One way to develop the skill-set to become an effective peacemaker is to learn from the successes and failures of others. Each year we host distinguished local and international peacemakers to share their rich knowledge and instructional stories about their work and experiences to benefit students, faculty, and the community.
Dr. Grant Silva
Approaching the Borders of Peace: The Militarization of National Borders and the Creation of Internal Divisions
Dr. Silva, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, shared his project titled Approaching the Borders of
Peace:The Militarization of National Borders and the Creation of Internal
Divisions. He travelled to the U.S.-Mexico border to research physical and psychological borders. The work combines his expertise in political philosophy and
Latin American philosophy.
Dr. Michalinos Zembylas
Teaching About/for Ambivalent Forgiveness in Troubled Societies
Dr. Michalinos Zembylas shared his reflection on a vignette of ethnographic research on forgiveness in a troubled society focusing on his home country of Cyprus. The vignette highlighted the complexity of forgiveness and provided a specific instance where traditional models of interpersonal forgiveness may fail or, at the very least, need to be expanded to account for the socio-political or inter-group dynamics. The presentation concluded with a discussion of the pedagogical implications of the notion of ambivalent forgiveness for troubled societies.
Dr. Michalinos Zembylas is a professor of education at the Open University of Cyprus. He is researching how politics influence social justice, peace, citizenship and intercultural education. He has written five books and has explored different topics relating to the role emotion in education.
This event was co-sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, College of Education and Office of International Education.
Finding Our Place In the Web of Life
New discoveries of the vastness of the universe have reshaped our sense of place and purpose as humans living on this one small planet in one of billions of galaxies. From the first "Flaring Forth," a monumental act of creation has been taking place through everything-including us.
At the same time as we make these discoveries, we are encountering ecological crises across our planet that are threatening the future of life, and they, too are becoming our teachers, revealing us to ourselves.
We will explore these dynamics and what they tell us about this moment of transition, the implications for the journey of faith and how we see the meaning and mission of the human at this point in time. All creation is one community where everything is connected to everything else. In our search together, we will explore the implications of that truth in our own lives and the witness of our communities.
Margaret Swedish was director of the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico in Washington D.C. (1981-2004), a national organization founded by Catholic religious leaders that addressed issues of human rights and U.S. military economic policy in the region. Since 2006, her work has been focused on the ecological crises now confronting humanity, offering presentations, workshops and retreats through her project. Her book, "Living Beyond the 'End of the World:' A Spirituality of Hope," published by Orbis Books (2008), addresses connections among the various environmental, economic and cultural trends that are leading towards ecological collapse.
The retreat was sponsored by Catholics for Peace and Justice and the Center for Peacemaking.
Scribe of Social Conscience: Steinbeck Plus Seventy-Five
Three-quarters of a century after the publication of "the great American novella" Of Mice and Men (1937) and the epic Depression-era protest novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), we'll take a fresh look at both of these masterpieces, along with three other books by John Steinbeck: East of Eden, Cannery Row and Travels with Charley: In Search of America. Author-actor-educator Paul McComas presents dramatic readings from all five classics, as well as providing analysis of the Salinas, California native's work, particularly Steinbeck's status as a master chronicler of-and avid advocate for-"the have-nots." Also included: a performance of Bruce Springsteen's stirring Wrath-inspired song "The Ghost of Tom Joad." With his unflagging insistence that each of us is, indeed must be, our brothers' and our sisters' keepers, Steinbeck 75 years later could hardly be more timely...or more necessary.
Milwaukee native Paul McComas is the author of four acclaimed books: two novels, Planet of the Dates and Unplugged, and two short-story collections, Unforgettable (a Silver Prize-winner at 2012's Midwest Book Awards) and Twenty Questions. Since 1988, he's taught writing, literature, and film, winning awards from National-Louis and Northwestern Universities. A recipient of the Mental Health Association's Distinguished Service Award, he serves on the National Leadership Council of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) as well as on its Speakers' Bureau. He and his wife Heather, a fellow fiction writer, live in Evanston, IL.
