Seminar examined global conflict and community peace


Above, left to right: Jehad Aliweiwi, Terferi Adem, Anne Goodman and Bonnie Neuman

The following is an excerpt of an account written by Siobhan McEwan, advisor, Centre for Human Rights & Equity, on the recent “Global Conflict: Community Peace” seminar held at York:

Through a series of initiatives, York University is endeavoring to create an atmosphere and promote the necessary skills whereof respectful, thoughtful, discussion can occur on the issues surrounding global conflict. One of its recent initiatives was organized by the Centre for Human Rights & Equity.

An important and practical seminar, its goal was to help the community develop constructive ways of discussing global conflict. The question becomes, how can we understand and manage the historical wounds of global conflicts so as to be able to discuss current conflicts without confrontation? Speakers Anne Goodman and Jehad Aliweiwi brought their academic and activist experiences to their shared focus on community.

Goodman, who comes from South Africa, has been active in the anti-apartheid struggle. Her areas of research, interest and practice include peace and reconciliation in Africa, peace education, trauma healing and reconciliation, the culture of peace, nuclear issues, and ethnic identity and conflict transformation. She has taught at the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University and at the Transformative Learning Centre of OISE. In addition, she has a long history of involvement with the environmental, women’s and peace movements, and was a member of the National Working Group for the International Year for the Culture of Peace.

Aliweiwi, a York alumnus, is regional director of Catholic Cross-Cultural Services and former executive director of the Canadian Arab Federation. He has had a career as a community activist, first at York where he was a leader of the Arab Students Association, and subsequently with the Canadian Arab Federation. He works to facilitate dialogue and peace among and between communities. As well, he is an active member of the Coalition for Just Peace in Israel/Palestine, a Toronto based Arab/Jewish dialogue group.

The seminar was introduced by Bonnie Neuman, VP students and alumni, and moderated by Teferi Adem, advisor at the Centre for Human Rights & Equity. It was initiated by the Centre for Human Rights & Equity and co-sponsored by: York Federation of Students, Graduate Students” Association, Office of Student Affairs, Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line, Centre for the Support of Teaching, York International, and Confidential, Professional & Managerial Employees Association.