2010 News Archive


December 2010

"Shifting Perspectives: Encountering Community in a Changing World" (12/7)
At this event the 2010 Sorensen Fellows and their "Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies" (PAX 89) classmates shared their international internship experiences with the Brandeis community and unveiled their collection of narratives based on their experiences. Download the publication [PDF]. (Print copies available by request: ethics@brandeis.edu.) Read an account of the presentation on the Global Brandeis blog.

"Building Haiti Back More Justly: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Earthquake Response" (12/2)
Brian Concannon, Jr., Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) & former Brandeis International Fellow, discussed the use of legal advocacy to address the root causes of Haiti’s vulnerability to disaster, and the importance of placing justice near the top of earthquake response priorities. More details.

November 2010

Remembering Stephen J. Solarz '62 (1940-2010) (11/30)
A nine-term U.S. Congressman, a foreign-affairs specialist, and a dedicated Brandeis alum, Stephen J. Solarz was a founding member of the Center's International Advisory Board. He will be greatly missed. Read the Center's remembrance, and the New York Times and Washington Post obituaries.

A Small Act Documentary Screening - Social Justice Leadership Series (11/17)
An official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, A Small Act tells the story of two very unlikely philanthropists whose modest acts of charity shine a light on the incredible power of giving—no matter how small the gift. The screening was followed by a discussion with Kenyan students studying at the Heller School. This event was cosponsored by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Facing History and Ourselves. This was a Social Justice Leadership Series event, coordinated with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. More details.

"JustArts" exhibit of Brandeis faculty and staff artwork includes photographs by Center's communications specialist (11/16-21)
David Weinstein had five photographs in "JustArts," an exhibition of artwork by Brandeis faculty and staff that was displayed in the Dreitzer Gallery, Spingold Theater Center, from November 16th - 21st. The photos are taken from "Access Points," a series on manhole covers featuring images from the U.S., the U.K., and Japan, originally supported by a grant from the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. Read more about the exhibit in the Brandeis Hoot and in BrandeisNOW.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New paid opportunity: Ethics Center Leadership Council – Apply Now! (11/2)
Have creative ideas and strong opinions? Like to stir up conversation? Think Brandeis needs more informed discussion of major public issues? Apply for the spring 2011 Ethics Center Leadership Council! ECLC members receive a stipend of $350 per semester. Deadline: Monday, November 15th at 5pm. Click for details – application period closed.

Remembering Theodore C. "Ted" Sorensen (1928-2010) (11/1)
Distinguished lawyer, author, JFK advisor and speechwriter Ted Sorensen was founding chair of the Ethics Center's Advisory Board and a great personal and professional friend of those involved with the Center and Brandeis. Read tributes from members of the Center family, and a remembrance of Ted Sorensen.

October 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Course on Peacebuilding and the Arts: PAX 250 "The Arts of Building Peace" (10/29)
How can music, theater, poetry, literature, and visual arts contribute to community development, coexistence, and nonviolent social change? In the aftermath of violence, how can artists help communities reconcile? Students explore these questions through interviews, case studies, and projects. This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students can register online; undergraduate students should have an add/drop form from the registrar's office signed. Interested undergrads should send a brief email to Prof. Cohen, cecohen@brandeis.edu, indicating the reasons they are interested in the course. More details.

Peacebuilding and the Arts Director Presents Keynote at International Culture Arts Network Conference, in Northern Ireland (10/25)
Cynthia Cohen, Director of Programs in Peacebuilding and the Arts, presented a keynote at the International Culture Arts Network Conference 2010, "Exchange: Collaborative Arts/Conflict Transformation." ICAN's inaugural conferences – the second is devoted to visual arts – examine and share experiences of arts and cultural work in international conflict, post-conflict and socially disadvantaged community contexts.

