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Academic Symposium Program

Photo: / AFSC

In April 2017, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a leading peace and justice organization, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. To mark this milestone, we will host a one-day symposium to showcase cutting-edge scholarship on areas of AFSC work both past and present and to inspire the next generation of research on peace and justice. The symposium will bring scholars together with past, present, and future activists, highlighting the connection between scholarship and advocacy around AFSC’s key issues.

This program is organized around strategies/tactics/methods by which the AFSC has struggled to achieve peace and social justice.  The papers provide examples of how these approaches have been applied in the U.S. and around the world at different times.



Welcome & kick-off: 

George Lakey, founder, Training for Change and leader in the field of nonviolent social change | Video


Morning Panel #1:  Direct Service | Video

Humanitarian intervention and service as a way to encourage healing and understanding; includes domestic and international relief, reconstruction, feeding, and medical service. 

Chair: Emma Lapansky-Werner

Moderator: Linda Lewis


Susan Armstrong-Reid - Three China ‘Gadabouts’: Working with the Friends Service Unit, 1947-1951 | Conference Paper

Dr. Susan Armstrong-Reid is an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph. Both her teaching and research focus on the transformation of humanitarianism since 1945. Her third book, The China Gadabouts: the New Frontiers of Humanitarian Nursing, 1941-1951, is forthcoming with the University of British Columbia Press.


Guy Aiken - Peace without Justice? The AFSC's Early Relief Projects in Appalachia Video | Conference Paper

Guy Aiken is a PhD Candidate in American Religions in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Virginia. His dissertation, "Sowing Peace, Reaping War," is about the AFSC's humanitarian projects in Germany and Appalachia in the 1920s and 30s.


Immaculada Colomina LimoneroThe AFSC and the victims of the Spanish Civil War| Conference Paper

Immaculada Colomina Limonero is the CONNECTING EXCELLENCE- MARIE CURIE FELLOW at School of Humanities: History, Geography, and Arts, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. She specializes in Immigration and refugees scholar, with a focus on women and children issues, both as researcher and professor. Dissertation theses about the Spanish children refugee in the former Soviet Union. For 5 years, a postdoctoral researcher at the Arizona State University. Currently leading a research about North American international humanitarian relief for women and children during Spanish Civil War.


Morning Panel #2: Grassroots Organizing | Video

Organizing and providing resources to affect change from the grassroots level up on issues of both peace and justice.

Chair: Pedro Rios

Moderator: Regina Austin


Terence L. Johnson - African American Civil Rights and Educational Equality Organizing in South Carolina Video | Conference Paper

Terence L. Johnson is a history teacher at Montgomery College in Silver Spring Maryland.  He has conducted research on rare letters and photographs of African American educators, dating from 1940s to the 1970s.  He is presently working on an audio-book that explores the secret history of the Civil Rights Movement.


Stephen McNeil – American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), LGBT Rights and the Religious Society of Friends Video | Conference Paper

Stephen has worked for the San Francisco office of the American Friends Service Committee for 32 years in a variety of positions. Currently he is the Wage Peace Director working on police militarization, US/Mexico arms trade, and supporting veterans and active duty military personnel through the GI Rights Hotline housed in the AFSC San Francisco office.  In his AFSC work Stephen was a member of the San Francisco AFSC LGBT Rights Task Force. He is a member of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting (Berkeley, California), Pacific Yearly Meeting.  He has been active with FCNL for three decades and is currently on its General Committee and on the Board of Pendle Hill.


Francis Bonenfant-Juwong - Catalytic Agents: Community Development and the "Organizing" of Arab Villages for Peace and Prosperity in the 1950s Video | Conference Paper

Francis Bonenfant-Juwong is a PhD candidate in History and Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute of the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation incorporates the work of AFSC into a larger discussion of the role of American NGOs in the promotion of development-as-peacebuilding among Arab villagers in the mid-twentieth century.


Lunch Panel:  Lives dedicated to Peace and Justice | Video

Using biography to understand the links between peace and justice, service/humanitarianism/activism.  Lighter, lunch time session.


Tracy K'Meyer "Mom, What did you do in the struggle for peace and justice": Using Oral History to Document the Work of The AFSC. Video | Conference Paper

Tracy K'Meyer is a professor of History at the University of Louisville, where she is also Co-Director of the Oral History Center.  Her research focuses on social movements in the Twentieth Century US. She is currently writing a book on the AFSC's housing activism from the 1930s to 1970s.


