WILMINGTON — In 1975, at the height of the Cold War, peace activist Barbara Reynolds founded the Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College with a historic conference titled “Hiroshima: 30 Years After: A Call to Global Community.”
In commemoration of the Peace Resource Center’s 40th anniversary in 2015, it is hosting a two-day conference, “Justice and Peace: A Call to Local & Global Community,” Sept. 10 and 11 that is designed to both commemorate and advance the center’s peace-building work.
It is free of charge and open to the public.
Tanya Maus, director of the center, said the event will reflect the spirit of the founding conference by gathering together “public intellectuals and peacemakers to examine the meaning of peace and its relevance to a new generation of youth and activists.”
She added that, for four decades, the Peace Resource Center has been faithful to Reynolds’ vision of creating awareness about the effects of nuclear weapons on civilians and the need for global peace through the compelling messages of the hibakusha, the Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The PRC offers a unique archive of historical materials related to the Japanese experience of the atomic bombings and global pacifism, but also through its more general conflict resolution programming on campus and in the community.
The schedule for the two-day conference opens Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m. with a period of quiet reflection in the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse in Boyd Cultural Arts Center. Campus minister Daniel Kasztelan will lead the activity that also features the “Birdsong Meditation” by Reynolds’ daughter, Jessica Renshaw.
The opening ceremony and memory sharing will commence at 10:15 a.m. in Kelly Center, with remarks by Maus; Peter van den Dungen, professor emeritus, Bradford University; Michiko Yamane, chair, World Friendship Center, Hiroshima; and Terry Miller, emeritus associate professor of education and an organizer of the 1975 conference.
After lunch, which is available for sale in WC’s Top of Pyle Center, Elyssa Faison, professor, University of Oklahoma, will speak at 1 p.m. in Kelly Center, on “Barbara Reynolds, Hiroshima and the Origins of a Transnational Anti-Nuclear Movement,” followed, at 2:30 p.m., with a presentation on “Kingian Nonviolence” by Kazu Haga, director, East Point Peace Academy.
That evening, Norma Field, professor emerita, University of Chicago, will offer the keynote address at 6 p.m., in Hugh G. Heiland Theatre, titled “How Can We Say and Mean Peace Today?” Following, Haga will present a workshop, “’Hands-on Peace’: Kingian Nonviolence with Kazu Haga,” at 7:15 p.m.
The Sept. 11 schedule opens with a 9:30 a.m. panel discussion in the meetinghouse, titled “Global Peace Initiatives in Our Local Community,” with Chuck Watts, Wilmington A.M. Rotary, Empathy Surplus Project; Nicole Friend, Arcadia Learning Commons; and Michael Kalter, Southwest Ohio Peace Corps.
Maus will offer a tour of the Peace Resource Center from 10:40 to 11:20 a.m.
Concurrent panel discussions will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the first one, in the meetinghouse, titled “Peace Pilgrimages and Awakenings as Alternatives to Violence” and featuring Haga; Roy Tamashiro, professor of multidisciplinary studies, Webster University; and Stephen Potthoff, associate professor of religion and philosophy, Wilmington College.
Also, the panel discussion, “Museums as Peacemakers: Harmonizing Institutional and Community Visions of Peace,” will feature, in Kelly Center, Kazuyo Yamane, vice director, Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University; Ruth Brindle, director, Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center; and Jerry Leggett, director, Dayton International Peace Museum.
Following lunch, which again will be for sale in the Top of Pyle Center, will be concurrent workshops beginning at 1:50 p.m.
In the meetinghouse will be one titled “Defining Justice and Peace in Our Campus Community with WC students: Marcus Benson, representing Greek Life and Iota Phi Theta fraternity; Riley Foley, Quaker Leader Scholars and Gay-Straight Alliance; Carly Pritchard, Active Minds and Faith inaction; Ja’Cole Tabor, Black Student Initiative; and Montana McFarland, the national agriculture honor society, Delta Tau Alpha
The workshop in Kelly Center will highlight the topic, “Defining Justice and Peace with Our Campus Community,” with presenters Julie Brassel, director, Alternatives to Violence Center; Mark Rembert, director, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce; and Dean Feldmeyer, pastor, Wilmington United Methodist Church.
Following a tour of the Quaker Heritage Center, from 3:20 to 4 p.m., a workshop titled “Defining Justice and Peace for a Global Community,” at 4 p.m., will feature Field and van den Dungen; Michael Snarr, professor of political science; and Joyce Apsel, professor, New York University.
The closing ceremony is planned for 5:20 p.m. at the Simon Goodman Memorial Carillon on the campus mall with a rain location of Kelly Center. More conference information is available by contacting the PRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 481-2371. The conference website is www.wilmington.edu/the-wilmington-difference/prc/40th-anniversary/.