International Law in Russian Constitutional Justice: A Case Study of Capital Punishment - A talk by Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov (10/25)
Students had a special opportunity for discussion with Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, a professor of international law and a Counsellor to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. He is currently serving as Trial Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and was a participant in the 2010 Brandeis Institute for International Judges. Read about the event on BrandeisNOW. More details on Facebook.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Course featuring hands-on advocacy work (10/22)
Work on issues before the Mass. legislature in “Advocacy for Policy Change” (LGLS 161b). The course combines an investigation of the ethical dilemmas that arise in the process of lawmaking with hands-on advocacy work with entities seeking to reform laws or to propose new ones. The issues students explore will be different each year; in 2009-10, choices included foreclosure reform, legislation to reduce the stigma of criminal records (CORI), immigrants' rights, and bills targeting the poor on issues of welfare and health care. Interested students should email the Legal Studies Program administrator at nfeldman@brandeis.edu for the registration code before early registration. More details.

"Acting Together" film screening at Brandeis (10/12)
A special screening was held at Brandeis of Acting Together, a new documentary film created by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders, documenting exemplary peacebuilding performance efforts around the globe. The documentary was previously screened at the La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York City on September 23, 2010, at a major international conference on theater and peacebuilding in conflict zones. Acting Together was created by Cynthia Cohen, Director of Programs in Peacebuilding and the Arts at the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life and filmmaker Allison Lund, both of whom answered questions from students, faculty, and staff after the screening. This event was a part of the Social Justice Leadership Series. More details on Facebook.

International Justice and Human Rights Gathering (10/7)
Are you interested in issues related to international justice and human rights? Would you like to see more engagement with these issues on the Brandeis campus? Would you like to hear about what the Ethics Center is doing in this field and how it might impact your studies here? At this informal get-together
 at the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium the discussion included
    •    Creation of an international justice and human rights interest group
    •    How to hear more about "Brandeis in The Hague"
    •    Events YOU would like to see on campus and how you can help make them happen.
Details and RSVP (optional) on Facebook. Contact Leigh Swigart if you are interested in getting involved: swigart@brandeis.edu.

"Year Abroad, Queer Abroad” – student panel draws a crowd to a discussion of their experiences (10/5)
What’s it like to be queer in a foreign country? A panel of six Brandeis seniors spoke to a crowd of interested students about their study abroad experiences in destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East at a forum cosponsored by Triskelion and the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life on Tuesday, October 5, as part of “Coming Out Week.” Moderator and panelist Zachary Spence (who studied in Japan) was joined by panelists Liza Behrendt (Cameroon), Alex Luo (China), Noam Sienna (Israel), Emily Smizer (Bolivia), and Greg Storella (France).

September 2010

"Acting Together" film launch in New York City, September 23rd (9/23)
Acting Together, a new documentary film created by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders, documenting exemplary peacebuilding performance efforts around the globe, was launched at a packed special screening at the La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York City on September 23, 2010, at a major international conference on theater and peacebuilding in conflict zones. Read about the launch on BrandeisNOW. More details.

Article about Brandeis judicial colloquia, written by Director of Programs in International Justice and Society, published by National Association of Women Judges (9/22)
"Promoting Judicial Dialogue Across the National/International Divide: The Brandeis Approach" [PDF], about the Center's judicial colloquia, written by Leigh Swigart, Director of Programs in International Justice and Society, was published in the fall 2010 issue of Counterbalance, the newsletter of the National Association of Women Judges. Read the article [PDF].

Summer Internships Funded by Brandeis: Info Sessions (9/16 & 9/21)
Students had the opportunity to speak with students and staff and learn about internship funding opportunities for summer 2011: the Sorensen Fellowship, Davis Projects for Peace, the Eli Segal Citizen Leadership Fellowship, the Louis D. Brandeis Social Justice WOW Fellowship, Hiatt Career Center World of Work (WOW) Fellowships, and Rapaporte Foundation Internship Grants. 

