Written by: Tiffany Westry
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Peace scholars, educators and activists from around the world will gather that the University of Alabama at Birmingham from Oct. 25-28 for the 2017 Peace and Justice Studies Association Annual Meeting.
The Peace and Justice Studies Association is dedicated to bringing together academics, K-12 teachers and grassroots activists to explore alternatives to violence, and share visions and strategies for peacebuilding, social justice and social change.
The conference will feature four days of events. Guest speakers include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, activist and director of “World Beyond War” David Swanson, author Riane Eisler, feminist theorist Ynestra King, Ferguson Frontline organizer and co-director of the Truth Telling Project Pastor Cori Bush, and Birmingham social justice poet Ashley M. Jones. Visit the conference website for a full list of speakers.
In addition to plenary sessions, speaker presentations, panels, workshops, film screenings and roundtables for conference registrants, the conference will feature several events open to the general public:
- The Department of Art and Art History will conduct art activities Oct. 25-27 focusing on the intersection of language and visual symbols in the Project Space and UAB BLOOM Studio. All activities are free and open to the public. More information, including activity schedules, can be found on the conference website.
- The United National Association of the United States/Peace and Justice Studies Association United National Day Banquet will take place Thursday, Oct. 26, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the UAB Hill Student Ballroom, 1400 University Blvd. Tickets are $25 for conference registrants and $70 for nonregistrants. Featured speaker Riane Eisler will give a talk titled “Building Cultures of Justice and Peace: From Domination to Partnership.”
- On Thursday, Oct. 26, the UAB Department of Theatre will perform excerpts from “Savage,” its upcoming musical about the life of Ota Benga, a young Congolese man who was removed from his home by explorer Samuel Verner and placed on display alongside orangutans and gorillas at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and later the Bronx Zoo. The performance takes place at the UAB Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South, at 4:30 p.m. A panel discussion will follow. Tickets are $15. Seating is limited.
- A Birmingham-based Beatles tribute band, The Beatlads, will put on a concert Friday, Oct. 27, at 8:30 p.m. in the UAB Hill Students Center, 1400 University Blvd. Admission is $15 and $5 for students with a UAB ID. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
UAB students can attend all plenaries, panels, workshops, roundtables and film screenings free of charge. The conference is hosted by the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology with support from various UAB schools, departments and community partners.