Second Annual Peace and Justice Week Sparks Conversation and a Push for Change
This past week, Gettysburg College held its second annual Peace and Justice Week hosted by the Peace and Justice Studies Program. The week commenced at the Peace Pole on Monday, Apr. 8. Students, faculty and members of the Gettysburg College community shared their “hopes and wishes for peace and justice in the world” to set an inspirational tone for the rest of the week.
The Peace and Justice Week was started last year by Qiqi Mei ‘18 who is currently working towards her Master’s Degree at Columbia. She heard of other colleges hosting their own Peace and Justice week, and was inspired to start a new Gettysburg tradition.
“The Peace and Justice Minor,” head of Peace and Justice Studies Professor Hakim Williams said, “may be the only minor here that requires students to plan an event.”
These events throughout the year raise awareness about injustice, and teach students and faculty how to encourage peace and justice not only at Gettysburg, but around the world throughout students’ lives.
Emma Dorshimer ‘19 and Christina Noto ’19, President and Vice-President of the Peace and Justice Student Council respectively, put in a tremendous amount of work to ensure the success of this week. Noto said that it was nice to see larger turnouts this year but hopes to see the week-long event gain popularity with each year. They kept a few of the same events from the first year, such as the Education For Social Change Panel and the Peace Party; but the the pair is “always dreaming up new ideas to keep it relevant,” said Dorshimer.
After days of panels, speakers, and training sessions, the week ended where it began, at the Peace Pole to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Emily Silverstein’s murder. Alumni and students came out before the commemoration to decorate the area around the pole with colorful works of chalk and a large bouquet of yellow flowers—a color Emily often wore with pride as a member of Amnesty International. She promoted peace and worked on many projects to inspire justice on campus. Her legacy lives on as a justice warrior and proud Gettysburgian.
The Peace and Justice Week was co-sponsered by Amnesty International, the departments of Philosophy; Religious Studies; Women and Sexuality Studies; Political Science; Africana Studies; Economics; Music Education; Education; Interdisciplinary Studies, the offices of Multicultural Education; the Provost; Diversity and Inclusion; Student Life, the Panhellenic Council, LGBTQA Advocacy and Education, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.