"Go Far, Stay Long, Look Deep: Reflections on a Year in the Marshall Islands" (9/16)
Some call the Marshall Islands the "pearl of the Pacific." Others call it home to Ebeye, the "slum of the Pacific.” What’s it like working as an American volunteer in this developing Pacific nation? What are the challenges and dilemmas? The Center hosted a lively conversation with three women who volunteered in the Marshall Islands with WorldTeach in 2009-10: Marci McPhee (Associate Director, Ethics Center), Elayna Tekle, and Liz Wellen. Special Guest Moderator: Helen Claire Sievers, Executive Director of WorldTeach. See pictures from the event.

August 2010

Masters in Coexistence and Conflict & Coexistence International move to the Heller School (8/26)
Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, the Masters Program in Coexistence and Conflict, and Coexistence International, have moved to a new home: Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Read more about the transition, including a letter from Dan Terris, Director of the Ethics Center.

Summer/Fall 2010 issue of Ethics Central now in print and online (8/18)
Read about the Center's work from January through July 2010, and learn about new resources and coming events in the Summer/Fall issue of Ethics Central. Includes: News from a new undergraduate summer program at The Hague..."Climate Change and the Choices We Make: A Year of Exploration"...Details of the NYC launch of a documentary produced by the Center in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders...A report on the 7th Brandeis Institute for International Judges - which included a session led by US Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy...One student's account of lobbying a Massachusetts state senator to extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants...and more.  Now available [PDF].

July 2010

Seventh Brandeis Institute for International Judges held in Salzburg, Austria (7/25-30)
Sixteen judges from thirteen international courts and tribunals gathered for the the seventh Brandeis Institute for International Judges (BIIJ). Participants represented a wide spectrum of international justice institutions. The theme this year was  “Toward an International Rule of Law.” The institute also featured a keynote address by Patricia O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, and an informal session led by Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy. Read more.

Moot court victory for Brandeis undergrads at The Hague (7/15)
In July, a Brandeis University student team beat out top international legal experts on their way to a moot court victory in The Hague. The bilingual court competition, decided by guest judges from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, was part of a new “Brandeis in The Hague” study abroad program launched this year. Read more.

Judge Thomas Buergenthal joins the International Advisory Board of the Center (7/14)
The Center is pleased to welcome Thomas Buergenthal, one of the contemporary giants in the field of international justice and human rights, to its International Advisory Board. A United States citizen, Judge Buergenthal was a judge on the 15-member International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague from 2000 until his resignation in September 2010. He is a former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and a former member of the UN Human Rights Committee. Recipient of the Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize and member of the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee, he has been re-appointed Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School, where he taught before his election to the ICJ. Judge Buergenthal is author or co-author of numerous books and law review articles on international law and international human rights topics. His memoir A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy was published in 2009.

Welcoming Brandeis University's Eighth President (7/8)
Frederick M. Lawrence, currently Dean of the George Washington University Law School, will become the eighth president of Brandeis University on January 1, 2011. Lawrence has a deep engagement with issues of civil rights, international law, and other areas relevant to the work of the Ethics Center, and we look forward to welcoming him to the Brandeis community. More about Fred Lawrence. Read his George Washington Law School blog, 20th & H.

May 2010

Program Director of Coexistence International makes fact-finding trip to Mexico and Latin America; includes presentations and meetings (5/25-6/9)
During her trip Jessica Berns, Program Director of Coexistence International, visited Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru. She met with individuals and organizations representing civil society, academia, and governments who work on issues pertaining to coexistence and governance, including immigration, indigenous rights, and transitional justice. Read more about her trip.

Co-Directors of Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel, visit Brandeis (5/11)
Sikkuy ("chance" or "opportunity" in Hebrew) is a non-partisan NGO in Israel that develops and implements projects to advance equality between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel in government budgets, resource allocation, hiring policy, land usage, access to government services, etc. In a lunchtime conversation, Ron Gerlitz and Ali Hader, Co-Executive Directors of Sikkuy, provided insights into their most recent Sikkuy Equality Index [PDF], measuring the socio-economic gaps between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. The event was hosted by Coexistence International and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Ethics Center celebrates its graduating seniors at "UnCommencement" 2010 (5/6)
In an annual tradition, the Ethics Center celebrated graduating undergraduates and graduate students who have been affiliated with the Center during their time at Brandeis. Honoree Mohammad Kundas '10 performed with a fellow member of his band Mochila. See photos from the event.

