Saybrook Professor George Kent - who teaches STR 6585 "The Human Right to Adequate Food" - has published Ending Hunger Worldwide, a book that challenges the naïve notion that everyone wants hunger to end. Rather, hunger ensures that some people will work for very low pay, so employers make good profits and consumers enjoy cheap goods. Hunger analysts typically focus on agriculture yields and interventions with capsules and supplements. They rarely acknowledge that hunger is a deeply social issue that is shaped by the ways in which people treat each other. The central concept that drives the book is that in strong communities, people don’t go hungry. Strong communities have high levels of concern about one another’s well-being. People may provide food to one another when that is necessary, but more fundamentally, they ensure that all have decent opportunities to provide for themselves.There is no shortage of food in the world; there is a shortage of opportunities.
Kent's other recent publication, Regulating Infant Formula, assesses the widespread assumption that the government or some international agency is monitoring the quality of infant formula. Government agencies sometimes raise alarms when a batch of formula is seriously contaminated, but they are not monitoring the product to ensure the health of children. More than half the infant formula used in the U.S. is provided by the government, at no cost to the families. The government monitors the economic impact on the manufacturers, but not the impact on the health of children. It has been estimated that more than 900 children in the U.S. die each year because they have been fed with infant formula.
Professor Kent was invited last year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to speak on Ending on Hunger Worldwide for its Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition. The report from this event is available as a pdf for download.
The Directory of Open Access Journals increases the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. This is a valuable resource for the Saybrook community, in addition to our own Library's extensive resources.
The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short a one stop shop for users to Open Access Journals.
The proliferation of freely accessible online journals, the development of subject specific pre- and e-print archives and collections of learning objects provides a very valuable supplement of scientific knowledge to the existing types of published scientific information (books, journals, databases etc.). However these valuable collections are difficult to overview and integrate in the library and information services provided by libraries for their user constituency.
Inaugurated September, 2011, at Swarthmore College, under the direction of scholar and professor George Lakey, the Global Nonviolent Action Database is a valuable resource providing free access to information about hundreds of cases of nonviolent action for learning and citizen action.
Each campaign is shown in two ways: a searchable database using fields and coded assessments of degree of success, and a 2-4 page narrative detailing the play-by-play interaction of the campaign with its opponents. The database supports searches by country, by issue, by action method used, and even by year. The topics of the campaigns are grouped in six clusters: human rights; democracy; economic justice; environment; peace; and national/ethnic identity.
The goal of the Database is to make available comparative information that will support researchers and writers to develop strategic knowledge and theory. Strategists, activist organizers, scholars, and teachers will find many uses for the database, as well as citizens wanting to expand their horizons. Journalists and bloggers will find easy access for contextualizing stories of contemporary protests they are reporting. Up until now many observers write about breaking news with a tone of surprise; coverage of the Egyptian events of early 2011 included wonderment and an assumption of protester spontaneity that showed ignorance of the developing craft of nonviolent struggle. Even a short time with the database reveals a multiplicity of connections among cases, through a shared “wave,” shared methods, shared influences, and shared time periods. Activist organizers and strategists can use the database to expand the repertoire of options for nonviolent campaigns. By exploring the use of 198+ methods of action, campaigners may become more creative and proactive than they otherwise might be. They may also calculate more carefully in relation to resources and goals, and craft a more winnable campaign than they otherwise would do.
Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) - Building Bridges, Networks and Expertise Across Sectors11/21/2011
Created by Dr. Craig Zelizer in 2006, PCDN provides a valuable resource for Saybrook students and faculty interested in issues of international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related areas.
The Guide to Research include:
- Guide to Conducting and Disseminating Research
- Guide to Key Publishers in Peace and Conflict Studies
- Guide to Key Media Sites for News About Conflict and Peace
- Guide to Key Policy Institutions and Think Tanks in Peacebuilding
PCDN seeks to create horizontal networking and information sharing for individuals and groups around the world. Members can chat with each other, create blogs, add to discussion topics, and share current research, experiences and challenges from the field.
The Network currently has over 22,000 members and is receiving 300,000+ hits a month. Membership is free, and emails are sent out with links to articles, recent blog posts, events, and more. (Note - members are able to control their email settings to request a daily digest rather than notification of all site actions.)
Frantz Fanon, Iconic psychiatrist and author of books such as “Wretched of the Earth”, wrote that “literature increasingly involves itself in its only real task, which is to get society to reflect and mediate”.
