UAB students will participate in the 2023 International Peace Conference, May 5-6 in Birmingham

Students of peace, justice and human rights at UAB will join global thought leaders in the two-day, immersive event — focused on the pursuit of peace at all levels of society.

RS41799 Tina Kempin Reuter 1 scrTina Kempin Reuter, Ph.D. Students, staff and faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will have an important role to play May 5-6 for the 2023 International Peace Conference, taking place in Birmingham, Alabama.

Leaders in academia, government, public safety, religion, business and community service will meet to share ideas and propose solutions to some of society’s most complex challenges. By addressing human trafficking, education, racial injustice, empowerment of women and girls, violence reduction, and other topics, the conference will highlight the pursuit of peace at all levels of society.

The Rotary International District 6860 of North and Central Alabama is hosting the conference with UAB’s Institute for Human Rights and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, J.D., daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, will be the keynote speaker. “Imagine Peace. Build Peace” is the 2023 theme. Mayor Randall Woodfin has declared the week of the conference as Birmingham Peace Week. 

The Institute for Human Rights, in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences and led by Tina Kempin Reuter, Ph.D., is as an internationally renowned platform for interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration. Through the IHR, scholars, educators, students, practitioners and activists raise awareness, engage in education, foster research, and design initiatives for practical action and outreach resulting in the promotion and protection of human and civil rights locally, nationally and globally. Reuter is also director of UAB Social Science and Justice Research and is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the Department of Anthropology, specializing in human rights, peace studies and international politics.

UAB students in anthropology and human rights are involved in the conference coordination, and others will likely have roles as moderators for the conference. President Ray L. Watts will speak in the opening panel. Reuter is on the 2023 Peace Conference executive committee, and is co-chair of the speakers committee, charged with finding speakers and ensuring the program reflects equity, diversity and inclusion and that it offers national and global perspectives.

Reuter will also speak at the conference on the IHR and the work they do. An IHR volunteer and intern since 2019, Grace Ndanu of Kenya will be the keynote speaker for women’s and girls’ empowerment. Ndanu is a graduate of gender, women’s and development studies at Egerton University in Kenya. 

In recent years the Department of Anthropology at UAB has developed a topical focus on peace, justice, human rights and ecology. The graduate program in The Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights highlights peace as a behavioral process at multiple levels, including at the levels of individuals, families, groups, communities, cultures and nations. It focuses on the critical analysis of how factors such as ecological sustainability, human security, democracy, justice, non-violence, conflict resolution and human rights are interconnected constructs related to the unifying construct of peace. Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director Peter Verbeek, Ph.D., will have a roundtable of students and alumni on the work they do on peace and peace education at UAB.

Registration for the conference is open now. To learn more about the 2023 International Peace Conference and to receive news, announcements, speakers and more, visit Admission to the conference is free for UAB student volunteers; click here to register as a volunteer.