2011 News Archive


December 2011

"Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence" symposium (12/1 & 12/2)
This two-day gathering at Brandeis explored the performative dimensions of justice-seeking in the aftermath of violence, with a focus on Cambodia, Peru and the United States. What do public ritual, theater, truth commissions, and criminal trials each offer as justice-seeking strategies? How does performance satisfy the human need to understand violence and reconstruct dignity in its wake? Read more.

New Center Books Highlight the Vital Work of Artist/Peacebuilders in Zones of Violence (12/1)
The Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, in partnership with Theatre Without Borders, has just published Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, Volume I: Resistance and Reconciliation in Regions of Violence and Volume II: Building Just and Inclusive Communities (New Village Press - Oakland CA, 2011). Read more and order.

October 2011

"Against All Odds" – Tibetan monk Palden Gyatso speaks of compassion and abuse (10/25)
Internationally acclaimed Tibetan monk and teacher, Palden Gyatso, visited Brandeis October 25th to share a message of forgiveness, awareness, and compassion. Palden Gyatso spent 33 years in Chinese prison and labor camps, where he was tortured. After his release in 1993, he fled to Dharamsala, (North India) in exile. Since then he has traveled the world speaking against violence and for the cause of human rights in Tibet. This event was cosponsored by Students For Tibet and the Ethics Center with the cooperation of the Ethics Center Leadership Council. Read more at BrandeisNOW and in The Justice.

Judicial colloquium in India organized by Brandeis (10/22-23)
The Center organized the Judges Colloquium on Women and Justice, held October 22nd and 23rd in New Delhi. Judges from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the United States addressed issues related to gender-based violence and its impact on the work of judges. Since 2006, the Center has organized such events in West Africa, North America, South America, and Israel. Participants included Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, a member of the Center’s International Advisory Board; and Justice Desirée Bernard of the Caribbean Court of Justice, a participant in the Brandeis Institute for International Judges.

September 2011

New publication of student work: Brandeis Students Work to Reform Massachusetts Law (9/23)
Read or download Advocacy for Policy Change: Brandeis students work to reform Massachusetts law (September 2011) [PDF]. The anthology features the work of students in the spring 2011 “Advocacy for Policy Change” course (LGLS 161b). Issues addressed include: health care for young adults, human trafficking, humane treatment of disabled persons, in-state tuition, mandatory foreclosure mediation, paid sick leave, and TB services. Advocacy for Policy Change is supported by generous multi-year commitments from Center Board member Norbert Weissberg and former Board member Judith Schneider.

Distinguished Visiting Practitioner Residency: Dr. Rosa Elena Bello (9/19-22)
Starting on a small scale, Dr. Bello developed comprehensive social programs resulting in enormous changes in health, education, and welfare, especially for children and women, in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Dr. Bello was in residence at Brandeis September 19-22 as the Center's fifth Distinguished Visiting Practitioner. Dr. Bello's residency was hosted by Kelley Ready (Heller School) and Margaret Morganroth Gullette (Women's Studies Research Center). All events were held in Spanish with English translation. For more details and the full schedule, visit the website.

9/11: How it Has Changed Our Thinking (9/7)
The Brandeis community marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a memorial, a community gathering, a vigil and a discussion of what those events and the ensuing years have meant to us as individuals, and as a community. The Center hosted "9/11: How it Has Changed Our Thinking" as part of the week of related programming. The discussion featured Kanan Makiya, Daniel Kryder, Isabella Jean MA ’06, and Michael Perloff '12. Read more.

SoJust Leadership Forum: Journeys in Social Justice, Beyond Brandeis (9/6)
From the United Nations and the Anti-Defamation League, to World Vision Ghana and Planned Parenthood, more than 30 alumni and representatives from organizations dedicated to social justice, including several Ethics Center Fellowship alums, convened at Brandeis for the inaugural SoJust Leadership Forum: Journeys in Social Justice, Beyond Brandeis. Sponsored by the Hiatt Career Center, the Office of Professional Development at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the Ethics Center, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis faculty and the Student Union. Read more.

"Making Connections across Cultures" – Forsan Hussein '00, Fellowship alum, featured on Brandeis website (9/4)
In 1998, Forsan Hussein '00 was part of the Center’s first contingent of Ethics and Coexistence Student Fellows (now Sorensen Fellows). Today he is CEO of the Jerusalem International YMCA, a gathering place for people of all religions. The Brandeis homepage has been featuring a profile and four-minute interview with Hussein. View it here. In the Summer/Fall 2011 issue of Ethics Central, Center Director Dan Terris writes about accompanying Brandeis President Fred Lawrence on a visit to the Jerusalem Y, hosted by Hussein. See "Emblem" (page 1) [PDF].

