Melissa Brodrick, Ombudsperson at Harvard Medical School, and former mediator for Fortune 500 companies, the State of Massachusetts and non-profit organizations, led an interactive presentation on how mediation can reduce conflict in our world.
She spoke about her experiences as a mediator and how mediation looks at conflict as an opportunity for change. She compared mediation to other forms of dispute resolution such as arbitration and explained how mediation is different: it is voluntary, the parties have self-determination to make any decisions, it is confidential and the mediators are neutral.
See the video of the presentation.
Leymah Gbowee, the 2011 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies at UMass Lowell, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Gbowee served as the Greeley Scholar during April 2011 when she had an opportunity to speak to students, meet with faculty, and present to the Lowell community. Gbowee received the award for her leadership in bringing together a coalition of Christian and Muslim women to end the civil war in Liberia. Chancellor Meehan issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the entire UMass Lowell community, I want to congratulate Leymah Gbowee on being awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. As UMass Lowell’s 2011 Greeley Peace Scholar, Gbowee contributed to our understanding of how deep and lasting conflicts can be resolved through peaceful means. During her participation earlier this year in the University’s International Women Leaders Summit, Gbowee inspired us with her courage and her unflagging commitment to peace and equality. As Nobel Peace Laureate, she will continue to mobilize and unite people.”
A packed audience viewed a new documentary, We Are Egypt, and heard from an expert panel about the situation in Egypt. We Are Egypt is a documentary about the struggle for democracy in Egypt that led to the historic uprising in early 2011. Filmed on the ground in Egypt over the preceding fourteen months, this story is told through the eyes of Egypt’s youth activists, labor movements and political opposition figures. It is an account of their struggle against extraordinary odds to remove an uncompromising US-backed authoritarian regime determined to stay in power.
Prof. Zvi Eisikovits, director of the Center for the Study of Society at the University of Haifa, discussed his research on intimate partner violence. Eisikovits described how couples’ behavioral patterns can lead to the escalation of violence. Within the relationship, he explained, the partners may have differing perceptions of conflict and pain. Also, cultural differences in how to define and respond to verbal and physical abuse can complicate understanding of the escalating violence. Eisikovits is the fourth faculty member from University of Haifa to engage in a research exchange with UMass Lowell, through the expanding partnership in peace and conflict studies.
Provost Abdelal and Dean Coppens welcomed the incoming class of Peace and Conflict Studies students at an orientation on September 7. Students met with faculty advisors, heard about upcoming events, and interacted with classmates. The diverse group of students come from near - Lowell, Lynn, Billerica and far - Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Syria. Paula Rayman, Director of the program, praised the incoming class, “We have truly skilled and experienced students entering the master’s degree program,” says Rayman. “These exemplary individuals will enrich the intellectual life of campus.” Meet some of the incoming students.
Director of Peace Studies Program Speaks at United States Embassy in Israel
Professor Paula Rayman, Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies program, was selected to speak as part of the Distinguished American Speaker program at the United States Embassy in Israel. In her presentation, “An American Scholar Looks ‘Beyond Coexistence’ in Israel,” Prof. Rayman spoke about how nonviolent action has been instrumental in advancing the quest for democracy and better social and economic conditions in the US and the region, and examined how nonviolent interactions within Israeli society between Arab and Jewish populations may bring about constructive change. Following her remarks, the audience of 35 professors, NGO leaders and community activists engaged in a lively discussion. Dr. Rayman was in Israel on a Senior Fulbright Specialist Award, and was working with the University of Haifa on the study “Beyond Coexistence: Israeli Arab and Jewish Relations.” Dr. Rayman also spoke to Jewish and Arab women leaders on the issue of "Can You Work and Have a Life?"
Women Leaders' Summit for Security through Economic and Social Development.
You can watch this video of the Women Leaders' Summit.
Women leaders from Columbia, Egypt, Israel, Liberia, Northern Ireland, and South Africa gathered at UMass Lowell to share their collective knowledge about how to achieve success in promoting peace through economic and social development. Students, faculty, and community members participated in this inaugural Summit. Learn more about the Women Leaders' Summit.
You can view the video of Leymah Gbowee's talk.
Leymah Gbowee was the 2011 Greeley Scholar for Peace at UMass Lowell. Ms. Gbowee led a non-violent movement in Liberia to end the civil war. She is featured in the documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, and was named one of Newsweek's 150 Women Who Shake the World. As the 2011 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies, she had the opportunity to share give lectures, teach courses, and meet with students and faculty. Learn more about Leymah Gbowee's visit to UMass Lowell.
University of Haifa, Israel – a partner university with UMass Lowell – launched a MA Program in Peace and Conflict Management Studies. A 2009 partnership agreement between UMass Lowell and University of Haifa called for both universities to develop Peace Studies programs. Future collaboration includes student, faculty, and research exchange.
Professor Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa gave two lectures on how different types of democracies cope with ethnonational conflicts this fall at UMass Lowell. He spoke to faculty and students as part of the lecture series on “Moving Towards International Peace in the 21st Century.” His lectures were based on research he undertook as the Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
Three months before the non-violent uprising in Egypt, UMass Lowell hosted a leading scholar on non-violent social action. David Cortright, Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, discussed the newest research findings on the practice of nonviolence - and why nonviolence has proven more effective than violence in creating political and social change. Learn more about David Cortright's visit.