Report on South American Judicial Colloquium now available in Spanish [PDF] (5/6)
In collaboration with the International Judicial Academy, the Center organized “The Value of International Law for National Legal Systems” ("El Valor del Derecho Internacional respecto de los Sistemas Legales Nacionales"), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 2009. Now available for download: a complete report in Spanish [PDF] and a summary in English [PDF].

April 2010

Present and Defend: Projects from "Advocacy for Policy Change" (4/30)
The students of "Advocacy for Policy Change" (LGLS 161b) presented and defended the legal advocacy projects they developed over the course of the semester. Read more.

Nathan Cummings Foundation Supports Acting Together Educational Toolkit, Book, and Documentary (4/29)
The Nathan Cummings Foundation awarded $75,000 to the Center’s Programs in Peacebuilding and the Arts to enable the creation of an educational “toolkit” to accompany the Acting Together anthology and film, and to aid the distribution of these resources to educators and practitioners doing related work. The anthology and film document exemplary peacebuilding performance efforts around the globe, and are intended to serve as resources for education and advocacy. Read more.

In Los Angeles Times op-ed Center Director Terris writes that personal attacks by defenders of Israel on Justice Goldstone are wrong (4/21)
In an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, by Center Director Dan Terris explains why he believes personal attacks on Justice Richard Goldstone (Chair of the Center's International Advisory Board), by defenders of Israel are wrong. Recently, Justice Goldstone decided not to attend his grandson's upcoming bar mitzvah in South Africa after "members of the South African Jewish community threatened to disrupt the ceremony if he attended...." Update: Justice Goldstone now plans to attend his grandson's bar mitzvah, following consultation with several parties including the organized South African Jewish community.

Center's Director of Programs in International Justice and Society featured speaker at National Association of Women Judges' Annual Dinner Meeting (4/20)
Leigh Swigart, the Center's Director of Programs in International Justice and Society, was the featured speaker at the National Association of Women Judges' District One Annual Dinner Meeting April 20th. She spoke on "The Women and Men Who Decide the World's Cases." The meeting also featured opening remarks by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall.

Ethics Center staff participate in panel at annual conference of the New England Peace Studies Association (4/10)
Coexistence International Program Director Jessica Berns organized and moderated the panel "Building Peace: Practical Reflections from the Field," focused on peacebuilding practice around the world, at the annual conference of the New England Peace Studies Association. The panel included Cynthia Cohen, Executive Director of the Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence at the Ethics Center. The conference, Water, Sun, Earth: Waging War or Building Community Solutions, held at the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Mass., was attended by scholars whose work focuses on peace as well as by peace advocates from throughout the region. More info, including the conference program. 

March 2010

Changing People in a Changing Climate? The Ethical Implications of Climate Disruption (3/23)
Is it enough to recycle? Is it enough to drive a Prius? A conversation with Michael Appell (IBS), Bernadette Brooten (NEJS, WGS, Classics), Cristina Espinosa (SID, Heller School), and Tory Fair (Fine Arts). Intro by Saleem Ali, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Vermont, author of Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed, and a Sustainable Future. Included first screening of film of Brandeis community members' perceptions of climate change and related responsibilities. Hosted by the Ethics Center with organizers Charlie Chester of Environmental Studies and Irving Epstein of Chemistry. More info, including essays by the four panelists.

Building Pathways to Sustainable Peace in Sudan: Why We Can't Wait (3/22)
Gloria White-Hammond, co-founder of My Sister's Keeper, presented this Social Justice Leadership Series lecture. My Sister’s Keeper is a faith-inspired, multiracial collective of women who lend humanitarian assistance to communities of women globally, with a focus on Sudan. For more information, visit the Social Justice Leadership Series page or the Facebook event page.

