

Restorative justice has become a buzzword in the current calls for police reform and community empowerment. This research suggests that community-based restorative practices that incorporate formerly incarcerated individuals as practitioners and leaders offer innovative solutions for society—familiarizing people with nonviolent means of justice, transforming intra-group attitudes, and building bridges between local communities and state agencies. Using examples of models in Northern Ireland in particular, this presentation highlights how including former prisoners within restorative institutions can broaden social justice and contribute to healthier, more equitable communities. It is argued that the US should expand such systems to reduce police violence, heal divisions, and improve societal peacebuilding.

“Health Keeps Us Safe”, (Amy Finnegan, University of St. Thomas):

This project seeks to integrate the practice and scholarship of health equity, the social and structural determination of health, and the principles of abolition. It reimagines public safety and explores how healthy living, wellness, and access to healthcare are instrumental in new visions of community safety that do not include carceral institutions such as prison or police. Based on primary research conducted by an undergraduate in the Twin Cities, the project seeks to provide illustrations of how health is a critical dimension of what enables community members to feel safe, cared for, and connected to one another. The project intersects public health and social medicine with the esteemed work of abolitionists such as Angela Davis and Mariame Kaba.

“Barron County restorative justice programs: Saving lives and restoring communities”, (Mary Hoeft, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire):

Twenty-two years ago, Barron County Circuit Court Judge Ed Brunner sought a viable alternative to the incarceration of nonviolent offenders.  That alternative was Victim Offender Conferencing.  Barron County Restorative Justice Programs include 10 programs that restore lives, empower victims, and make our community safer.  Juvenile arrests have plummeted.  Drunk driving deaths in Barron County are the lowest in the state. This interactive workshop (or panel) will help listeners learn how to set up each of our restorative programs.

“Liberatory Land Use and Restorative Justice”, (Marcia Rosalie Hale, University of North Carolina Greensboro):

The land is central to our health and vitality, providing food and nourishment, as well as place and home. For many, identity and land are inseparable. Yet land has also been used as a weapon of war and oppression, as it is stolen, ravaged, and misused. This presentation explores case studies in which human relationship with the land is serving both liberatory purposes and restorative justice. Specific policies and practices will be examined that facilitate individual and community health.

Virtual Hybrid Panel – “Museums for Peace: In search of history, memory, and change”

(Roy Tamashiro, Webster University):

Authors and editors preview highlights of their new book, MUSEUMS FOR PEACE: IN SEARCH OF HISTORY, MEMORY, AND CHANGE (March 2022). Some questions addressed in this volume are fundamental, like “what are museums for peace?” Others are analytical: “What messages are the museums promoting and teaching? What other messages they are rejecting and opposing, suppressing and censoring? Why do some museums reinforce hegemonic narratives, while others resist authoritarian tropes to reveal silenced peace histories? Can museums for peace be unified with a common mission statement, such as the aim to face unreconciled historical pasts by centering excluded and silenced voices?

Creative Art Presentation– “Liberation Lines: Poetry in Practice” 

(Jamilia Kamara):

Liberation Lines is an artistic mindfulness and wellness exercise that creates space for participants to acknowledge their current lived experience as well as express their hopes, dreams, intentions, actions and or aspirations for a better world. The ultimate goal is the creation of a short poem.

Panel – Economics of Health 

“Learning to share wealth and health in Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains”, (Lena Khor, Lawrence University):

In Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, an account of Paul Farmer’s efforts to improve healthcare for the poor in Haiti, Farmer introduces a Haitian proverb, “Bondye konn bay, men li pa konn separe,” or “God gives but doesn’t share” (79). He explains, “God gives us humans everything we need to flourish, but he’s not the one who’s supposed to divvy up the loot. That charge was laid upon us” (79). Farmer’s story instructs us in the fine art of sharing—the difficult yet necessary task of sharing wealth (money, time, expertise) so as to share health locally and globally.  

“Prosperity without growth: Rethinking non-materialistic understandings of prosperity and well-being”, (Paul Jefferies, Ripon College):

Inspired by the work by Tim Jackson’s influential book, Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, this presentation will explore a wide-ranging literature about how one can define understandings of prosperity and human well-being in non-materialistic terms.  Given the ecological limits that many have argued must constrain future economic growth, especially in the developed world, we hope to further examine approaches that can decouple a sense of a good human life from the production and acquisition of material goods.  Part of this examination will diverse approaches to non-materialist well-being across the ages, such as stoicism, religious forms of simplicity and more environmentally based approaches to voluntary simple living that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century. 

