2021 Conference Session Descriptions

Conference Program 

Friday, October 8, 2021

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.

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

  • Holly Nerone, Cardinal Stritch University
  • Patricia Becker, 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/Hybrid 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 Vinson, Cardinal Stritch University
  • Emily Marcou, Cardinal Stritch University

In Fall 2021, Cardinal Stritch University, a small liberal arts university in Milwaukee, began 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 and a student taking the course, our talk will share what we have learned so far about identifying these community-based experiences and supporting the students working with their community partners from both the student and instructor perspective. We 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
  • Scott Anderson, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Cassandra KW Hoelzl, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Laura Roberson, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Sofia Sandoval, 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
  • Amanda Waltz, 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. 

Virtual/Hybrid Roundtable – “Confronting the limits of liberal peacemaking” 

  • Anthony Dest, Lehman College
  • Matt Meyer, International Peace Research Association
  • Magdalene Moonsamy, Africa Peace Research and Education Association

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
  • Kailey Corder, University of St. Thomas
  • Vivian Ikeri, University of St. Thomas
  • Nancy Cervantes Sanchez, University of St. Thomas
  • Isabelle Spooner, University of St. Thomas
  • Olivia Wong, 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
  • Maren Hawkins, 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. 

Virtual/Hybrid Panel – “A Paradigm Shift in Collaboration to Prevent Eviction”

  • Amy Koltz, Mediate Milwaukee
  • Joanne Lipo Zovic, Mediate Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Raphael Ramos, Eviction Defense Project
  • Deb Heffner, Community Advocates
  • Heiner Giese, Apartment Association of Southeast Wisconsin
  • Tim Ballering, Apartment Association of Southeast Wisconsin

This panel presentation will share the serendipitous coalition seeded in 2018 to try and assess the resources in the community related to housing stability and eviction.  In 2018,  a very large group of stakeholders from around the County who have a connection to the rental housing sector gathered together and, with facilitation by the WI Policy Forum, the convenor working on behalf of Milwaukee’s Mayor, Tom Barrett,  and then-Housing Director, Irm Yepez Klassen (now with the Zilber Family Foundation).  Wisconsin Policy Forum then produced a report “No Place Like Home”  identifying areas of added need. Following this effort, a  small group of very active stakeholders (9 entities) decided to continue to work together with the goal of improving the system and making those newly identified needs a reality.   The relationships built during the past few years were crucial to the coalition’s  collective ability to help move millions of dollars in aid during the pandemic to our residents in Milwaukee and Waukesha County and to work to forestall evictions to the greatest degree possible while simultaneously working together to launch of the Rental Housing Resource Center, a “one-stop” resource for tenants and landlords in the rental housing sector. This group continues to work together to advance the primary goal of prevention and diversion of evictions, seeking ideas that can change the system in ways that serve the interests of all stakeholders and engage parties as early as possible to gather information and work collaboratively to achieve better outcomes for everyone.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Virtural/Hybrid 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. 

“Influences on Gandhi’s Concepts of Peace and Nonviolence, and Gandhi’s Influence on Later Practitioners of Nonviolence in the Gandhian Tradition”

  • Linda Groff, California State University

This presentation will have four parts: (1) General Definitions of Peace and Nonviolence; (2) Key Influences on Gandhi’s Concepts of Nonviolence, including: Leo Tolstoy—Russia; the Jain monk, Shrimad Rajchandra–India; the Bagavad Gita and other spiritual traditions; and John Ruskin—English economist; (3) Characteristics, and Stages, of Gandhi’s Nonviolence—based on Satyagraha (Truth Force) and Ahimsa (Harmlessness); and (4) Gandhi’s Influence on Nonviolence Practitioners in the Gandhian Tradition, including; Badshah Khan—India, then Pakistan; the Rev. Martin Luther King—USA, along with Rev. James Lawson and Repr. John Lewis—USA; Cesar Chavez—USA; Bishop Desmond Tutu—South Africa; along with a number of Buddhists and one Hindu, including: His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama—Tibet, then N. India; Thich Nhat Hanh—Vietnam and Plum Village, France (originator of socially-engaged Buddhism); Maha Ghosananda-Cambodia; Sulak Sivaraksa—Thailand; A.T. Ariyaratne—Sri Lanka; Swami Agnivesh—India; along with one example of a fall from grace, Aung San Suu Kyi—Myanmar (formerly Burma); and Final Conclusions.

“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.

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

  • Theodore Lentz, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Jane Hereth, 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/Hybrid Panel – “Peace and Justice Narratives in the Shadow of Covid 19”

  • Gabriel Ertsgaard, Peace and Justice Studies Association
  • Kirk Johnson, Drew University
  • Kyra Whitehead, Wenzhou-Kean University
  • Kadeem Gayle, Drew University

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

“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.

“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. 

“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
  • Aaron Schutz, Tosa Together
  • Erica Turner, Bridge the Divide
  • Lynne Woehrle, 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
  • Kailey Corder, University of St. Thomas
  • Vivian Ikeri, University of St. Thomas
  • Amelia Reed, University of St. Thomas
  • Nancy Cervantes Sanchez, University of St. Thomas
  • Isabelle Spooner, University of St. Thomas
  • Olivia Wong, 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.

Virtual/Hybrid 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
  • Izak Lattu, Satya Wacana Christian University
  • Shannon Gegare, 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  

“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.

“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.

“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. 

“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.

