2012 News Archive

December 2012

"Tracing Roots: Uncovering Realities Beneath the Surface" (12/13)
At this event the 2012 Sorensen Fellows, after having processed their summer experiences in the seminar "Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies" (PAX 89), shared their international internship experiences with the Brandeis community.  Read about their experiences in BrandeisNOW.

November 2012

"Advocacy for Policy Change" featured in BrandeisNOW (11/5)
BrandeisNOW featured the Ethics Center-supported "Advocacy for Policy Change" course (LGLS 161b), with a particular focus on student advocacy for the Hinton State Lab. In the wake of a scandal at the Massachusetts state crime lab, work that students in the Advocacy for Policy Change course did advocating for funds that would have strengthened the lab was featured in Boston-area media (see "State drug lab 101: Students predicted cuts were disaster" in the Boston Herald, 10/21/12) and on campus (see the article in BrandeisNOW and The Hoot).

Ethics Center launches new YouTube Page (11/5)
The Ethics Center launched a new YouTube page, featuring videos produced by current Ethics Center Leadership Council (ECLC) members Aditya Sanyal '13 and Hailey Magee '15. The videos feature members of the Ethics Center's International Advisory Board. Also available for viewing are clips from past Ethics Center events. Watch them all here

October 2012

Exposures: Photography and the Politics of Looking (10/31)
The Rose Art Museum's exhibition "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean", which opened in September, has facilitated conversations with leading experts pn the links between coexistence and reconciliation and the arts. On October 31, the artist participated in such a discussion, specifically addressing the photographic image and its resonance with politics, with a keynote address by Catherine Cissé van den Muijsenbergh (executive director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation). The exhibit was also featured in discussions during a visit by Farhat Agbaria, a Muslim Palestinian Israeli coexistence facilitator based at Givat Haviva and Seeds of Peace. Both events were featured in a recent BrandeisNOW article about the ongoing exhibition and related events. Read more.

Distinguished Visiting Practitioner Michel Noureddine Kassa in Residency (10/15 - 10/19)
Discussing mistrust, rivalries, and manipulation of the legacies of the past: these are but a few of the many hurdles faced by societies post-conflict on the road to national cohesion and peace. Michel Kassa addressed these and other issues in conjunction many students at Brandeis University during his time in residence. Read more about Michel Noureddine Kassa's Distinguished Visiting Practitioner Residency. Read an article in Brandeis newspaper the Hoot: "Ethics center brings renowned peacebuilder to Deis."

September 2012

2013 'DEIS Impacters selected (9/26)
The 2013 core organizing committee of the 'DEIS Impact social justice festival has been selected. They are responsible for reaching out to the community to plan events during the week-long festival, make funding and proposal recommendations, and serve as liaisons to the events, among other duties. Read more about 'DEIS Impact and the core committee here. Read about last year's festival here.

Facilitating Encounters through Art: a workshop for artists working in zones of violent conflict (9/21-9/23; 9/28-9/30)
In two workshops designed for artists, cultural workers, and leaders of cultural institutions who work or plan to work in zones of violent conflict around the world – including the United States – participants explored the relationship between dialogue and art. Led by Farhat Agbaria, coexistence facilitator from Givat Haviva and Seeds of Peace, and Cindy Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University. The workshop will be facilitated using frameworks drawn from group dynamics, conflict transformation, personal growth, and educational theories. Applications have been closed, and the events are currently waiting list only. Read more about the workshops

Year Abroad, Queer Abroad (9/19)
What’s it like to be queer in a foreign country? A panel of Brandeis students and alumni spoke about their study abroad experiences at the third annual forum cosponsored by Triskelion, the Office of Study Abroad, and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. Read about and see pictures from the first "Year Abroad, Queer Abroad" (in 2010).

 The Art of Dialogue: a conversation with coexistence facilitator Farhat Agbaria (9/19)
Undergraduate and graduate students engaged in conversation with Farhat Agbaria, experienced coexistence facilitator. Farhat grew up in a Muslim Palestinian family in Israel, and has led dialogues with young people and adults from the Middle East, India and Kashmir, the former Yugoslavia, and the United States. He shared stories from his experiences, and responded to questions from a panel of students and members of the audience. Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, acted as moderator. Read more about Farhat Agbaria's time at Brandeis University

Brandeis students and staff present at the Millennium Campus Conference in Boston (9/14-9/15)
 Brandeis students Sarah Van Buren '13, Paul Sukijthamapan '13, Leila May Pascual '15, and Miriam Wong '14 and Marci McPhee of the Ethics Center presented on at the annual Millennium Campus Conference in Boston, leading two workshops: Mobilizing a Movement Through Personal Narrative, and Maximizing My Impact in the World. They participated in the conference with such figures as Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and renowned economist. 