Forgiving the Unforgivable: "Fambul Tok" and Community Healing
Libby Hoffman co-founded Fambul Tok International (Krio for "Family Talk"). This organization emerged in Sierra Leone as a face-to-face community-owned program bringing together perpetrators and victims of the violence in Sierra Leone. It provides citizens with an opportunity to come to terms with that happened during the war, to talk, to heal, and to chart a new path forward. Hoffman will show the epilogue to the documentary "Fambul Tok" and discuss the role of reconciliation, forgiveness, nonviolence, and restorative justice in peacemaking.
Hoffman has been active in peace building for over 25 years in a variety of capacities - professors, trainer, facilitator, program director, consultant and funder. She has developed and led conflict resolution training programs in corporate, congregational, educational and community settings. She is President and Founder of Catalyst for Peace and a speaker atTedxDirigo.
Dr. Theresa Tobin
Rynne Fellowship Presentation
Dr. Theresa Tobin, Associate Professor of Philosophy, presented on her research as a Rynne Faculty Research Fellow.
Nonviolence in Afghanistan
October 6, 2012 marks the 11th anniversary of the American invasion of Afghanistan. The immense toll this conflict has taken of the American and Afghan people is apparent. There have been over 23,000 people killed in Afghanistan in the last ten years, of those more than 2,100 were American troops. The majority of the other victims of this conflict were Afghan civilians. Sadly, but not surprisingly - since violence begets violence - Afghan, American, and UN officials are predicting increased violence in the future.
Patrick Kennelly, associate director of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, provided a concise history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, an overview of peacemaking efforts in Afghanistan, and facilitated a discussion on what we can do to bring about an end to this war. Kennelly has traveled to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 to research how Afghans are using nonviolent solutions to resolve the conflict in their country.
Ethan Casey, M. Salahuddin Khan, and Rachel Williams
The Pakistan That I Know
Pakistan is often misunderstood in the media due to the complexity of USA-Pakistan relationship. Many times people have limited knowledge about Pakistan and Pakistanis in America leading to negative stereotyping. This event is an interactive panel discussion featuring three speakers who will share their experiences living and working in Pakistan. The panelists will focus on major social and development issues facing Pakistan as well as ideas on how to promote peace by connecting American and Pakistani communities.
The panelists were Ethan Casey, journalist and author of Alive and Well in Pakistan andOvertaken by Events, M. Salahuddin Khan, author of Sikander, entrepreneur and aeronautical engineer and Rachel Williams, Rotarian, who has received many awards for her work in Pakistan.
This event was co-sponsored by the Pakistan Physicians Society of Wisconsin and the Human Development Foundation.
Fambul Tok Film Screening and Talk Back
This year's Peacemaker in Residence is Sara Terry, filmmaker and former correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.
Sara hosted a screening and discussion of Fambul Tok, her award-winning documentary. In Fambul Tok, victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war come together for the first time since the conflict to commit an act that is as astonishing as it is simple: they forgive one another.
Reviving an ancient, traditional practice called fambul tok ("family talk"), the Sierra Leonean communities portrayed in Fambul Tok build sustainable peace at the grass-roots level, succeeding where international efforts have failed.
Dr. Alexandra Crampton
Rynne Research Presentation
Professor Alexandra Crampton will discussed promising and perplexing results from ongoing study of the Milwaukee County Family Court mediation program. Mediation was developed to help disputing parties peacefully reach resolution through the help of a neutral facilitator. Court based mediation programs are intended to put decision-making power back into the hands of parties, away from lawyers hired to fight and judges appointed to impose final decisions. However, critics have questioned whether any mediation program that is embedded within court systems can truly offer an improved means of reaching peace. The mediation program in this study focuses on resolving parental conflict over child custody and placement decisions.
