According to the Peace and Conflict Studies blog from program coordinator and course instructor Prof. Lee A. Smithey:
Peace Studies and Action aims to bridge the gaps between peace research, theory, and implementation by encouraging students to move between each as we study nonviolent ways of conducting conflict and the challenges of developing and sustaining effective peace work, like GunCrisis.org.
Emphasis is placed on getting close to the experience of peacemakers and activists by reading autobiographical writings, visiting local peace organizations, and/or dialogue with invited guests.
As a class, we will collaborate with GunCrisis.org to contribute to the work of the organization while developing our own research skills.
The spring semester begins on Martin Luther King day, and as on many topics, Dr. King illuminates peace studies with his vision for education:
“Education without social action is a one-sided value because it has no true power potential. Social action without education is a weak expression of pure energy. Deeds uninformed by educated thought can take false directions. When we go into action and confront our adversaries, we must be as armed with knowledge as they. Our policies should have the strength of deep analysis beneath them to be able to challenge the clever sophistries of our opponents.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go from here: Chaos or Community? (p. 155)