Ethics Center participates in inaugural conference for center for study of international courts (9/14-9/15)
Center director Dan Terris and director of Programs in International Justice and Society Leigh Swigart attended the inaugural conference of iCourts on September 14-15 in Denmark. Based at the University of Copenhagen, iCourts is a new interdisciplinary research center funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. Its mandate is to study the increasingly important role of international courts and tribunals in the global legal order as well as in society and politics at large. Terris and Swigart had the opportunity to meet scholars working in the field from Europe and other regions as well as discuss possible future research and programming collaborations.

'DEIS Impact: Launch Party/Information Session (9/12)
 Students participated in a launch party/information session, where they learned how to organize and secure funding for a 'DEIS Impact event. 'DEIS Impact is the unique collaboration between the Brandeis Undergraduate Student Union and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. The inaugural 'DEIS Impact "festival of social justice" was held the in February, where close to a thousand students took part. Read more about 'DEIS Impact

Playback Theatre and Desert Roots: Journey of an Iranian Immigrant Family (9/7)
Students, faculty, staff and guests celebrated the launch of Mitra Shavarini’s new book "Desert Roots: Journey of an Iranian Immigrant Family." Shavarini is a lecturer at Brandeis University in Women’s and Gender Studies and Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, where she teaches the fall Sorensen Fellowship writing course. This deeply personal narrative chronicles the events and people that brought her parents to America and then back again to Iran. The evening featured an introduction and reading by Shavarini, faculty respondent Kristin Lucken (International and Global Studies) and student respondent Leila May Pascual ’15, who perform a song in her native Tagalog, written in response to the book. In response to the audience's reactions to the readings, a professional Playback Theatre group formed by Brandeis alumni Will Chalmus '07, Nathan Porteshawver '09, and Etta King '10, with others, performed, offering this powerful theater technique to explore themes drawn from the book. This event was cosponsored by the Education Department and the Ethics Center.Read more in the Justice newspaper.

Summer/Fall 2012 issue of Ethics Central now in print and online (9/1)
Read about the Center’s work from January through July 2012, and learn about new resources and events in the upcoming Summer/Fall issue of Ethics Central. Highlights include: “’DEIS Impact! Exploring Social Justice on Campus and Around the World” … How the arts are linked with justice … Details on the Center’s Global Judicial Colloquium convened in Haifa … The new 2012 report from the Brandeis Institute for International Judges … ‘DEIS Impact keynote speaker Ruth Messinger’s address … Expert dialogue facilitator Farhat Agbaria in residence … Perspectives from the U.S. and abroad on the role of Universities in social justice … and more. Now available [PDF].

July 2012

The 2012 Sorensen Fellows report from the field (7/23)
The 2012 Sorensen Fellows are spending eight weeks “in the field” this summer, grappling with political conflict, religious tolerance, the arts and coexistence, the legacy of genocide, and environmental and economic development. They return to Brandeis in the fall to process their experiences in the seminar “Internship in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies.” Read their reflections on the experience so far (BrandeisNOW feature story).

Ethics Center Convenes Global Judicial Colloquium at University of Haifa (7/20-7/22)
The Center convened the Global Judicial Colloquium in Haifa, Israel from July 20 to 22. The Colloquium was part of a larger training academy for domestic judges from around the world, organized by the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa. To date, the Center has held colloquia in West Africa, North America, South America, and India. Read more about the Brandeis Judicial Colloquia series. Read more about the Global Judicial Colloquium in Haifa.

Awards support student summer advocacy work: Lessons from innovative Legal Studies course put into practice (7/9)
Four Brandeis students have been awarded $1,000 each to work on advocacy projects over the summer: Rebecca Miller ’13, focusing on domestic violence issues, and reproductive choice; Victoria Negus ’12, focusing on immigrant rights; Haley Orlofsky ’14, focusing on clean water; and Rachel Usnik ’13, focusing on food security. The Advocacy Awards are a component of Advocacy for Policy Change, an initiative launched by the Ethics Center in 2009, designed to encourage citizens to bring moral and ethical insights to the process of making and revising laws. Read more.

Book Review: Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflictanthology (7/5)
Theater director Jean Randich reviews the anthology Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict (New Village Press 2011), which was produced by the Center's Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders. From the truthdig.com review: "If the impetus for this study came from artists and peace builders in post 9/11 America determined to resist our political isolation, it is the cross-cultural collaboration with artists and peace workers across the globe that makes “Acting Together” such an exciting and important read." Read the complete review. Learn more about the Acting Together project.

June 2012

Screening of the documentary "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict" at The Boston Foundation (6/22)
Dr. Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, presented the documentary, "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict" which chronicles the work and thoughts of performing artists, playwrights, educators and activists engaged in the transformation of conflict in places as far-flung as Serbia, Peru, Uganda and the United States. She answered questions following the screening at The Boston Foundation in Boston, joined by Kathleen Bitetti, artist, policy expert and chief curator at Medicine Wheel Productions; and Charles Mulekwa, playwright from Uganda and a curator of Acting Together project. Read more.

