WMU News

16th annual Peace Week set for Oct. 4-11

Oct. 2, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Father Peter Dougherty, coordinator of the Michigan Faith and Resistance Peace Team, will give the keynote address during the 16th annual Peace Week at Western Michigan University Oct. 4-11. He also will present a workshop on nonviolent direct action during the week.

Peace Week is organized by a coalition of campus and community peace and justice organizations, including the Bertha Reynolds Society, United Campuses Against Militarism, La Lucha, the Kalamazoo College Non-Violent Student Organization and the World Tree Multi-Cultural Center for Peace, Justice and Mother Earth.

The theme again this year is "If you want peace, work for justice." "Most conflict situations at home and around the world revolve around the existence of social and economic injustice," said Dr. Donald F. Cooney, WMU associate professor of social work and adviser to many student peace groups.

Dougherty's keynote address, "Struggle and Significance: The Situation in Chiapas, Mexico," is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall on the WMU campus. He will present his workshop on "Non-Violent Direct Action" from 1 to 3:30 p.m. that same day in Room 208 of the WMU Bernhard Center.

Dougherty is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Lansing and a long-time social activist. As a campus minister at Eastern Michigan University, he became active against the Vietnam War and involved in the United Farmworkers' struggle for justice. He has also been active in the disarmament movement and in direct caring for the poor.

Dougherty co-founded Covenant for Peace, Great Lakes Life Community and the Michigan Faith and Resistance, all focused on peacemaking. As coordinator of the Michigan Faith and Resistance Peace Team, he has traveled to Bosnia, Haiti, the Middle East and Chiapas, Mexico, to take part in violence reduction projects. He is an expert in the tactics and strategy of non-violent direct action for peace and justice.

Four other events also will be featured as part of Peace Week. Gregory Mahler, Kalamazoo College provost, will present "Israel and Palestine: Peace in the Middle East" at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in the Olmsted Room of Mandelle Hall on the Kalamazoo College campus.

The Kalamazoo College Non-Violent Student Organization will present "Western Development and Violence Against Women" at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the Recital Hall of the college's Light Fine Arts Building.

Two events will take place on Thursday, Oct. 9. At 4 p.m., Brenda Consuela Ruiz, a liberation theologian from Nicaragua, will discuss "Social Justice in Central America" in Room 1032 of Moore Hall on the WMU campus. At 7:30 that evening, Amnesty International, marking its 20th anniversary in Kalamazoo, will present two speakers. Dr. M. Scot Tanner, WMU associate professor of political science, will speak on "Human Rights in China" and Michael Heflin, director of the Midwest office of Amnesty International USA, will discuss the work of Amnesty International. Both of these talks will be in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall.

Peace Week will end with an "Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. This special event will mark the first anniversary of the World Tree, Kalamazoo's multi-cultural community center for peace, justice and mother earth, and will take place at its headquarters at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall. Traditional drumming, dancing and storytelling will be featured, along with a presentation by Ian Zabarte from the Western Shoshone National Council in Nevada on nuclear weapons testing and radioactive waste dumping on their sacred homeland.

Peace Week is partially funded by the WMU Student Assessment Fee and the Winnie Veenstra Peace Fund of the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society. For more information, persons may contact Cooney at 616 387-3190 or 616 349-3027; the Kalamazoo College Non-Violent Student Organization at 616 337-5943; or the World Tree Multi-Cultural Center for Peace, Justice and Mother Earth at 616 383-9317.

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400