Public monuments and memorials reflect the values and attitudes of communities that design them, and shape the way societies understand particular moments in their history. How should a country memorialize aspects of its past that are shameful and regrettable? What should be done with public symbols of the confederacy? What lessons can we draw from other countries that have addressed injustices of the past through memorializations that are meaningful? Please join us Wednesday, March 13, for an in-depth discussion on the role of memorials in confronting America's legacy of slavery and its potential for inter-communal healing with Professor James Young (UMass, Amherst) and others. Venue: TBA
In our third event on reparations, we will examine the history and politics of the debate surrounding reparations for African-Americans and explore the various forms reparations could take to address the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. What are the ethical considerations around compensations for past atrocities? What would people-centered accountability look like in a society that aspires towards inclusion and equality? What is the potential for reparations to repair intercommunal relations?
SPEAKER: PROFESSOR ALI ASLAM, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE
The feature-length documentary Dawnland tells the true story of the forced removal of Native American children from their homes and the first official U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission formed in
response. Discussion and reception to follow.
At the end of the spring series, Karuna Center and Critical Connections will lead a one-day interactive workshop on “Re-humanizing the Other.” The workshop will have practical applications for educational and work settings as well as daily life, as we all navigate an increasingly fractured world
Throughout U.S. history, ongoing resistance to offer a state apology for slavery and Jim Crow has served to deepen divides and continues to adversely impact our nation’s social fabric. Why has the U.S. refused to formally apologize for its treatment of African-Americans, what are the costs associated with a state apology, and what impact would an apology have on addressing historical grievances? Join us to hear Dr. Theodore R. Johnson, a public policy expert on race and social justice, explore these questions and more on Wednesday, February 13, at the Jones Library, 7-9pm.
This event is part of our Spring 2019 Event Series, “Rehumanizing and Restoring Relationships: The Role of Apology, Memorialization and Reparation in Redressing Historical Injustice”. The series aims to explore the deep roots of dehumanization, as well as best practices for healing past trauma and restoring inter-communal relationships via reparative processes. The series is a collaborative effort hosted by Critical Connections and The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.
Professor John Tirman of MIT will visit us in November to discuss the civilian toll of American-backed wars and reasons for our lack of knowledge/concern around them.
Dr. John Tirman is the executive director and a principal research scientist at MIT's Center for International Studies. Tirman is author, or coauthor and editor, of fourteen books on international affairs, including, most recently, Dream Chasers: Immigration and the American Backlash (MIT Press, 2015) and The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars (Oxford University Press, 2011). Earlier work includes The Fallacy of Star Wars (1984), the first important critique of strategic defense, and Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade (1997). In addition, he has published more than 100 articles in periodicals such as the The Nation, Boston Globe, New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Review. Before coming to MIT in 2004, he was program director of the Social Science Research Council. From 1986 to 1999, Tirman was executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace, a leading funder of work to prevent nuclear war and promote non-violent resolution of conflict. In 1999–2000, Tirman was Fulbright Senior Scholar in Cyprus and produced an educational website on the conflict. He has been a trustee of International Alert, Mother Jones magazine, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, and the Center for Contemporary Art at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Healing Across the Divides and Critical Connections present:
BUILDING PEACE THROUGH HEALTH IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Since 2004 HATD, a Northampton-based program founded by local physician Dr. Norbert Goldfield, has worked to improve the health of marginalized people living in Israel and Palestine by supporting community-based health initiatives. Join us to hear about these programs from coordinators Nehad Fattah and Patrick Levy—they will talk about the challenges and opportunities inherent in their work while working in a charged political environment.
Pioneer Valley Interfaith Action Group and Critical Connections present:
MUSLIM WOMEN IN POLITICS: SHAPING NARRATIVES, SHAPING PERCEPTIONS
More than 90 Muslim-Americans, one-third of them women, sought and are seeking elected office this year. What are the cultural and political forces driving their decisions? What are the challenges and opportunities they face in running for political office? How have they shaped the narrative around Muslim women in the United States, and what is the future for Muslim engagement in the political process? Please join us for a conversation with Ms. Tahirah Amatul Wadud and Professor Shaheen Pasha.