Panel – Engaging Racism and Peace

“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. 

“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.

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. 

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 Khan, 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
  • Parisa Shirazi, 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
  • Kate Schmidt, 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.

“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 – “Defining Success: The Development and Experience of a Holistic, Therapeutic, and Restorative Approach to a Behavioral Reassignment Program in Schools”

  • Willie Maryland, Marquette University
  • Drew deLutio, Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Emily Nolan, BLOOM
  • Valerie Becke, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

In 2019 the Marquette Center for Peacemaking (CfP) teamed up with Milwaukee Public Schools to re-envision how to address MPS students with behavioral concerns. With the CfP’s Peace Works peace education program at the core, the partners developed an nine-week program including yoga, art and music therapy, and mental health support from a variety of local providers. In this presentation, we bring together a range of those working on the effort to discuss the idea, development, implementation, and evaluation of this initiative to support positive cultures of peace in Milwaukee schools.

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

  • Amanda Smith Byron, Portland State University
  • Shayla Betts, Saybrook University
  • Joy Meeker, Saybrook University
    • NOTE: This panel will feature only online presenters. In-person attendees may participate but must supply their own laptop/phone.

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
  • Rosa del Duca, Truth in Recruitment speaker
  • Rivera Sun, CODEPINK
  • Edward Hasbrouck

“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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Virtural/Hybrid Panel – Racial and Gendered Justice  – Part 1

“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.

“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.

“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. 

“Confronting Deep Racism: Challenging White Theory Supremacy with Global Social Thought”,

  • Lester Kurtz, George Mason University

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 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 Mariame Kaba.

“Victim-Offender Mediation with Currently Incarcerated Individuals and Families”,
  • Michael Rust, Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center
As a full-time conflict resolution practitioner, Michael Rust has been involved with thousands of mediations in conflicts ranging from multi-million dollar business deals down to a $17 landscaping bill. But the most challenging and rewarding have been those working in restorative justice. Beginning in law school, Michael has had opportunities to work directly with victims, offenders, and their families to begin to address questions, begin to develop a path forward, and explore the consequences and ripple effects of the crimes perpetrated. Working to develop this understanding while the harms are still fresh presents unique challenges and the need for specialized processes that differ somewhat from traditional mediation.

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

  • Roy Tamashiro, Webster University
  • Joyce Apsel, New York University
  • Kimberly Baker, University of British Columbia
  • Shiho Maehara, Kyushu University
  • Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Peace Philosophy Centre
  • Kazuyo Yamane, Kyoto Museum for World Peace

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?

Panel – Economics of Health 

“Prosperity without growth: Rethinking non-materialistic understandings of prosperity and well-being”

  • Paul Jefferies and Anna Przybelski, 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, University of Detroit Mercy

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.

Workshop – Trauma Responsive Community Change

  • James “Dimitri” Topitzes, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Deborah Ann Davis, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Experiences of trauma, particularly interpersonal and historical types, can corrupt everyday life and undermine community peace. Trauma-informed and responsive practices are therefore becoming pillars of peacebuilding work. These practices help individuals, families, and communities address common drivers of unresolved conflict and recurrent violence. This pre-conference workshop will explore trauma frameworks that can inform community change work. Transformative practices such as mindfulness and community building, storytelling and story listening, and evidence- and trauma-informed policy advocacy will be explored. Workshop facilitators will animate the material with illustrative examples. Interactive exercises will also help to familiarize participants with trauma-responsive community change frameworks and strategies while robust discussion will enable all of us to learn from one another.

Panel – Covid, Public Health, and Responses

“Theoretical Foundations of Health Equity”

  • Cam 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.

“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. 

“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.

Virtual/Hybrid Panel – Racial and Gendered Justice  – Part 2

“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.

“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.

“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.

“Teaching Racial and Gendered Justice in a Living and Learning Community and First-Year Undergraduate Seminar”

  • Kevin A. Hinkley, Niagara University
  • Dave Reilly, Niagara University

The Justice House at Niagara University is a living and learning community centered on the pursuit of justice. The Justice House brings together the academic, residential, and social components of the college experience for a cohort of about thirty students. First-year students comprise a supermajority of the Justice House cohort; three to six upper-level students serve as “peer mentors,” and the balance of the cohort consists of transfer and international exchange students. Students in the Justice House cohort complete a yearlong first-year undergraduate seminar designed and co-taught by the Justice House’s faculty directors, in which peer mentors and upper-level students serve as facilitators. The Justice House course introduces students to racial and gendered justice through a combination of case studies and experiential and project-based learning. Preliminary feedback in the form of student reflections and survey responses indicates that the course materially advances students’ understanding of bias, discrimination, and oppression on the basis of race, gender, and other identities; historical and contemporary examples of movements pursuing racial and gendered justice; concepts of intersectionality and the interconnectedness of oppression; and essential tools for organizing and advocacy. Preliminary feedback also indicates that students in the Justice House program feel inspired and empowered to pursue transformative change on campus, in their communities, and in their lives after college.

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

  • Dale Snauwaert, University of Toledo
  • Janet Gerson, International Institute on Peace Education
  • Jeff Warnke, Walsh University

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
  • Ariana Nasrazadani, University of Kansas

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. The experience of scaling up the ‘human sensor network’ in Kansas has informed how this peace technology is being used at the Carter School Peace Engineering Lab and beyond. 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?” both in terms of pandemic response and improving conflict resolution in complex contexts.