August 2011

Sorensen Fellows Conclude Summer 2011 Internships (8/17)
The 2011 Sorensen Fellows spent eight weeks “in the field” this summer, grappling with conflict resolution, death, disability, education, migration, and poverty. They return to Brandeis in the fall to process their experiences in the seminar “Internship in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies." Read their initial reflections on their experiences.

July 2011

New Center Books Highlight the Vital Work of Artist/Peacebuilders in Zones of Violence (7/1)
The Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, in partnership with Theatre Without Borders, has just published Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, (New Village Press - Oakland CA, 2011). Volume I: Resistance and Reconciliation in Regions of Violence was published in July, and Volume II: Building Just and Inclusive Communities will be available in December. Read more and order at actingtogether.org.

June 2011

Sorensen Fellows: Updates from the field (6/1)
The 2011 Sorensen Fellows are spending eight weeks “in the field” this summer, grappling with conflict resolution, death, disability, education, migration, and poverty. They return to Brandeis in the fall to process their experiences in the seminar “Internship in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies." Read their thoughts from the field.

May 2011

Ethics Center celebrates its graduating seniors at "UnCommencement" 2011 (5/5)
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. See photos from the event.

April 2011

Students present advocacy projects at "Present and Defend" (4/29)
The students of Advocacy for Policy Change (LGLS 161b) presented the legal advocacy projects they developed over the course of the semester. Projects included: The New Drug Policy, In-state Tuition, Human Trafficking, and Casino Gambling. More info on Facebook and here.

World premiere of Acting Together documentary,  featuring discussion with the filmmakers and the subjects of the film (4/12)
Acting Together on the World Stage, produced by the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, tells the stories of courageous artists, peacebuilders, activists and community leaders, who work to improve their communities – often at great personal risk. The world premiere was held at the Shapiro Campus Center Theater at Brandeis, followed by a discussion featuring the filmmakers and people featured in the film, moderated by Scott Edmiston, Director of the Brandeis Office of the Arts. More info here, on BrandeisNOW & on Facebook. Special Note: The Center is hosting an online "EthicsTalk" dialogue in connection with the premiere, on the question "How should the arts at Brandeis be linked to social justice? (Or should they?)" To join the conversation visit go.brandeis.edu/EthicsTalk, use the site registration key actingfilm, and join that dialogue.

Peacebuilding and the Arts Higher Education Think Tank (4/12)
College and university educators who lead programs in the arts and social transformation met to explore options for a consortium of university-based programs educating students to work at the nexus of the arts and social transformation. Participants included Erik Ehn of Brown University and Roberto Gutiérrez Varea of the University of San Francisco. A closed working session was followed by a roundtable discussion, open to the public, in which these educators shared their visions for the emerging field of arts and social transformation, followed by the official launch of the "Acting Together on the World Stage" documentary. Read blog posts by participant Paulette Moore about the think tank, featuring interviews with fellow participants Michelle LeBaron, Erik Ehn, and Carrie MacLeod, as well as an interview with Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts Director Cynthia Cohen. For more information on this initiative contact Naoe Suzuki at nsuzuki@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-5001. Also see the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts website.

The Consequences of Blogging (4/4)
Ethics Center Leadership Council member Rachel Gillette '11 moderated a discussion of timely issues regarding blogging and Internet activity. Topics included: impacts on learning, free speech, right to privacy, and the importance of maintaining a professional online image. Students Jamie Fleishman '11, Mark Grinberg '11, Anna Khandros '11 and  Sahar Massachi '11 shared their personal experiences (for better and for worse) with blogging, followed by a diverse panel of faculty and staff respondents: Rick Alterman from Internet Studies, Jackie Kopyt from the Hiatt Career Center, and Johann Larusson and David Wedaman from Library and Technology Services.