In October, Professors Linda Tropp (UMass-Amherst)and Emile Bruneau (UPenn) will discuss groundbreaking research around dehumanization of immigrants and other minority groups and its policy implications.
Dr. Tropp’s research focuses on expectations and outcomes of intergroup contact, identification with social groups, interpretations of intergroup relationships, and responses to prejudice and disadvantage. She received the 2012 Distinguished Academic Outreach Award from the University of Massachusetts Amherst for excellence in the application of scientific knowledge to advance the public good.
Tropp is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She has been a visiting scholar at the National Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (New Zealand), the Kurt Lewin Institute (Netherlands), the Marburg Center for Conflict Studies (Germany), Pontificia Universidad Católica (Chile), the University of California, Berkeley (USA), and the International Graduate College on Conflict and Cooperation (Germany, UK, Belgium), where she taught seminars and workshops on prejudice reduction and intervention.
She has worked with national organizations to present social science evidence in U.S. Supreme Court cases on racial integration, on state and national initiatives to improve interracial relations in schools, and with non-governmental and international organizations to evaluate applied programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic conflict.
Dr. Emile Bruneau is a research associate and lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication and director of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab. Bruneau is also the lead scientist at the Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab(link is external). Prior to his formal training in neuroscience, Bruneau worked, traveled, and lived in a number of conflict regions: South Africa during the transition from Apartheid to Democracy, Sri Lanka during one of the largest Tamil Tiger strikes in that nation's history, Ireland during "The Troubles," Israel/Palestine around the Second Intifada.
Bruneau is now working to bring the tools of science to bear on the problem of intergroup conflict by (1) building methods to better characterize the (often unconscious) cognitive biases that drive conflict using explicit, implicit and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques, and (2) critically evaluating efforts aimed at transcending these biases. These efforts have focused on three psychological processes relevant to intergroup conflict: empathy, dehumanization, and motivated reasoning, and involve target groups that are embroiled in intractable conflict (e.g., Israelis and Palestinians), or subject to extreme hostility (e.g., Muslims in the U.S., the Roma in Europe).
Please join us in September to hear renowned author and scholar, Haroon Moghul, speak about his book, 'How to be a Muslim: An American Story', teaching Islam at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the challenges and opportunities of navigating Jewish-Muslim relations here in the U.S. and in Israel/Palestine.
Haroon Moghul is the Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where he assists with recruitment, program design and implementation of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI). He is also involved in engaging and mentoring MLI alumni. Haroon is a Senior Fellow and Director of Development at the Center for Global Policy, where he informs American domestic and foreign policy on issues concerning Islam and the Muslim world. A graduate of Columbia University with an M.A. in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, Haroon serves on the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Haroon was previously a Fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and in the National Security Studies Program at New America Foundation, where he worked with new media companies to empower communities to fight extremism organically. A commentator and broadcaster who wishes he could just be a writer, Haroon is the author of a novel, The Order of Light, and a memoir published in June 2017, How to be a Muslim: An American Story. He has appeared on all major media networks, and has been published at the Washington Post, TIME, CNN, Guardian, Foreign Policy and Haaretz. Haroon has served as an expert guide to Islamic history in Spain, Turkey and Bosnia, and was Director of Public Relations for the Islamic Center at NYU.
Haroon was a member of the inaugural class of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
Join us for a day-long symposium that will explore the structural, institutional and societal shifts necessary to improve relations between local/federal law-enforcement agencies and communities of color.
The symposium will examine local initiatives that increase police accountability, highlight community alternatives to incarceration and restorative justice programs, identify continuing gaps, and explore opportunities to address them collaboratively.
Panel presentations will be followed by small group discussions and an exploration of best practices and next steps.
