Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peace Day Proceedings

The Anthropology department and the Anthro Club held a bake sale in recognition of International Peace Day, September 21st. Many students and club members baked goodies and worked the booth in order to spread awareness about Peace Day and raise donations for the West End Community Gardens. The bake sell went very well raising over $200 dollars for the West End Gardens.

International Peace Day was also the perfect time to introduce UAB students to the Anthropology department's new class, Introduction to Peace Studies, which will be available in Spring 2012. The Introduction to Peace Studies class (ANTH 104) will be an online course taught by Dr. Jones and Jade Delisle. This is an exciting new course that introduces students to the history and utility of social justice, conflict resolution and nonviolence. Students learn about various ways to solve conflicts and address problems without resorting to violence.

In addition to teaching the Peace Studies class, Dr. Jones is working with ANEC (Active Nonviolence Education Center) to provide internships for students taking the Introduction to Peace Studies (Anth 104) and the Environmental Studies Internship (Anth 483). Dr. Jones and ANEC are also working together to offer a Study Away in India for May 2012. More information about this opportunity is forthcoming and anyone interested may contact Dr. Sharyn Jones.

The ANEC website is a wonderful resource for information about the center, its mission and activities. The website also provides recources for the public, ways to volunteer as well as global and political news about peace.

In addition to the ANEC website, there are some other websites that are as inspiring and appropriate for reflection about Peace. The Peace One Day website provides information about the Global Truce initiative scheduled for 2012's International Peace Day. The initiative calls for a day of ceasefire and non-violence to be observed globally on September 21, 2012. The website offers ways for people to become involved in the movement, videos about Global Truce as well as a schedule of events, including concerts, pod talks and festivals. The website Wisdom Portal has poems, quotes and letters from spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh about peace. These are a wonderful collection of writings that inspire and define the goals not just of International Peace Day but of peaceful movements and actions everyday.

The website Peaceful Societies is an encyclopedia of societies that anthropologists have described as being peaceful. The characteristics of these societies are defined. This website is interesting an resource for anthropologists as well as the public in general as it provides examples of alternatives to violence that have been practiced by social groups.

One final great website to check out while pondering peace is Les Sponsel. This is the University of Hawaii's website for the Ecological Anthropology Program that they offer. This site lists and defines specializations such as Buddist, Cultural and Political Ecology. The website provides the credentials of and contact information for the program director, Dr. Leslie Sponsel. This is a wonderful website for studente interested in Ecology, Anthropology and Peace studies.

With the success of the Anthropology Department and Anthro Club's International Peace Day Awareness bakesale, the exciting new peace courses at UAB and a plethora of websites; it may be easier to not just celebrate Peace Day every September 21st, but to actively work for peace every day!