Past Events by Year:

2010-11 | 2009-10 | 2008-09 | 2007-08

Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope: A Spring Retreat

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.

Connecting the Dots: Linking Community Resources for Youth

March 24, 2011

Law Professor Janine Jeske moderates a panel discussion of community activists, a gang member, a police detective and an education. This forum will be of particular interest to those individuals and agencies working with at-risk youth, youth involved in gangs, and those seeking positive alternatives for them.

From Killenheim (Germany 1939) to West Bank (Palestine 2003)

March 23, 2011

Hedy Epstein

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.

Tattoos on the Heart

March 23, 2011

Father Gregory Boyle was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1982. He received his Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. In 1988, Father Boyle began what would become Homeboy Industries, now located in downtown Los Angeles.

Fr. Greg Boyle shared his person experiences of many years working with gang members in Los Angeles. Homeboy Industries is recognized as the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the country and has become a national model.

Peacemaking Through the Torah

March 22, 2011

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

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.

Careers for Good: Feeding the Hungry

March 3, 2011

Douglass Coutts

A visionary in the field of eradicating world hunger, Douglas Coutts oversaw the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) largest development operation in the world as the Country Director for Bangladesh.

Coutts discussed his experience addressing world food security and community health problems. He also discussed how he started out and why he stays in his 25 year peacemaking career.

This event was part of the Center for Peacemaking's Making a Living, Making a Difference event which invited over 15 local employers who offer careers that can make a difference in the world.

Gandhi and the Unspeakable

February 3, 2011

Jim Douglass

A practitioner of nonviolence for over 40 years, Jim Douglass founded 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.

The Muslim American Experience

November 17, 2010

Dr. Louise Cainkar

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.

Reflections from the 2010 Szymczak Peacemaking Fellows

October 13, 2010

Colleen O'Conor

Colleen O'Conor presented on her fellowship project in which she established a library in Kenya. She called her project the Kenyan Literature, Discussion, and Compassion Project with the purpose of increasing AIDS and peacemaking awareness.

Kathleen Scott also presented on her fellowship with a video that summarized her project and then helped to facilitate a discussion between youth peacemakers in the segregated inner-city schools of Milwaukee and youth in the segregated Townships of Capetown, South Africa. The energy and insights from the youth communicating across the world via Skype was captivating and inspiring.

You can watch the presentation here.

The Spirituality of Nonviolence: A Retreat

October 2, 2010

October 2nd is Gandhi's birthday. In honor of Gandhi, the UN has declared Oct. 2nd to be the "International Day of Nonviolence." On this Saturday morning, retreatants learned how Mary taught Jesus about prayer, the Holy Spirit, and nonviolence. With this archetypical woman and man, we walked the path from personal prayer to outreach for social justice. The retreat was facilitated by Simon Harak S.J.

A Nonviolent Approach to the Middle East Conflict

September 28, 2010

Dr. Mubarak Awad

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.