8:30am - 9:00am
Keynote Speaker: Mr. Rahsaan Hall (awaiting final confirmation)
Director, Racial Justice Program, ACLU-MA
9:00am - 10:00am
Improving Resilience and Accountability
10:10am - 11:20am
Officer Brian Beliveau, Springfield Police Department
Mr. Ed Caisse, Hampden County Sheriff's Department
Dr. Gary Berte, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Springfield College (former police officer)
Mr. David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney
Moderator: Ms. Linda O'Connell, Co-President, MA League of Women Voters
Addressing Prejudice, Advancing Restorative Justice, and Building Community
11:30am - 12:40pm
Mr. Nelson Roman, Holyoke City Councilor, Executive Director, Nueva Esperanza
Ms. Alicia Fleming, Community Activist, Lead Organizer, March for Racial Justice
Ms. Yolanda Cancel, Community Activist, South End Metro C3 Coordinator
Dr. David Rudder, Chair of the LWV/Springfield Police Accountability Committee, Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Springfield College
12:45pm - 1:45pm
Small Group Discussions
1:45pm - 2:45pm
Exploring Collaborative Approaches and Next Steps
2:45pm - 3:45pm
3:45pm - 4:00pm
The event is free and open to the public--however, you must be registered to attend the event. Please register by emailing email@example.com by May 20th, 2018.
ADDRESS AND PARKING INSTRUCTIONS
Holyoke Community College
Room No. 301 (3rd Floor)
303 Homestead Avenue
Holyoke, MA 01040
(Please park in Lots C and D for Faculty and Staff)
Combatants for Peace (CfP), founded in 2006, is a non-profit, volunteer organization of ex-combatant Israelis and Palestinians, men and women, who have laid down their weapons and rejected all means of violence. Their mission is to build the social infrastructure necessary for ending the occupation and conflict. They work together toward this goal of bringing justice and peace to the land, demonstrating that there is a real alternative to the cycle of violence and that Palestinians and Israelis can work and live together. They believe that disseminating such activities widely can and will affect attitudinal change at the societal level and policy change at the political level. Hear their powerful story on April 22nd at the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts (ISWM)
A year into the Trump presidency, we hope to explore the broad contours of the administration's approach to the Middle East and understand what the next few years will look in terms of U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran, approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. role in Syria, counterterrorism operations, etc. We will also examine how U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East has been shaped over the decades and its impact on the way ordinary Americans perceive the region and the broader Muslim world. What must we as citizens know about our shifting diplomatic position in order to keep our government accountable? To better understand the current direction of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, join us for a conversation with UMass Professor David Mednicoff and Professor Osamah Khalil, Syracuse University. Co-sponsors: Middle East Studies (UMass Amherst), Critical Connections, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
At a time of national reckoning and accountability around sexual harassment, what challenges and opportunities do women of minority communities experience in speaking out against men both inside and outside their identity groups? What does the #MeToo movement represent for women of color? What are the causes of misogyny in the broader American culture and what are the legal, political, and social shifts required to address the prevalence of sexual harassment in society? Join us to hear Shaheen Pasha (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Journalism, UMass Amherst) and Ms. Gina Beavers (Arts and Culture Editor, The Valley Advocate) speak on this critical issue
Venue: Friends Meeting House, 43 Center Street, Northampton
The thin line between effective national security and the preservation of civil liberties and democratic rule of law in the U.S. is an ongoing debate that underpins American societal values and ignites the discussion on the place for secrecy in a government accountable to the people. In 2018, as the Trump administration doubles down on its national security strategy, how do we ensure the rights of all Americans are protected? What models do other nations offer that strike the balance between security and privacy? To understand the Trump administration's approach to secrecy in matters of national security, join us as constitutional law expert Sudha Setty unpacks this complex issue and discusses her new book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law.
How can faith leaders tackle racism, homophobia, and religious intolerance within their communities and without? What are the challenges and opportunities in promoting pluralism in the current climate and what kind of interfaith collaboration is possible? Join us for a half-day symposium and hear local faith leaders talk about their struggles and successes in building inclusive communities.
The International Club of Minnechaug Regional High School, Critical Connections and the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts are pleased to present "Being Muslim in America: Perspectives from Two Muslim Women" on Wednesday, November 8 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the the MRHS auditorium in Wilbraham.
The program will feature Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud and Critical Connections Executive Director Mehlaqa Samdani in conversation with John Morse, president of the World Affairs Council Board of Directors.
The event is FREE and open to the public.