Seven CJP graduate students selected to present at Notre Dame peace conference

Seven graduate students from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding have been selected to present at the 2018 Notre Dame Student Peace Conference April 13-14 in South Bend, Indiana. This year’s conference focuses on the theme, “Toward Justpeace: Exploring the Intersections of Justice and Peace.”

Fulbright Scholars Filip Cventanovski, Kamran Mamedovi and Bouela Lehbib Brica will present a roundtable discussion entitled, “Self- Determination versus Territorial Integrity,” focusing on “contradicting principles in international relations that often lead to conflict.”

Brenna Case and Bethany Renata Loberg will present a talk entitled “Network-weaving with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth’s Truth-telling, Racial Healing, and Reparations Mapping Initiative: Building an Emergent Grassroots Racial Truth-Telling and Healing process,” focusing on the mapping initiative’s goals and aims, and “network-weaving as a methodology that allows for emergent action and collaboration among grassroots actors.”

Samira Ibrahim Abou Alfa, also a Fulbright Scholar, will present a paper entitled “The Syrian Civil War: Are Peace and Justice Compatible?” about the Syrian Civil War and “the short-term incompatibly of negative peace and justice.”

Katrina Poplett will present “Racist Structures and Restorative Justice: RJ As a Catalyst for Meaningful Conversations.” The workshop invites participants into a role play and circle process to examine “how restorative questions promote deeper listening and empathy, all while critically thinking about the larger criminal legal system within the United States.”

The students were selected to present from a pool of over 72 proposals. Fifty-one students from 20 colleges and universities will present papers, media projects and workshops that highlight their own research, practice and projects in the interdisciplinary field of peace studies.

“CJP students have been presenting at the Notre Dame Student Peace Conference for several years now,” said CJP executive director Daryl Byler.  “This first-rate conference gives our students a platform to showcase CJP’s unique peacebuilding approach of holding scholarship and practice in tandem.”

The Notre Dame Student Peace Conference, sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, is an annual event organized by students and for students to engage in dialogue on important issues related to peacebuilding, global issues and social justice. Each year, the event draws hundreds of students from across the United States and around the world.

“I strongly believe that the Student Peace Conference is the best peace studies conference for undergraduates in the country,” says Ernesto Verdeja, associate professor of political science and peace studies and director of undergraduate studies at the Kroc Institute. “We are looking forward to learning with and from this year’s presenters.”

In describing this year’s conference theme, Notre Dame student leaders wrote, “As we endeavor to establish peace and envision a shared future with fewer harms against one another, we question how to most effectively address the conflict and violence of the past. We seek to understand how themes of justice can heal hurts of the past, promote positive peace in the present, and guide our actions in the future.”

Attendees will also hear keynote speaker Alexis Templeton, one of the founders of Millennial Activists United. Templeton was also featured in the 2017 documentary Whose Streets?, which chronicled activism and nonviolent direct action in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The Kroc Institute is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.

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