Center Director joins President Lawrence for discussion of "Law and Justice at Brandeis" following historic swearing in of 16 alums to the bar of the Supreme Court  (6/14)
Ethics Center Director Dan Terris discussed “Law and Justice at Brandeis” with President Lawrence and several dozen Washington-area Brandeis alums following the historic swearing in of 16 Brandeis alumni to the bar of the Supreme Court. Read more.

Student who'd never traveled founds arts NGO for kids in Ghana (6/5)
The Brandeis University news website BrandeisNOW featured the work in Ghana of 2011 Sorensen Fellow Jessye Kass '13. During her time as a Sorensen Fellow Kass cofounded the Attukwei Art Foundation,  a non-governmental organization that aims to educate children about the world around them through art and to provide therapeutic arts programs. This summer four Brandeis students are interning with Attukwei Arts Foundation. Read her reflections on her Sorensen Fellowship experience in "Trauma and Healing Through Art: Revealing the Power of Solidarity" [PDF] in the 2011 Sorensen Fellowship/PAX89 anthology.

May 2012

Ethics Center celebrates its graduating seniors at "UnCommencement" 2012 (5/2)
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 2012

Students present advocacy projects at "Present and Defend" (4/28)
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 Domestic Violence Bill, In-state Tuition, an Act to Promote the Successful Transition of Students with Disabilities to Post-Secondary Education, Employment and Independent Living, and updating the "Bottle Bill." More info on Facebook and here.

March 2012

"Social Justice and the University: Perspectives from the U.S. and Abroad" (3/12)
Some say that universities are simply in the "knowledge business." Others contend that a liberal arts education should propel students to action, particularly in the realm of social justice. What is the right answer for Brandeis University? Distinguished members of the Ethics Center's International Advisory Board discussed this question at an open forum introduced by Brandeis University Provost Steve Goldstein. Read more. See the event page on Facebook. See photos from the event. Read an article about the event in Brandeis student newspaper The Justice. Read a post about the event on the "Global Brandeis 2.0" blog.

 Center’s Director of Programs in International Justice and Society attends first official meeting between members of U.S. Supreme Court and  European Court of Human Rights.
Director of the Ethics Center’s Programs in International Justice and Society Leigh Swigart recently attended the first judicial dialogue event for judges of the United States Supreme Court (USSC) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “Judicial Process and the Protection of Rights” was organized by the George Washington University Law School. It consisted of a public session – widely attended by the media, members of the government, law faculty and students – followed by three closed and confidential sessions, with a restricted audience. Read more and see photos.

February 2012

"Local is Global: Bridging Domestic Action and Global Impact" –'DEIS Impact! Keynote Address by Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (2/8)
Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service, delivered the keynote address for the 'DEIS Impact! festival of social justice at 7pm in Sherman Function Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center at Brandeis. For 25 years, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) has worked to empower marginalized people around the world. But with problems so vast, it can be hard to imagine how individuals can help. AJWS President Ruth W. Messinger kicked off a dynamic discussion about AJWS’s approach to development abroad and at home. From far-flung grassroots NGOs working in the field, to Jewish advocates for food justice lobbying on Capitol Hill, she described the transformative impact of education, volunteering and advocacy, and proposed new ways individuals can support movements for change around the world. Special guest Professor Laurence Simon, co-founder of AJWS and executive director of Sustainable International Development Graduate Programs at Brandeis University’s Heller School, reflected on his vision at the creation of AJWS and on the remarkable 25-year history of the organization he helped launch. See the full 'DEIS Impact! schedule.

'DEIS Impact! Exploring Social Justice on Campus and Around the World (2/5-2/10)
The Ethics Center and the Brandeis Undergraduate Student Union presented the first weeklong "festival of social justice" at Brandeis. Clubs and academic departments planned dozens of events throughout the week, featuring talks, performances, exhibits, discussions – even a Tae Kwon Do workshop that included a speaker about gender violence. All events were free and open to the public. See the full schedule.

January 2012

Blue – Exhibit by Naoe Suzuki (1/12-3/2)
Naoe Suzuki, Senior Program Coordinator for the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at the Ethics Center, exhibited her most recent drawings and works on paper, from January 12 - March 2, 2012 at the Kniznick Gallery of the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis. Suzuki's psychologically complex drawings reference imagery from circus animals and water to medical abnormalities and scientific technology. Opening reception was Thursday, January 26, 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.; Artist Slide Talk was Tuesday, February 14, 12:30 p.m. More information.

Coordination and Collaboration in Global Justice: the 8th Brandeis Institute for International Judges (1/3-1/7)
17 judges from 12 courts and tribunals, including those that address criminal, human rights, and inter-state dispute matters, were hosted by the Center in Carmona, Spain for the 8th Brandeis Institute for International Judges – the only such regular gathering of judges from international courts and tribunals across the globe. Read more.

Ethics Center News Archive