Dr. Dawne Moon
Rynne Research Presentation
Professor Dawne Moon discussed her research on people's experiences of Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. Projects known as dialogue build on the common ground between members of historically adversarial groups to help overcome vicious cycles of retaliation. They do so, ideally, by helping people to relate, in Martin Buber's sense of the term, to those they perceive as Other, and thus to transform, through interaction, how they define themselves. However, efforts at peacemaking may be hindered when participants fail to acknowledge inequalities in power and resources; some have even gone so far as to call such efforts "immoral." The current research thus explores the role of acknowledgement in efforts to build peace or perpetuate violence
Rev. Charlie McCarthy and John Carmody
Retreat on Gospel Nonviolence
Original Christianity, for about 300 years after the life of Christ, forbade the use of violence and enmity. This retreat led by Rev. Charlie McCarthy and John Carmody provides what many have called a life-changing experience of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels. It addresses our struggles to transform our lives and our world by living Christ’s example and message of universal love and kindness in all our relationships. It shows us how we can effect peace in our families, communities, workplace, political structures and the world by confronting with love those forces within that undermine the innate capacity for care and compassion with which we are all imbued. Come join us.
Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy is the founder and the original director of The Program for the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at the University of Notre Dame. He is a co-founder, along with Dorothy Day and others, of Pax Christi-USA. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work on behalf of peace within people and among people.
John Carmody is currently director of the Center for Christian Nonviolence in Wilmington, DE. He served as a Marine Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer in Vietnam in '67 and '68 where he was awarded a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He left the Marine Corps as a captain in 1970 to pursue a career in teaching and later worked for DuPont Pharmaceuticals.
Sr. Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, O.S.B.
Scarred byStruggle, Transformed by Hope
March 26, 2011
Hope is rooted in the past but believes in the future. God’s world is in God’s hands, hope says, and therefore cannot possibly be hopeless. Life, already fulfilled in God, is only the process of coming to realize that we have been given everything we need to come to
fullness of life, both here and hereafter.
But if struggle is the process of evolution from spiritual emptiness to spiritual wisdom, hope is a process as well. Every stage of the process of struggle is a call to move from spiritual torpor to spiritual vitality. The spirituality of struggle gives birth to the spirituality of hope.
Gift yourself with this retreat to reflect on the struggles of your own life. Come to recognize the possibility of new spirit and transformation no matter what life presents to you. Be courageous of heart – face the struggles and discover the gifts! The retreat was led by Sr. Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, OSB.
From Killenheim (Germany 1939) to West Bank (Palestine 2003)
March 23, 2011
Hedy Epstein is an American Jew of German descent who escaped to England on a children's transport in 1939; she never saw her family again. After WWII, she worked on the Nuremberg Medical Trial, which involved the doctors accused of performing medical experiments on concentration camp inmates.
In 1948, she moved to the U.S. and became active in anti-war, fair housing and other social justice movements. Hedy has visited the Israeli Occupied West Bank five times since 2003. Hedy spoke of her experiences as a Jew in Nazi Germany and as an international peace activist who has witnessed the plight of the Palestinian people first-hand.
You can watch the presentation here.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Peacemaking Through the Torah
March 22, 2011
A prophetic voice in Jewish, multireligious, and American life,Rabbi Arthur Waskow was instrumental in founding The Shalom Center and initiating Olive Trees for Peace. He has promoted peace, justice, and healing of the Earth for over 40 years.
He taught for seven years at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and as visiting professor of religion at Swarthmore and Vassar colleges and Drew and Temple universities. In 1995 he was named by the United Nations one of forty Wisdom-Keepers from around the world in connection with the Habitat II conference.
In 2001 he initiated Olive Trees for Peace in support of Rabbis for Human Rights' work in Israel and Palestine, and in 2002 joined in founding RHR/ North America as secretary of its Board and steering committee, and was instrumental in urging it to work on human rights issues in the US (especially torture). Several years later in 2007, he was named by Newsweek one of the fifty most influential American rabbis.
Rabbi Waskow discussed Jewish scripture and prayer, and its use or misuse in support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
You can watch the presentation here.
Gandhi and the Unspeakable
February 3, 2011
A practitioner of nonviolence for over 40 years, Jim Douglassfounded the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in 1977 and has since worked as an activist in the United States, Israel, the West Bank, Sarajevo, and Baghdad. He also authored The Non-violent Cross: A Theology of Revolution and Peace.