Nan Macy - An American Farmer in WWI France: Quaker Roots and Influences in AFSC's Early Years| Conference Paper

With a writing, editing, videography, and events background, Nan is writing a book about AFSC WWI peace work.  A Hedgebrook alumna, a founding organizer of the Chuckanut Writers Conference, and a contributor to Everyday Book Marketing, she serves on Pendle Hill’s Education Committee and holds graduate degrees in American Studies and English.


Vanessa Northington Gamble - Talk Racial Justice, Medicine, and the American Friends Service Committee: The Activist Work of Dr. Virginia M. Alexander Video | Conference Paper

Vanessa Northington Gamble, MD, PhD is University Professor of Medical Humanities and Professor of Health Policy and American Studies at the George Washington University. A physician, scholar, and activist, Dr. Gamble is an internationally recognized expert on the history of American medicine, racial inequities in health care, and bioethics.


Afternoon Panel #1:  Reconciliation, Connection, and Cooperation | Video

Bringing people together in order to promote dialogue, reconceive problems and solutions, and cooperate for peace and justice.

Chair:  Jason Tower

Moderator: Mari Oye


Carolyne Lamar JordanThe Third World Coalition’s Influence on AFSC’s Mission and Impact for nearly Five Decades Video | Conference Paper

Carolyne Lamar Jordan is a member of Sandwich Monthly Meeting (NEYM), AFSC Corporation. Formerly, AFSC Board, Africa and Women's program, IDEC, and NE Regional EC. Past board Member, Cambridge (MA) Friends School, and The School for Friends (Washington, DC). Civil rights advocate for Native Americans, immigrant farm workers, and unfairly incarcerated. Participant in 1960 Nashville (TN) sit-in movement. Retired college/university vice president.


Gordon Mantler (@gomantler) - Partners in Justice and Peace: AFSC and the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 Video | Conference Paper

Gordon Mantler is an Assistant Professor of Writing and of History at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He wrote Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974, published in 2013 with UNC Press. His current project is on multiracial electoral politics in Chicago in the 1980s.


Doris Panzer - Measuring progress in tiny steps: local peace process implementation through civic engagement in Northern Ireland Video | Conference Paper

Anthropologist Dori Panzer teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where her focus is on expressions of cultural identity and heritage in Irish America and Ireland. Her current research examines how people are negotiating the cultural politics of citizenship and identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland and ways in which they are creating and performing their own heritage of the Troubles.


Afternoon Panel #2:  Speaking Truth to Power | Video

Using protest, agitation, and persuasion, often aimed at change in policy or official action with examples that range from local to national and international.

Chair: Maria Stephan

Moderator: Alma Abdulhadi Jadallah


Stephen Zunes (@SZunes) – Transition from Reconciliation to Speaking Truth to Power/Protest Approach in Peace Education Work Around the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict Video | Conference Paper

Stephen Zunes is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the Middle Eastern Studies program. He is member of the Quaker Palestine/Israel Network and has served as a staff member, committee member, and/or volunteer on Middle East concerns for the AFSC, Friends General Conference, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.


David L. Hostetter – Anatomy of Truth: Speak Truth to Power, Anatomy of Anti-Communism, and AFSC Strategy to Thaw the Cold War Video | Conference Paper

David Hostetter, Independent Scholar, is author of Movement Matters: American Antiapartheid Activism and the Rise of Multicultural Politics, which includes a chapter on AFSC’s antiapartheid work. A 1979 graduate of George School, he served on the staff of the Washington Peace Center 1985-88, and works with the Peace History Society.


Negar Razavi (@razaraz) – From Feminist Security Experts to Human Rights Lobbyists: Middle East Policy and the Politics of ‘Resistance’ within the Washington Establishment Video | Conference Paper

Negar is an advanced doctoral candidate in anthropology at Penn. Her dissertation evaluates the role of DC-based policy experts in shaping U.S. security policies towards the Middle East since 2001. She previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Education for Employment Foundation and has an MSc from Oxford and a BA from Tufts.


Keynote Speaker: Erica Chenoweth, Ph.D. (@EricaChenoweth) is Professor & Associate Dean for Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver | Video


Closing remarks