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Peace Studies at Manchester University | Plowshares | Indianapolis Peace Institute | Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace
  Volume 34   November 2007 


News from the Peace Studies Institute

The National Index of Violence and Harm
by Dr. James Brumbaugh-Smith

The seventh annual National Index of Violence and Harm (NIVAH) was published in December 2006, reporting on national trends from 1995 through 2004. In addition to the annual index, news releases issued throughout the year provide reports on issues such as the poverty gap between various demographic groups and increasing unmet food, shelter and health needs.

In April the article NIVAH – A Composite Index Measuring Violence and Harm in the U.S. was accepted for publication in Social Indicators Research, the premier journal in the field of social science indicators and quality-of-life studies.

NIVAH is now a joint project with the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, for whom Dr. Neil Wollman serves as Senior Fellow. The current NIVAH team consists of Neil Wollman (coordinator), Dr. Brad Yoder, Dr. James Brumbaugh-Smith (’81) and student Caitlin Haynes. An overview of the 2006 index and our recent news releases are available at www.manchester.edu/links/ViolenceIndex

Peace Studies Institute Helps Bring Cindy Sheehan to Indianapolis
The Peace Studies Institute co-sponsored the Midwest Peace and Justice Summit in Indianapolis this past April 2007. The summit featured noted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and former U.S Army Muslim Chaplin James Yee, who ministered to detainees at Guantanamo Bay and was falsely accused of espionage and sedition. Manchester also organized the first-ever Plowshares undergraduate student paper session at the conference in an effort to encourage student scholarship.

Jubilee Partners Spring Break Trip
This past March the Peace Studies Institute sponsored a trip involving ten students who traveled to Jubilee Partners, a Christian service community in rural northeast Georgia. Jubilee’s primary ministry is to provide a loving environment for recently arrived refugees to recover from the stresses of war and refugee camps. During the week the students, along with Peace Studies Intern Ben Leiter (’06) and Professor Andy Rich worked, played, and worshiped alongside members of the community, including refugees from Sudan, Burundi, and Liberia. Manchester students were in awe of the Jubilee community. One student commented, “The trip to Jubilee was the best week of my entire year.” To learn more about Jubilee Partners see With Our Own Eyes, by Don Mosley.

Peace Week 2007
Matt Guynn (’95), Program Coordinator for On Earth Peace, served as Peacemaker-in-Residence during Peace Week 2007. Activities for the week revolved around the theme “Chaos or Community: Skills and Spirituality for Everyday Living.” Under Matt’s leadership students were provoked to wrestle with theories and practices of nonviolence, communication, and peacemaking. Matt led a four-day activist training session, provided a Convocation address and a chapel presentation, and co-facilitated conflict resolution workshops in the residence halls.

Neil Wollman Takes Campaigns to Bentley College
After 29 years with Manchester University, Neil Wollman, former Senior Fellow of the Peace Studies Institute, has taken the Graduation Pledge Alliance and the campaign for social responsibility in TIAA-CREF to Bentley College in Massachusetts. Neil will be working from an office in North Manchester with the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility at Bentley. While Bentley will be a good fit for Neil’s campaigns, we are sad to see him leave. Neil’s new contact information is: nwollman@bentley.edu; 260-568-0116

Gladdys Muir Bust Dedication
A bronze bust of Dr. Gladdys Muir, whose spirit of community and peacemaking continues to inspire thought and action at Manchester University and among its alumni, now overlooks students studying in the new Union. The University dedicated the life-size sculpture on Wednesday, Sept. 26 – almost 60 years after Muir inaugurated the world’s first peace studies program on the Manchester campus. One of Muir’s students, former North Manchester resident Paula K. Adams (’55), created the sculpture about ten years ago for a Manchester University class. While a novice sculptor, Paula had considerable prior experience with “snow sculpting.” Those who see the bust will say she also has a talent for clay. When she and local physician Parks Adams moved to Oregon two years ago, she could not bring herself to take the bust with them. “This is where it belongs,” she declared.

Dan West Plaque Dedication
Gathered under the shade of a redbud tree in the Muir Peace Garden, around 30 attendees honored the work and legacy of Dan West (’17) during Homecoming weekend 2007. In 2006 the Peace Studies Institute placed three plaques on the Peacemakers Wall of Fame, the wall that borders the Muir Peace Garden. One plaque was dedicated to Gandhi, an internationally known peacemaker, one was dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., a national peacemaker, and one was dedicated to Gladdys Muir, a peacemaker connected to Manchester University. This year the Institute added Dan West to the Peacemakers Wall of Fame, as another peacemaker affiliated with the university. Next year we will dedicate a plaque to a nationally known peacemaker. Jan Shrock (’58), daughter of Dan West, provided the keynote address for the dedication ceremony. A three-day old calf was also in attendance in honor of Heifer International, one of Dan’s many projects.

Peace Studies Institute Co-sponsors Concerned Philosophers for Peace Conference
The Manchester University Peace Studies Institute, along with the Religion-Philosophy Department hosted the Concerned Philosophers for Peace 2007 Annual Conference from November 1-4. Throughout the weekend the conference followed the theme “Nonviolence: Critiquing Assumptions, Examining Frameworks.” Plenary speakers included: David Cortright, Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor for the Kroc Institute for International Peace, University of Notre Dame; Mary King, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Peace; Barbara Wien, Director, Peace Brigades International; and Tom Hastings, Department of Conflict Resolution, Portland State University.

Plans underway for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Manchester University Peace Studies Program
Plans for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Peace Studies program at Manchester University are underway. As a kick-off event for the year, we hope to have a large celebration during Peace Week (April 2008). During Homecoming 2008, we plan to host a panel discussion on the Peace Studies program through the decades, featuring a panelist from each of the six decades. Homecoming weekend 2008 will also be an opportunity to dedicate yet another plaque in the Muir Peace Garden. Keep your eyes pealed for more information, and plan to join us then!


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