Coexistence International Advisory Board Chair Mari Fitzduff is panelist for The Personal is Political: Feminist Activism over Time (3/18)
CI Advisory Board Chair and director of the international Master of Arts Program in Coexistence and Conflict at Brandeis University Mari Fitzduff was a panelist during a women’s history symposium, The Personal is Political: Feminist Activism over Time, held at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center on March 18. In three different panels, speakers discussed women’s roles in international conflict resolution in Ireland, Liberia and Iran; local and international efforts to combat violence against women; and four decades of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the book that launched a worldwide movement to give women control over their reproductive lives and health.  The symposium concluded with a dance performance entitled “There’s a Dance in the Old Dame Yet.”

Special opportunity for students to engage with world leaders (3/8)
The Ethics Center, in collaboration with the Social Justice Leadership Series, invited Brandeis students to intimate conversations with eminent members of the Center’s International Advisory Board, including former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, JFK advisor Ted Sorensen, President of Al-Quds University Sari Nusseibeh, and other accomplished individuals. Sessions were limited to 30 students per session.

February 2010

Coexistence International Director writes about possible French ban on Islamic veils in GlobalPost.com (2/17)
In an opinion piece published by GlobalPost.com, Coexistence International Director Jessica Berns writes that "The recent French parliamentary committee report recommending a partial ban on women wearing Islamic face veils raises critical questions not just for French politicians and society at large, but for democracies throughout the world."

New Publication: The Legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (2/10)
The Center was an organizing partner in a symposium held in Arusha, Tanzania in November 2007 about the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and has just published a report of the proceedings, available online [PDF].

The Green Canvas: The Artist as Environmental Activist - a Distinguished Visiting Practitioner Residency (2/8-11/10)
Hoseob Yoon, a South Korean graphic artist who has devoted his career and his life to protecting the environment, served as the Center’s fourth Distinguished Visiting Practitioner. His residency included class visits, art demonstrations, exhibits, and one-on-one visits with students and members of the community.

January 2010

Lunchtime presentation on "Leadership for Coexistence" featuring Club of Madrid affiliates (1/22)
Coexistence International (CI) and the Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict sponsored a presentation on "Leadership for Coexistence."
Panelists were Sean Carroll, Director of Programs for the Club of Madrid and Tim Phillips, Founding Co-chair of The Project on Justice in Times of Transition at Tufts University and member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the Club of Madrid's Shared Societies Project and Coexistence International's Advisory Board. Mari Fitzduff, Director of the Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict and Chair of CI's Advisory Board, moderated the discussion on the origins of the Club of Madrid's Shared Societies Project and strategies for engaging with world leaders to build shared societies. The Shared Societies Project is a global initiative that provides leaders with greater understanding of the benefits of coexistence and the incentives and means to act to advance it. The Project supports democratic development through leadership for dialogue, diversity, and social cohesion.

New Course: Advocacy for Policy Change (1/19)
The new course Advocacy for Policy Change (LGLS 161b), taught by Melissa Stimell, addresses theories, skills, networks and key players in the reform of public policy. The course is the centerpiece of a new initiative launched by the Ethics Center designed to encourage citizens to bring moral and ethical insights to the process of making and revising laws. The initiative is supported by generous multi-year commitments from Center board member Norbert Weissberg and his wife, former board member Judith Schneider.

Balancing Sovereignty, Security, and Regard for International Norms (1/3-5/10)
International judges, along with leading international law experts from the Israeli government, military, academic community, and judiciary convened in January at the Center’s colloquium, Balancing Sovereignty, Security, and Regard for International Norms, in Jerusalem, hosted by the Mishkenot Sha’ananim international cultural and conference center and funded by the David Berg Foundation. The colloquium was covered by the Jerusalem Post and referenced in a Haaretz editorial.

Ethics Center News Archive