Peace Week held at Butler

MATTHEW FLECKENSTEIN | STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to promote peace, unity and well-being on campus, the Peace and Conflict Studies department hosted Peace Week March 22-25.

“The goal of Peace Week is to put on events that will be thought provoking and inspire a more inclusive society for all and for Butler’s community,” senior co-coordinator Sara Doverspike said.  “Peace Week, A Time for Activism, was kind of our way of thinking about ourselves and the greater context of the world and where we fit into that.”

Events ranged from speakers and panels to peaceful activities like dancing and yoga.  “Humanize not Militarize” is a national student film festival was held on Thursday, March 25 which was made to expose militarism in our society.  For a full schedule of the week’s events, go to Peace and Conflict Studies website.

“It’s the first year we’ve done this film festival so we don’t really know yet what kinds of issues are going to be of interest or concern to people,” program coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee Erin Polley said.

The festival featured the Butler students who entered the contest.  

“There’s a lot of energy with the students on campus,” Polley said.  “The peace and global studies department here has been a really great partner with our organization for many years, we’ve been doing projects with them on Peace Week for five or six years now.”

Students from the School for Community Learning, Indianapolis Public Schools and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are also participating in the national film festival which is also a contest.

First-year religion major Rachel Smith was the runner up for the contest made a video of her and a friend reciting a poem she wrote.

“I saw the opportunity to make the video and thought that would be a really great way to get my voice out about my personal experience living in Fort Wayne with a lot of the shootings and the violence that happened,” Smith said.  “I feel kind of an overwhelming sense of apathy towards violence, my poem was kind of reflective towards that.”

Many of the students in attendance are in a Peace and Conflict Studies activism class.

“I got to meet a lot of kids I would normally see in class, outside of class and get to know them on a different level,” junior co-coordinator Ellie Rowley said  “I thought that was really cool.”

Being able to interact with all the communities in and around Butler is Doverspike’s favorite part of Peace Week.  She also found herself reflecting on her activism and being humbled by the activists and people in the community.

“One of the speakers this week, Nick Licata, made me reflect on this thought and another member from Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance brought this up too which made me think that you shouldn’t really think of yourself as an activist,” Doverspike said.  “Our first duty is to be human beings looking out for our fellow human beings, and I think that has been great and challenging and thinking about what an activist is and why we need to think about that and those issues.” 

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