Douglass, our 2010-11 Peacemaker in Residence, shared how telling the story of Gandhi’s assassins can become a pathway to liberation for us all. He laid out the story of the assassins who were overcome by a destructive philosophy of violent revolution. While Gandhi believed that people became free by suffering for the truth, his assassins were Hindu nationalists and anti-Muslim. For 40 years, they tried to destroy Gandhi’s vision of satyagraha. Together, Gandhi and his assassins portrayed two radical choices in a world of atomic war: terrorism or satyagraha. You can watch the presentation here.
He also presented “JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable” February 2nd. You can watch the presentation here.
Dr. Louise Cainkar
The Muslim-American Experience
November 17, 2010
A leading scholar on Arab-American and Muslim-American youth, Dr. Louise Cainkar aims to challenge the narrow and essentialized understanding of this group by drawing a complex and varying portrait of Muslim-American youth identity.
Dr. Cainkar, a Sociology professor at Marquette University, shared an initial analysis of her research on youth in Chicago as well as her transnational and comparative research project.
Dr. Cainkar has received the CAIR-Chicago Award for Courage in Scholarship (2010) and Center for Peacemaking Rynne Fellowship (2010).
You can watch the presentation here.
A Nonviolent Approach to the Middle East Conflict
September 28, 2010
Known as the Arab Gandhi, Mubarak Awad committed himself to a lifetime of nonviolence
after his father was killed in fighting between Arabs and Jews.
As a leading voice for nonviolence and peace in the Holy Land, Awad contended that all traditions and religions can discover and embrace nonviolent approaches to social change, justice, and peace.
Awad discussed the challenges, struggles, and successes nonviolence in the Middle East peace process, as well as the role of US citizens in Middle East policy making.
You can watch the presentation here.
Dr. Jodi Melamed
Global Resource Wars and Indigenous Peacemaking
April 29, 2010
Dr. Jodi Melamed, Assistant Professor in the English Department, presented her research that was sponsored by the Rynne Faculty Research Fellowship Program. Her teaching and research are in the areas of 20th century comparative race and ethnic studies, employing an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes literary modes of knowledge. Her scholarship is at the intersection of literature, politics, and social procedures that effect how collective existence is organized, including "race" as a procedure that organizes the unequal appropriation and governance of social goods and human life.
Grandmother Mona Polacca
The Spirituality of Mother Earth
April 17, 2010
The Spring Retreat was led byGrandmother Mona Polacca, M.S.W., Member of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. She is a Havasupai, Hopi, and Tewa Native American whose tribal affiliation is of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona. The Grandmothers are a group of women representing indigenous cultures from around the world, who are concerned with destruction of the earth and indigenous ways of life.
Mona has been a featured conference speaker both nationally and internationally, themes focusing on indigenous peoples human rights, aging, mental health, addiction and violence. In December 2008, Mona had the honor of being the representative of the indigenous Peoples on a panel of world religious leaders who drafted and signed a statement “Faith in Human Rights”, in commemoration of the 60th Year of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She is employed with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. working the tribes on addressing health issues.
Mona is also featured in a wonderful collection of teachings and stories compiled in the book, “Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elder Offer Their Vision for Our Planet” (ed. Carol Schaefer).
Dr. Beth Osnes
(M)other: Panel and Play
April 15, 2010
The panel explored motherhood and peacemaking through a variety of lenses – nursing, journalism, psychology, and the performing arts. This inter-disciplinary panel consisted of Dr. Ana Garner, Dr. Beth Osnes, Dr. Karen Slattery and Dr. Leona Vande Vusse who discussed how their research contributes to how society approaches motherhood and peacemaking.
Dr. Beth Osnes' performance explores what it might take for the mothers of one country to authentically care about the mothers and children of another country. The show’s opening describes a fictional program, called “Baby Swapping,” created by the United Nations to generate concern for the world’s children. In this small, limited pilot program, seven mothers from seven nations from around the world are required by their governments to swap their six-month-old babies with another mother from another nation for one month. What follows is an intimate look at one of these mother’s experiences and her eventual realization of her interconnectedness with these other mothers, their children, and their nations.