In addition, Freire’s “Pedagogy” is also the archetypal case in point of a book, which is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Freire was a Brazilian educator, who grew up during the poverty of the Great Depression in the 1930s and published one of his seminal works “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, in English in 1970. Freire’s book, rooted in his experience of liberation in Brazil is equally apt in the context of the Arab Spring, and particularly after the death of Gaddafi last week.
One of Freire’s central tenets was that “education is freedom” that leads toward true liberation and that the “banking” concept of education- where students are empty vessels to be filled, acts as an instrument of oppression. He called on the cultivation of a critical consciousness (conscientizacao), enabling those to reflect upon their own reality and thereby transform it.
“How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation” Freire asks?
It is this concept of the oppressed initiating and participating in their own liberation, as was the case in the Arab Spring, which was central to Freire’s writing.
Portions of Donna's paper were presented at APA Division 48 Invited Symposium: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Potential Psychological Contributions to Resolution, Reconciliation, and Peace Building (August 2011, Washington DC). The full paper online can be found at Facilitate Global.
Models of Restorative Justice for Peace-Building and Transformative Societal Change In Palestine-Israel
I come in peace with the intention of enhancing relationships, engaging in dialogue, creating alliances, building bridges and actively being a more effective agent of social change. None of that can be done by avoiding the truth. We can only move toward peace with justice if we collectively are willing to do what needs to be done. I am a third generation Lebanese/Syrian American, raised as an Orthodox Christian. Until I was 16, I thought that all Arabs were either Syrian or Lebanese and that all were Orthodox Christians. I have a strong background in the world of business. At the age of 36, I graduated from law school and practiced law for many years, mostly representing adults and juveniles accused of crimes as a public defender and as private counsel. I became a lawyer because I thought I would acquire the tools to be a more effective agent of social change. I was wrong. Thankfully, I am now retired from the practice of law. I eventually had to admit I was almost powerless over the very broken criminal (justice) system in which I found myself working.
After helping to move mass quantities of human beings through the criminal system, in a small rural county in Pennsylvania, utilizing the punitive model, I discovered the concept of “restorative justice” (RJ)-- an effective and holistic alternative to the punitive system being used by people around world.
My experiences told me clearly that punishment was not effective in adjusting the behavior of the same people who kept coming through the justice system. The indigenous practices of community, healing, and reconciliation had the potential to be transformative. RJ recognizes that harm to an individual also has other layers and dimensions. Not only is the individual affected by the harm, the community, the families of the victim and offender and the offender are also affected.
This special event launched the recent publication of Peace Movements Worldwide, a three-volume anthology with chapters covering insights and action from every continent with accounts of courageous and creative actions, ranging from the personal to the global.
Saybrook professor Marc Pilisuk co-edited the volume and speakers included members of the Saybrook community: Donald Rothberg, Melissa Anderson-Hinn, Angel Ryono, Gianina Pellegrini, and moderator Bob Flax.
The event was recorded by Wolfgang Saumweber and made available free online, in 5 parts.
With the many Occupy movements currently underway worldwide, there is an increased need for preparation and training in nonviolent protest. Many resources have been offered on the Peace and Justice Studies Association listserv, including the following.
By Jillian York, 10/31/2011, in Movements.org
(This article is cross posted from Al Jazeera English)
Last week in San Francisco, a unique gathering occurred. Dubbed "Rightscon" (Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference), the conference attracted Silicon Valley executives, activists, academics and NGOs, all gathered in one room to debate the role of human rights within the tech industry, as well as the role of the tech industry in serving human rights interests.
Incidents from the past year - from the denial of service to WikiLeaks by Amazon, PayPal and others to the complicity of international companies in Egypt’s telecommunications shutdown - have put the subject of human rights at the forefront of discussion within the technology industry. While companies debate their responsibilities to serve activists, whose particular circumstances may be seen as "edge cases", NGOs often frame their advocacy within the same rubric.
Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, who is currently under threat of military prosecution, argued that the framing is wrong, stating that both parties should think more about ordinary users. Referring specifically to the controversysurrounding identity on social networks, Facebook and Google+, he said:
"When ordinary users can’t choose a pseudonym, their identity is negated. Women know the importance of negotiating identity, they do it all the time. So do gays, religious minorities, whatever. We choose how to reveal who I am, on what terms and in what basis. When you restrict me from doing this, you violate my human rights… It is about who I am, my identity, how I express myself and how I communicate with the world."
This section of the PHS Forum is dedicated to sharing resources that students, faculty, and the larger Saybrook Community might find helpful. Look here for links to web services, journals, resource databases, conference materials, and other valuable ways of networking with like-minded colleagues.