Peacebuilding and the Arts  Weekend Intensives – Session I: Peacebuilding and the Arts: Core Concepts and Principles (4/1-3)
At the Peacebuilding and the Arts multi-day “intensives” artists, community development professionals, and peacebuilding practitioners explore creative approaches to the transformation of conflict, and ethical dimensions of their work. They are open to the public (scholarships are available) and free to the Brandeis community. These are intended for students, practitioners, administrators, advocates and policymakers. Session I addressed the issues of balancing artistic and socio-political intentions and the need to “do no harm.” Participants designed arts and peacebuilding initiatives reflecting the basic principles of the moral imagination. The guest presenter was Dr. Polly Walker. Session II will be held October 21-23. Titled "Peacebuilding and the Arts: Cultural Community Development," it will focus on integrating principles of creativity, hospitality and spirituality into people-centered and dialogic community development practice, and will feature guest presenters Dr. Polly Walker and Dr. Peter Westoby. For registration or more information contact Naoe Suzuki at nsuzuki@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-5001. Also see the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts website.

March 2011

Religion and the Quest to Contain Violence: A Symposium on James Carroll’s Jerusalem, Jerusalem (3/14)
James Carroll, a member of the Center's International Advisory Board, was joined by Asma Afsaruddin, Susannah Heschel, Kanan Makiya, and Martin Marty for a symposium on the nature of religious violence through history, celebrating the publication of Carroll’s Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World, published in March. Sponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, cosponsored by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and the Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy. More info on Facebook. Read more about James Carroll and the symposium on BrandeisNOW. Read coverage of the symposium by the Brandeis Hoot newspaper. Special Note: James Carroll participated in "EthicsTalk" – a special set of online dialogues the Ethics Center hosted until March 28th in connection with "Religion and the Quest to Contain Violence." To see the conversation visit go.brandeis.edu/EthicsTalk.

February 2011

Residency of Iranian Theater Artist, Poet and Educator Mahmood Karimi-Hakak (2/16)
Special guest Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, a poet, author, translator and theatre and filmmaker who has written, produced, directed, and designed over 50 stage and screenplays in the U.S., Europe and Iran, was hosted by the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts for a day of lectures, discussions, a film screening, and a Persian/English poetry reading. More info on Facebook.

After War Crimes Can There Be Justice? Screening of documentary War Don Don with discussion (2/15)
The film War Don Don follows the recent trial of alleged war criminal Issa Sesay at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, through interviews with defense counsel, prosecutors, observers from the streets and villages of Sierra Leone, as well as the defendant himself. The film was be followed by commentary from students who participated in the 2010 Brandeis in The Hague Program. Cosponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life; Legal Studies; and the Office of Study Abroad. Free and open to the public. More info on Facebook.

Advocacy Award winners reflect on their award-supported work (2/15)
Students in "Advocacy for Policy Change" (LGLS 161b) may apply for an advocacy award to continue over the summer work started in the course, or to undertake a proposed new advocacy project. The first awards were given to Vanessa Kerr '11 and Rebecca Wilkof '10, who completed their projects in December 2010, and wrote about their experiences. Kerr tackled immigration issues; Wilkof served as a legislative aide to a Massachusetts state representative. Read their reflections.

Remembering Alan B. Slifka (1929-2011) (2/7)
Alan Slifka, a far-sighted philanthropist who entrusted Brandeis with helping his vision of coexistence flower in communities around the world, died on February 4. In 2002 he established the Alan B. Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence, housed at the Ethics Center until the 2010 move of coexistence programs to the Heller School. The Center is grateful for his visionary and steadfast support of our programs in coexistence.

From Guantánamo to The Hague: Human Rights Victims and Their Justice Claims - CANCELLED (2/3)
Torture and mass atrocity receive increasing attention by the international community. Accountability for war crimes is on the rise with the establishment of the International Criminal Court. Who are victims of abuse? What do victims want? And who decides whether their demands will be fulfilled? Laurel Fletcher ’86, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, will discuss her work with former Guantánamo detainees and the role of the academy and legal profession in promoting victim-centered justice claims. CANCELLED. More info and RSVP on Facebook (optional). (Still on: Preceding the talk, Brandeis alums will discuss their careers in international law and human rights.)

Career Paths in International Justice and Human Rights (2/3)
Brandeis alumni James Bair '03, Nicole Karlebach '04, and Brahmy Poologasingham '00, discussed their career paths in the field of international justice and human rights. Read more at BrandeisNOW. See photos from the event. More info on Facebook.

January 2011

Course on Peacebuilding and the Arts: PAX 250 "The Arts of Building Peace" (1/11)
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.

Course featuring hands-on advocacy work (1/11)
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.

Ethics Center News Archive