“Role of income generation activities in sustaining peer support groups for HIV positive women in Kenya”, (Peninnah Kako, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

The purpose of our study was to gain an understanding of the role of group income generation activities in sustaining peer support groups for women living with HIV in rural Kenya. Design and Sample-Twenty women living with HIV were invited to participate in two focus groups and met monthly over a twelve-month period. Results-Women described peer support groups as; a platform for engaging income generation, starting table banking, addressing food security, finding financial and moral support; and problem-solving challenges of sustaining peer support group. Conclusion-Community-based peer support groups can be sustained by engaging women in common income generation activities.

“Vamos a la Milpa”: A project in Honduras addressing environment, health, community, and the roots of the migration crisis”, (Gail Presbey):

Started in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic by Honduran Jesuit Padre Melo with the support of SHARE El Salvador, the project “Vamos a la Milpa” addresses current crises in Honduras with a holistic perspective. The Honduras migrant crisis has to do with the unliveability in Honduras created by the 2009 and ongoing corrupt leadership, as well as a free market capitalist framework for development. In contrast, “Vamos a la Milpa” emphasizes community building and food self sufficiency through advocating small local farming. Its legal wing defends environmental and community activists who have been criminalized by the current Honduran government. Its political wing organizes to work in solidarity with U.S. citizens to influence Congress to change its foreign policy toward Honduras. Economically, it hopes to challenge World Bank and other investor decisions to promote environmentally dangerous development projects in Honduras. The presenter was part of a 2018 (and a 2021 summer) delegation to Honduras and will report based on recent experience of the situation.

Panel – “Autoethnographies of Health” 

(Wim Laven, PJSA):

This panel looks at the critical reflective of personal narratives within the larger context of cultural, ideological, philosophical, political, and social meanings and understandings. Panelists describe their experiences of health, equity, and peacebuilding as it has presented in their lived experiences and created struggles for peace and justice in the world. These challenges, conflicts, dilemmas, and paradoxes are answered in the lessons of our experiences. We have absorbed wisdom from our communities and families and we share these lessons—as we understand them—with the hope that we can better understand the conditions of health, equity, and peacebuilding. Our experiences and sources of knowledge are different, but we share similar goals and motivations, these narratives are important.

Panel – Race and Covid

“Theoretical Foundations of Health Equity”, (Caitlin Marsengill, the University of Iowa):

This session briefly introduces some key theories that help to explain health disparities. The key theories that will be focused on within this presentation are Life Course Theory, The Weathering Framework, Critical Race Theory, The Minority Stress Model, and Fundamental Cause Theory. These frameworks were selected as they are notably taught within introductory level courses on Health Equity and Social Justice. These theories provide a foundation for making sense of health disparities and what causes them. They have implications and applications across multiple dimensions of identity – including race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc. They can also be used to determine key variables and relationships between those variables serve to strengthen the basis of work such as research, community-based preventions and interventions, policy, within public health and related fields. Perhaps most importantly, it allows us to strategize what areas and factors to target in working towards achieving health equity.

“Xenophobic Imagery in Public Health Messaging in the Time of COVID”, (Esther E Crompton, Iowa State University):

This session seeks to raise awareness of the problematic depictions of Asians in Covid-19 public health campaigns. Beyond that, it explores the connections between such depictions and the long history of xenophobic and racist imagery of Asians as an unclean race while calling attention to the rise in hate crimes against Asians across the world.

“Covid 19 in Wisconsin: Response and Reactions”, (Maren Hawkins, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

For the past year, I have worked for the City of Milwaukee Health Department as a COVID-19 Case Manager. I have also conducted a research project on Wisconsinites reactions to COVID-19. I would be happy to sit on a panel (if others were also interested) about the COVID-19 response and community reactions. 

