Save the Center for Peace at Wayne State University

Because of recent budget cutbacks the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University is in dire straights and on the verge of closing its doors. It is one of the oldest institutions devoted to the study of peace and conflict in the country. Please help by passing along this information to anyone you know that may be  interested in preserving this noble 46-year-old Detroit & World class institution.

Listen to a recent WDET interview with Dr. Fred Pearson, the current director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies: http://www.wdet.org/news/story/PeaceandConflictInterview/

Please sign a petition to save the peace center here: http://www.signon.org/sign/save-the-center-for-peace?source=c.url&r_by=1272864

Silent March for Peace FRIDAY October 14th, AT NOON meeting at the front entrance of  Old Main/WSU campus : https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=227485250644699

“WSU President Gilmour has moved to have the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies closed, with a final vote of the Board of Governors to be decided in December. The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (where the Center resides), Robert Thomas, has given a directive to have a formal annual commitment of $177,000 as a pre-condition to withdraw its request for closure by a self-defeating deadline of October 21, 2011. We are intent on taking a collective stand on the import of keeping the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies open. We implore this academic administration to engage in fruitful open negotiation as the Center’s supporters bring forth resources and support, funds and fundraisers to meet this financial challenge.

We are taking a stand that peace education is vital to the development of our society and it shall continue. At this Great Turning we need to model the importance of citizenship as living responsibly in the world. And we must ask, “What does a university responsibly give to a society?” The university was originally founded on the principle of providing “academic freedom.” My classes have been cross-listed with the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and they have creating the context for studying and creating art that moves the culture forward, and raises questions that move our society forward.

Save the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and give peace a chance!

We are in the midst of a powerful democratic awakening and we need your help as a leading voice for peace. The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies in Detroit
is part of the Wayne State University, a major Carnegie Mellon research university in the cultural center of Detroit. We are now stewarding the 21st century facing great battles for our devastated inner city school systems which experiences 50-75% dropout rate, the ravished environment and the ravaged economy. I am teaching a class titled: Art as Activism: So You Say You Want a Revolution? and it is committed to being part of the grassroots activism that is fired up in this city at this time. We have read Grace Lee Boggs’s current classic The New American Revolution: Sustainable Revolution for the 21st Century as our textbook where she speaks to this being the time to “grow our own souls.” Now we are literally asking our Wayne State University administration to,
“Give peace a chance!”

The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies began in 1965 and forged peace education during the seismic social changes of the following decades. This program is the oldest of its kind, and it grew during the most challenging decades of social change for peace, women’s rights, civil rights and the LBGT movement. Now we are another crucible for change. This Center for Peace and Conflict Studies teaches the tools for creating a more just society and beloved communities in a state that has been rated third in the number of hate groups in this country, and where hate crimes against LGBT individuals have reported to be increased in 2010 (according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs). It was crucial in mediating life threatening conflict with Arab-American owned businesses in the neighboring township Dearborn after 9/11, and continues to be crucial in educating against bullying in the schools and diminishing violence against youth. It is successful in its mission to “develop and implement projects, programs, curricula, research and publications in areas of scholarship related to international and domestic peace, war, social justice, arms control, globalization, multicultural awareness and constructive conflict resolution” and it is being threatened of being closed by its own administration to serve the budget cuts and be the sacrificial lamb to this economic crisis.

We acknowledge that these are difficult times and that the administration must make difficult decisions. However we are there are creative solutions for keeping the center open and we are mandating our administration to consider being flexible to those who are stepping up to the plate to create solutions for sustaining the operation of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Howard Thurman cautions those of us who are concerned with cultural transformation to not allow our visions to conform to a pattern we seek to impose but rather to allow them to be modeled and shaped according to the innermost transformation that is going on in our spirits.

It took 46 years of social justice struggle to have the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies forge its presence to now. We must keep it in place, keep what is good. We have to take care of the past in order to take care of the future. If we let it cave now, we will march, and rise, and create revolution to again ask, “What kind of education do we need to forge the future?” And it will be, again, a Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. ” – source; face book announcement, created by Aaron Timlin, Marilyn Zimmerwoman, and Sarah Stawski

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3 comments on “Save the Center for Peace at Wayne State University
  1. This is very disappointing… I just considered applying to WSU’s MA in Dispute Resolution over other programs around the country.

    If the MADR isn’t cut, the loss of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies would take a lot from the MADR program.

  2. Dear Kyle,
    Thanks for your concern. Please state your position in the comment section of the petition cited and you are welcome to contact me to assist in strategies for keeping the Center open and for spreading the word for its support. We must spread the word for support for Saving the Center for Peace and Conflct Studies as numbers are a means to a powerful voice. My email is zimmerwoman@wayne.edu

  3. Comment made and wiped out. Again Center for Peace and Conflict needed to meet the challenge of a new city in matters of growth, structure, justice and education. Keep the people who have invested so much time and have the necessary experience to deal with public administration’ s needs in the new frontier.

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