Dr. Franco Trivigno
Guns, Trauma and Virtue: The Virtue Theoretic Case Against Gun Possession
March 31, 2010
Dr. Franco Trivigno, Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department, presented his research that was sponsored by the Rynne Faculty Research Fellowship Program. His paper argues that the motivational framework required for sustaining the habit of carrying a concealed firearm in public not only has deleterious effect on one’s character but also bears a striking resemblance to the outlook of victims of violent trauma. His teaching and research interests are in ancient philosophy, ethics and philosophy and literature, in particular, where they they intersect.
Giving Voice to the Majority: Creating the Pro-Israel Pro-Peace Lobby
March 23, 2010
Jesse Greenberg is the Chicago regional political director of J Street, the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. They seek to change the direction of American policy in the Middle East and to broaden the public and policy debate in the U.S. about the Middle East. They also support strong American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.
For decades, the predominant voice from American Jews on Israel has come from a more hawkish minority. J Street was created change that dynamic and to create the space in Washington, DC for policymakers to take more thoughtful, nuanced positions in order to help bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two-states. J Street is staking out a moderate place on the political spectrum and creating a home for the majority of American Jews who believe that Israel's ability to achieve a two state solution and maintain its Jewish, democratic character will come only through hands-on American foreign policy and the support of Congress.
The Life of an Activist: The KKK, MLK, and Me
January 26, 2010
Julie Enslow of Peace Action Wisconsin is an accomplished local peace activist and the Center for Peacemaking's 2009 Milwaukee Community Peacemaker. As a founding member of Peace Action Wisconsin and with nearly four decades of involvement in the struggle for peace and justice, Julie is a living example of what it means to be a peacemaker.
Julie gave a formal presentation to Marquette and the wider community about the personal story behind her motivation to commit to a lifetime of peace and nonviolence.
Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Dead Man Walking - The Journey Continues
October 8, 2009
Sister Helen Prejean received an honorary degree in theological studies from Marquette University upon the recommendation of the Center for Peacemaking. After accepting her diploma, she spoke to the audience about her journey from the seminary to being a spiritual advisor for death row inmates to becoming one of the leading advocates to abolish the death penalty.
Watch the highlights from Prejean's speech. A video of the complete speech will be available on the center's website shortly.
View the photos from Sr. Prejean's visit on our Flickr page.
Read about Sr. Prejean's visit in the Marquette Tribune:
Prejean speaks on acceptance, forgiveness
Prejean sits down for a Q & A
Fr. Ray Helmick S.J.
Israel-Palestine: What is the Vatican Position?
September 17, 2009
Fr. Ray Helmick S.J., professor of Theology at Boston College, spoke about his experiences in Israel-Palestine and interpreted the historical influences on the Vatican's position on the conflict in Israel-Palestine to a Marquette-Milwaukee audience.
Fr. Helmick was the second speaker in our Israel-Palestine Program funded by the Frankel Family Foundation. He has established himself as an authority in conflict resolution and mediation as he has been a part of the peace process in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, and now in Israel-Palestine. Fr. Helmick published a book in 2004 Negotiating Outside the Law: Why Camp David Failed.
What people were saying:
"Fr. Helmick has great knowledge and understanding of the conflict and the region - both historical and political. The timeline of events made it easier to comprehend the church's position."
"His first-hand experience with all three of the major parties involved was impressive."
"Fr. Helmick has a mastery of the history of the problems."
"His personal experiences and national perspectives helped to understand the Vatican's perspective over the past 50 years."
"This was a great and informative presentation."
Dr. Anna Brown
Year End Retreat
April 26, 2009
Dr. Anna Brown, Professor of Political Science, Director of the St. Peter's College King-Kairos Peace Center, and zen practitioner facilitated a retreat for the center's final event of the 2008-09 academic year.
Over 20 people attended the retreat including faculty and students from Marquette, students from Loyola University Chicago, and members of the Milwaukee community.
