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Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention: News

Current News:

  • October 2, 2014 - Guest speaker and documentary filmmaker Howard Reich, whose visit was initiated by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and co-sponsored by the CPSVP, was featured on the front page of The Collegiate Times. Mr. Reich's reading on October 6 attracted 60 people, and the following fireside chat had 40 participants. The screening of Reich's film, "A Prisoner of Her Past," at the Lyric Theater, sold 170 tickets, an excellent turnout. Mr. Reich spent much of his time on campus engaged in conversation with students, all eager to ask questions about growing up among Holocaust survivors, and sharing stories of their own families' battles with Post-Traumatic Stress.
  • September 12, 2014 - Dr. James Hawdon and Dr. Thomas N. Ratliff were awarded a grant by the National Institute of Justice. The title of their research project is “Radicalization on the Internet: Virtual Extremism in the U.S. from 2012- 2017.” Dr. Ratliff, the Primary Investigator, is a former Virginia Tech Sociology graduate student, and an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Arkansas State University.
  • August 2014 - The Causes and Consequences of Group Violence: From Bullies to Terrorists (Lexington Books) was published.  The book was the product of the international conference and workshop on violence and violence prevention sponsored by the Center in September, 2013.  The workshop participants, including senior scholars and Virginia Tech students, contributed chapters to the book.  The book was edited by James Hawdon, John Ryan, and Marc Lucht.
  • June 11 - 16, 2014 - The Center co-sponsored the International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, Developing and Implementing Culturally Inclusive Conflict Resolution Education Policies and Practices in K-12 and Higher Education. The conference was held in Fairfax, Virginia. This is the Center's fifth year of involvement with the International Conference on CRE.
  • May 6, 2014 - Director of Africana Studies and sociology professor Ellington Graves gave a public lecture, "The Long-Term Resiliency of the Black Community." Dr. Graves' talk was the last in the Human Rights, Reconciliation and Community Resiliency speaker series.
  • May 1, 2014 -  ASPECT Ph.D. student Jordan Hill gave the eighth talk in the Human Rights, Reconciliation and Community Resiliency speaker series.  Jordan’s talk, "The New American Tradition of Memorializing Mass Murder Sites," presented results from his dissertation research.
  • April 29, 2014 - The Center co-sponsored a panel discussion on gun violence.  The event included advocates from both sides of the gun debate, including speakers from Moms Demand Action-VA and the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The event took place off campus, at the Blacksburg Community Center. The film, "After Newtown: Guns in America" was shown.
  • April 27-28, 2014 - The Center co-sponsored the Veterans in Society: Humanizing the Discourse Conference, at the Hotel Roanoke, Virginia, in cooperation with the Veterans' Studies program at Virginia Tech.
  • April 20, 2014 - The Center co-sponsored Professor Contreras Castro’s public talk, “Arquitectura, violencia y literatura en Centroamérica.”  Professor Castro is from the Universidad de Costa Rica.
  • April 8, 2014 - Longtime research collaborator with the Center, Pekka Räsenen, visited from University of Turku, Finland, to present a talk on "Social Solidarity and Community Resiliency: The Influence of the Welfare State." Dr. Räsanen is a professor of economic sociology in the Department of Social Research at the University of Turku, Finland. He has studied consumer behavior, mass violence and media, and attitudes towards various welfare issues for more than ten years. He recently completed a project analyzing the social responses to mass violence in two Finnish towns that experienced school shootings. His current research focuses on how new information technology influences modern life, including how online hate groups operate and influence youth.
  • March 18, 2014 - Medea Benjamin, cofounder of both the well-known anti-war organization CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange, presented "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control," also the title and subject of her most recent book. Ms. Benjamin examined the facts and implications surrounding the increasing use of unmanned systems in lethal strikes on human targets.
  • March 6-7, 2014 - Our second international speaker in the CLAHS-CPSVP lecture series, Mike Bugason, presented "Brokering Peace and Reconciliation in Central Africa," on the practices and compromises involved in conflict and post-conflict peacebuilding. This thought-provoking talk raised many questions on whether peacebuilding processes must be strictly nonviolent. Mr. Bugason is Advisor to the African Union Special Envoy on Lord's Republican Army (LRA) issues, and Secretariat of the Joint Coordination Mechanism for the Regional Cooperation Initiative on LRA, Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). As a Special Envoy advisor, Bugason analyzes information and produces reports with recommendations for effective interventions, coordination of regional efforts, and the mobilization of international support against the LRA—which has spread across the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the southeastern Central African Republic, and parts of south Sudan.
  • January 31, 2014 - VT-ENGAGE and the Center sponsored a discussion led by Professor of History Marian Mollin: "What is Nonviolence? And Why Does it Matter?" Dr. Mollin is also a longtime peace activist and a trainer in the theory and practice of non-violent protest.
  • January 23, 2014 - Kicking off the spring semester in our ongoing College-sponsored lecture series, Virginia Tech Associate Professor of Political Science Clair Apodaca presented on "Disasters as Windows of Opportunity for Improving Women's Rights." Dr. Apodaca's scholarship focuses on international relations with their implications for human rights and human security.
  • January 9, 2014 - Our affiliated faculty, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Marc Lucht, gave a guest lecture to the Rotary Club of Blacksburg.  Dr. Lucht spoke on Cosmopolitanism, global citizenship, and peace.  We are delighted to have Dr. Lucht once again teaching our undergraduate Capstone Course in Peace Studies and Violence Prevention this spring.
  • July 5, 2013 - David Embrick, of Loyola University, Chicago, will be joining the Department of Sociology as Visiting Professor during his sabbatical year, 2013-2014.  David will be concentrating on his role as co-editor, with David Brunsma, of the new American Sociological Association journal on race and ethnicity.  You can read more about his work here.
  • June 3, 20123 - An article was published on the University of Turku, Finland's website regarding the ongoing collaboration between CPSVP, the VT Department of Sociology, and the University of Turku's Department of Sociology on the topic of community resilience in aftermath of school violence.
  • May 16, 2013 - Video Interviews are posted from the "Contemplative Practice for a Technological Society" conference that took place at the Inn at Virginia Tech April 11-13, 2013.  Speakers include Provost Mark McNamee; Director of ICTAS, Roop Mahajan; and many other guests who visited Virginia Tech to share their experiences incorporation mindfulness practices into the demands of a 21st-Century American Life.
  • April 5, 2013 - Public Lecture : "Economic Democracy in Latin America and the United States" -- by Dada Maheshvarananda.  Surge Building 104B, 12:30-2:00 PM.  Can we envision a peace economy?  Global capitalism, based on corporate power and militarism, is destroying our economy, our society and our planet.  Economic democracy that empowers people and communities allows us to share the resources of the planet for the welfare of everyone.  Discover positive examples of economic democracy that are taking place in Latin America and in the United States.  Dada Maheshvarananda is a yogic monk, activist and writer.  His most recent book is After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action, with a contribution by Noam Chomsky.  This lecture is sponsored by Witness for Peace, the Virginia Tech Department of Sociology, the Department of Religion and Culture, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and A.S.P.E.C.T.
  • March 1-2, 2013 - Our weekend event with representatives for the Dorje Kasung, trained in non-violent security and protection modalities through the Tibetan Buddhist Shambhala community, was a huge success.  This was the first time that Kasung had attempted a workshop of this nature outside one of the Shambhala meditation centers, so it was a special happening indeed.  Many of the participants are interested in continuing to practice mindfulness together in an informal inquiry group.