Peace and Justice Studies Association
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The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) is a non-profit organization presently headquartered at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The PJSA was formed in 2001 as a result of a merger of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED) and the Peace Studies Association (PSA). Both organizations focused on peace, conflict and justice studies. PJSA is dedicated to bringing together academics, K-12 teachers and grassroots activists to explore alternatives to violence and to share visions and strategies for peacebuilding, social justice, and social change. It also serves as a professional association for scholars in the field of peace and conflict resolution studies. It is the North American regional affiliate of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). For reasons of language, Mexico is part of IPRA's South American affiliate.
In 2010, PJSA became a bi-national organization with Canada, holding its first Canadian conference in Winnipeg, sponsored by the University of Winnipeg, Menno Simons College, and Canadian Mennonite University. Since then, PJSA has committed to holding its annual conference in Canada every third year. Today, more than 20% of PJSA's 22 board members are Canadians, who are also well represented on the board's executive committee. Presently, about 10% of its membership is Canadian, and this has been rising steadily.
PJSA's broad membership helps to facilitate research that is highly relevant, and it allows the association to quickly disseminate the latest findings to those who will be among the first to implement new policies. PJSA's abilities to do this have been greatly enhanced in recent years with the formation of a speakers bureau, a syllabus collection project, and the creation of a very active publications committee.
Mission and values
The PJSA works to create a just and peaceful world through:
- The promotion of peace studies within universities, colleges and K-12 grade levels
- The forging of alliances among educators, students, activists, and other peace practitioners in order to enhance each other's work on peace, conflict and non-violence
- The creation and nurturing of alternatives to structures of inequality and injustice, war and violence through education, research and action.
Their members share many of the following values and beliefs:
- Active nonviolence as a positive force for social change
- Critical analysis of institutions and social structures
- Societal transformation toward justice
- Equitable sharing of world resources
- Life-long education: community-based and service learning
- Innovative and effective pedagogy
- Liberatory use of technology and media research in support of community needs
- Effective networks and alliances
Resources and conferences
The PJSA publishes a newsletter, The Peace Chronicle, maintains a member network and listserv, circulates employment, educational, and publishing opportunities via its member-access website, publishes a directory of peace studies and conflict resolution programs, manages a book series, co-published the scholarly journal Peace & Change, offers a Speakers' Bureau of experts in the field, and hosts a website which houses a large library of resources for practitioners, academics, and other members of its community. The association also acts as a hub for the distribution of relevant employment opportunities, calls for papers, and funding opportunities, as well as a mechanism for members and supporters to organize, discuss, and announce projects.
The organization hosts an annual conference on issues pertinent to its mission and values. Since 2002, PJSA has hosted 17 conferences, listed below:
- 2002: “Confronting Injustice, Ending War: The Role of Peace Educators and Activists After 9/11,” at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
- 2003: “Fostering Alternatives to Violence,” at Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA)
- 2004: “The Challenge of Globalization: Incorporating Peace, Justice and Human Rights,” at the University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
- 2005: “In Solidarity: Engaging Empire in Activism, Education and Community Strategies,” at Goshen College (Goshen, IN)
- 2006: “Who Speaks for the Common Good?” at Manhattan College (Bronx, NY)
- 2007: “Cultural Identity in a Mass Culture World,” at Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, PA)
- 2008: “Building Cultures of Peace,” at Portland State University (Portland, OR)
- 2009: “Exploring the Power of Nonviolence,” at Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
- 2010: “Building Bridges, Crossing Borders: Gender, Identity, and Security in the Search for Peace,” at Menno Simons College and the Global College (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
- 2011: "A Living Movement: Toward a World of Peace, Solidarity, and Justice," at Christian Brothers University (Memphis, TN; in partnership with the Gandhi-King Conference)
- 2012: "Anticipating Climate Disruption: Sustaining Justice, Greening Peace" at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts)
- 2013: "Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation" at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
- 2014: "Courageous Presence: Shifting Stories and Practices of Peace" at the University of San Diego (San Diego, California)
- 2015: “Cultivating the Just and Peaceable Self: Understanding Transformation and Transforming Understanding in Research and Practice” at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
- 2016: “Obstructing the Old or Constructing the New? Embracing the Tension to Build the World We Want” at Selkirk College (Nelson and Castlegar, BC)
- 2017: “From Civil Rights to Hunan Rights” at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL)
- 2018: “PJSA2018: "Revolutionary Nonviolence in Violent Times: 50 years since 1968" at Arcadia University (Glenside, PA)
The PJSA has a number of partnership and affiliation agreements with organizations sharing its overarching mission and values. Included in these partnership arrangements are educational associations such as the Peace Science Difest, Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), National Peace Academy, Canadian School of Peacebuilding, BCA Study Abroad, Center for Global Education, Experience and the Northwest Earth Institute, Bifrost, David Rovics’ musical his tour, and the Social Justice Studies program hosted by the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio.
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- Rank, Carol (2006). "The Development of Peace Studies in the United States". Peace Studies in the Chinese Century: International Perspectives. Ashgate Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-7546-4794-2.
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