Dr. Sharon Chubbuck
Forgiveness Interventions in Urban High Schools
April 22, 2009
Dr. Sharon Chubbuck, 2008 Rynne Fellow and professor of Education at Marquette University, presented her research on the role of forgiveness interventions decreasing conflict and improving academic performance in urban high schools.
Dr. Irfan Omar
Peacemakers the al-Risala Way: Wahiduddin Khan's Theology for Nonviolent Activism
March 18, 2009
Dr. Irfan Omar, 2008 Rynne Fellow and Professor of Theology at Marquette University, presented his research on nonviolent traditions in Islam, specifically in the writings of Wahiduddin Khan.
What people were saying:
"Brilliant discussion and debunking stereotypes of Islam as a violent religion. Very enlightening."
"This is a good example of a scholarly discussion which needs to happen more on this campus."
"I liked how the stories about Muhammad, Jesus, and nonviolence tied in with the lecture."
"His explanation about "holy war" not even being a word in Arabic was interesting and insightful."
"Dr. Omar is a great storyteller and has great jokes too."
Negotiating Peace in Israel-Palestine
February 11, 2009
Gregory Khalil, former legal adviser with the Palestinian Authority, shared a Palestinian perspective of the conflict in Israel-Palestine as well as personal stories of his time in Israel-Palestine and practical advice on engaging in the struggle for peace.
Funding for this presentation was provided by the Frankel Family Foundation.
What people were saying:
"Very informative and eye-opening. It piqued my curiosity to learn more."
"I have heard much of this before but I was really captured by the fairness of this presentation."
"The very clear way in which he laid out the issues and his insightful appreciation of the key problems."
"I enjoyed every second of it!"
"Khalil is excellent!"
"His ability to present complex issues with analogies that the audience could relate to."
"His personal stories and his ability to discuss some important issues as an objective 3rd party observer."
Surviving and Resisting Torture in Argentina
October 1-6, 2008
Patricia Isasa, torture survivor and resister from Argentina, visited the Milwaukee area to discuss the brutalities she suffered as a political prisoner and to spread her message to end torture.
The documentary about her imprisonment, "El Cerco" was viewed at her presentation.
Funding for this presentation was provided by the Center for Peacemaking, the Manresa Project, Marquette University Campus Ministry, Peace Action Wisconsin, and SoA Watch, Milwaukee.
What people were saying:
"Her personal testimony was very powerful."
"Her warm, energetic presence."
"Her passion and commitment to her teachings."
"Her passionate and truthful explanations."
"Her movie was great!"
"The hope that comes from knowing that courageous people like Patricia are working on these issues."
Ken Butigan and Lisa Haufschild
Tools for Nonviolent Social Change
September 7, 2008
Ken Butigan and Lisa Haufschild of Pace e Bene Nonviolent Services conducted the center's beginning of the year retreat. The retreat included reflection, interactive activities, role play, and group discussion. Participants learned about the foundations of nonviolence and how to structure and organize a nonviolent campaign or demonstration.
What people were saying:
"How the information was shared in a fun, powerful way."
"Their enthusiasm and passion."
"Inspiring and hopeful."
"The interaction, discussion, and different activities."
"Their personal stories were powerful."
Dorothy Jackson and Laurie Hasbrook
Practical Nonviolence Workshop
April 5, 2008
Dorothy Jackson, Repairers of the Breach, facilitated the morning session in which she led participants through an exploration of the definitions of violence and how it progresses in individuals' lives.
Laurie Hasbrook, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, facilitated the afternoon session in which she discussed nonviolent responses to violence on a national and global level with participants.
What people were saying:
"Dorothy Jackson's stories and analysis."
"Dorothy Jackson was great. Lets get her again."
"The group discussion. This has been a revelation to me. I have been so moved not to tolerate any kind of abuse."
"All of it was worthwhile. It was great to have Laurie here. A good combination of video, poetry, speakers, role-playing, and analysis."
"The opportunity to dialogue about peace and ending violence always brings hope."