On April 4th and 5th, the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) will hold a conference titled "All Conflict is Local: Personal Experience, Reflection, and Conflict Resolution." This unique event will bring together students and alumni with direct personal experience of a particular conflict or region that has suffered from violent conflict, to share their stories and reflections. Experiences range from living in a conflict region, to working in a conflict management/resolution capacity, among other personal connections to conflict. Panelists will explore current disputes from various parts of the world and will share their first-hand knowledge and thoughts on conflict resolution.
Dr. Zheng Wang, an Associate Professor with the School of Diplomacy and Director of the Center, got the idea for the conference from his Global Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding course this spring. After listening to students speak about their experiences with regions of violent conflict, Dr. Wang felt that they should share their insights with the community, as their powerful stories provide alternative perspectives to the information coming from think tanks and media. Though the School often holds presentations and lectures by scholars, this conference is unique as the experts will be the students and alumni. Since conflict always trickles down to individuals at the local level, the Center decided to title the conference "All Conference is Local."
The Center has received many proposals for presentations and will dedicate the first day of the conference to panelists coming from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, and Guinea. One of the featured panelists, Dosso Kassimou, is a School of Diplomacy alumnus and Chairman of the Newark African Commission. As a passionate African community activist working in Newark, NJ, Kassimou will talk about conflict between different groups in Newark. Kassimou, also a candidate for Councilman At-Large, City of Newark, has sought to empower the African Diaspora Community, promote African cultures and traditions, and strengthen the connection between the Diaspora and the continent of Africa in the past several years.
Day two of the conference will cover conflicts from multiple regions of the world, including Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Tabish Forugh, an Afghan native and former Afghan government official, hopes to provide the community with a more resolute picture of the difficulties faced by the Afghan government, as well as possible solutions to curbing the country's conflicts. Tabish is a visiting Fulbright Scholar and Diplomacy Graduate Fellow pursuing his master's degree here at the School of Diplomacy.
One of the goals of the CPCS is to engage students and faculty in both research and practice. This conference has received strong support from the faculty of the Diplomacy school, and several members, including Dean Bartoli, will serve as discussants for the program. Under the leadership of Diplomacy graduate student Brandon Kotlow, students have been intimately involved in every aspect of the planning and coordination process. This conference will also serve as one of the first events of the Petersheim Academic Exposition.
The Conference will be held in the Diplomacy Room of McQuaid Hall on the following schedule:
- Monday, April 4 from 12:00-2:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 5 from 12:00-2:45 p.m.
For more information and to RSVP, please contact the CPCS Project Coordinator Brandon Kotlow