“This is what cultural humility looks like”, (Swasti Bhattacharyya, Harvard Divinity School):

What a difference four months can make! As we came into 2021, COVID-19 vaccines were in short supply, states were prioritizing who was eligible to receive the shots, and many were anxiously waiting for their turn. As we head into May of 2021, the issue has shifted to people being hesitant to get vaccinated. In a small, rural, incredibly diverse, midwestern town, members of a local community organization utilize Cultural Humility to build relationships in multiple racial and ethnic communities (Laotian, Micronesian, Latinx, and more), address questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 and the vaccine, and provide vaccinations for those who decide they wanted it. In this presentation, I 1) define Cultural Humility, 2) briefly tell the story of how a coalition of community groups worked together provide to information and vaccines in culturally sensitive ways, and 3) in an analysis of the narrative, I demonstrate that Cultural Humility provides a successful framework for creating healthy and inclusive communities. 

Panel – Gender Justice 

“Reproductive rights in Puerto Rico: Sterilization, contraception, and reproductive violence”, (M. Estrella Sotomayor, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee):

This session will feature the results of the research done by Dr. M. Estrella Sotomayor as part of her dissertation. The findings are contextualized within historical, political, and economic factors that facilitated the experimentation on Puerto Rican women in relation to reproduction, experimentation that can be understood as a form of violence. Face-to-face interviews with participants from different generations, revealed topics that had not been anticipated, including abortion and what medical professionals termed “obstetrical violence.” It thus includes the voices of women who were part of the generation of mass sterilizations and of those who belong to a younger generation. 

“Between a rock and a hard place: Centering gender justice within a neocolonial world”, (Sheherazade Jafari, George Mason University):

One of the biggest challenges human rights advocates and peacebuilding practitioners face when seeking to center a gender inclusive approach is what is seen as a clash of priorities or values between gender justice and deeply embedded religious and cultural norms and practices. On the one hand, research and practice demonstrate that a gender inclusive approach leads to more sustainable and transformative peacebuilding. On the other hand, in many contexts, gender justice is labeled as a colonizing tool, a Western secular imposition on local beliefs and practices. Especially for local activists and practitioners, this tension is frustrating in their work and even dangerous to their lives, becoming particularly exacerbated in conflict situations. This paper considers the challenges practitioners face, as well as the insights they offer on navigating the ongoing ethical dilemma of how to center gender justice while remaining sensitive to and respectful of local religious or cultural beliefs and practices that engage gender in differing ways.

“Restoring Agency: Supporting survivors of campus sexual assault through restorative justice Title IX programming”, (Lorren M Ruscetta):

The response to sexual violence by campuses across the USA is largely governed by federal statues and administrative guidance such as Title IX, the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Compliance with the variety of statutes and guidelines fosters a quasi-criminal justice approach, with minimal control and agency on behalf of those reporting sexual abuse. The current response to sexual violence on campus limits the healing process to engaging in a carceral justice system that is unsupportive and re-traumatizing. Through using restorative justice informed practices, this research examines following questions: What are the barriers to people reporting sexual harm on college campuses? What kind of programming could be created to provide the highest probability of survivors reporting sexual harm and receiving the supportive services they need in order to heal? The program plan seeks to meet the needs of survivors while continuing to remain compliant to governmental statutes through utilizing a restorative justice process using Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) and Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR). 

Panel – “Reclaimative post conflict justice: Democratizing justice in the World Tribunal On Iraq”

(Dale Snauwaert, University of Toledo):

The purpose of this panel presentation is to discuss a new approach to post-conflict justice through an exploration of the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI 2003-2005) articulated in Gerson and Snauwaert’s forthcoming book Reclaimative Post Conflict Justice:  Democratizing Justice in the World Tribunal On Iraq.  The WTI enacted a form of reclaimative justice, including processes of democratizing participation, processes, and conclusions. It is argued that the description and analysis of WTI’s reclaimative and democratizing justice tribunal offer an innovative advancement of the theory and practice of post-conflict justice as well as nonviolent direct action. This innovation reflects the significant dialogical turn in theorizing about justice.  

Workshop – “Our tomorrows and Covid 19: Mapping inequity and enhancing response” 

(Keil Eggers, George Mason University):

The Our Tomorrows project in Kansas has utilized SenseMaker technology to capture stories about times when families were thriving or just surviving on an ongoing basis to build a more equitable early childhood system. The stories are utilized by state officials in the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and early childhood system to support anticipatory innovation, decision-making, and inform rapid response to emerging needs for Kansas families. This interactive community sensemaking workshop will explore the patterns SenseMaker data collected at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrate how structural inequalities can be mapped through stories. The workshop will end with a call to action: “How can we use sensemaking to create more stories like the ones we want to see?”