Vigil and Vigilance for Community Action Against Anti-Semitism
This is a reflection by Heather DeMocker on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the importance of community action for not normalizing hate in America. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Heather DeMocker on the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace 2018 Annual Lecture: Deconstructing Race/Reconstructing Difference presented by Professor Jabari Mahiri, University of California Berkeley, on September 20, 2018. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Julia Thomas on the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace 2018 Annual Lecture: Deconstructing Race/Reconstructing Difference presented by Professor Jabari Mahiri, University of California Berkeley, on September 20, 2018. Continue reading
This is a blog post written by Sharath Patil examining the policies of austerity. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Alawi Masud on The Ethical Foundations of Human Rights Conference, hosted by the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on March 28, 2018. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Grace Russell on a lecture given by Audra Buck-Coleman as part of the Bahá’í Chair series on human nature. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Alawi Masud on a lecture given by Dr. Gregory F. Ball as part of the Bahá’í Chair series on human nature. Continue reading
Celebrating Inspiring Women
International Women’s Day 2018
International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s and is a day for celebrating the achievements of women across the globe. To mark the day we asked some of our students to write about women who have inspired them.
This is an insight written by Margo Shear on a lecture given by Dr. Mehnaz Afridi as part of the Bahá’í Chair series on human nature.
Perspective on History
The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace recently hosted Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. The subject of her lecture, “Muslims and the Holocaust: Reconciliation and Hope,” drew interest from guests in the hopes of exploring a dark part of history – from a different perspective. Continue reading
The First Political Order: Sex, Governance and National Security
The turn-out to the Baha’i Chair of World Peace’s First Annual Lecture on Thursday, September 21st was impressive. The audience included University of Maryland students, teachers and deans, as well as amazing visitors from all over the world. There could not have been a better topic addressed in the presence of some of the most significant minds involved with the promotion of international peace.
Professor Hoda Mahmoudi and Professor Valerie Hudson at the Annual Lecture, September 21st 2017.
The Bahá’í Chair Fall Lecture
Nicole Hirschfelder, Associate Professor for American Culture and Literature, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany
Tuesday September, 26th, 2017
Special Events Room, 6th Floor, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park
Do Ethics have a Place in Capitalism?
Is capitalism the best ideology for society? As the income gap between the rich and poor grows nationally and global inequality persists, it would be beneficial to reflect on what values drive the system.
Both critiques and advocates of the capitalist system—an economic model driven by the free market and operates outside of state control— rely on the field of economics to shape their arguments. This field of study has always played an important role in understanding human behavior and specifically the interaction between humans and their society. Continue reading
The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace is very excited to welcome all of the new, and returning students, back to campus for the start of the fall semester! We hope everyone is settling in and enjoying the first day of classes.
We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming fall lecture series. All the lectures are open to the campus community and the public and are free to attend. These events bring leading thinkers to campus to examine obstacles to global peace, and solutions for overcoming those obstacles. Continue reading
Yuval Noah Harari’s, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is an exceedingly unique and captivating read primarily because of its brevity. In a mere 400 pages, Israeli historian Harari presents and analyzes over 50,000 years of human history. Continue reading
The Future of Virtual Reality
This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on an event cosponsored by The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace and organized by the Future of Information Alliance on June 6, 2017 at the Phillips Collection. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on a lecture given by Professor Cass Sunstein, at the American Enterprise Institute on April 14th 2017. Professor Sunstein is a scholar of law and behavioral economics, and he spoke about his new book #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media.
Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged people to hold elevated conversations. She once said that “great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; and small minds discuss people.” I have not heard a more elevated conversation than the week-long discussion between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu documented in vivid detail in The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Julia Thomas on the symposium given by Dr. Matthew Hughey and Dr. Paula Ioanide as part of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace series on Structural Racism. Continue reading
Gender Equality on Campus
In this conversation, Professor Mahmoudi and a wonderful group of students discuss the challenge of gender equality on campus. Continue reading
Feminism: What It Means To Six UMD Students
In recognition and celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8th 2017, we asked some of our student contributors what feminism means to them. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Dr. Valerie Maholmes and Dr. Lauren Abramson as part of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace series on Structural Racism.
Preventing Youth Violence: From Research to Action
Dr. Valerie Maholmes, NICHD
Dr Lauren Abramson, Community Conferencing Center
Symposium on Structural Racism and Youth Violence
March 1st 2017, 4pm – 6pm, Atrium 1107, Stamp Student Union
Co-sponsored by the Critical Race Initiative Continue reading
This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Professor Kathleen Cunningham as part of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace series on Leadership and Global Governance.
Non-violence as an influential strategy?
Professor Kathleen Gallagher’s lecture on self-determination of nationalistic organizations offers insightful and relevant evidence on moving towards a peaceful society. Groups seeking self-determination have been known to have high internal fragmentation that is associated with the use of violence in pursuit of political recognition. Continue reading
Bridging Divides on Campus
As students are returning for the spring semester, we at the Bahá’í Chair would like to warmly welcome you back to campus. Continue reading
A Book for Our Times
The white working class – this demographic group claimed center stage in American political discourse over the past year. I often see them dismissed as backwards, uneducated conservatives. Alternatively, we offer trite solutions for their plight without fully comprehending the problem. Continue reading
Dr. Kathleen Cunningham, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland College Park
Secessionism, Violence and Nonviolence
February 15th, 2017, Special Events Room, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park Continue reading
Reflection: “The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere”
In many ways, the new world’s first free country was not the United States, where much of the population was enslaved. The first free country was Haiti, roughly the size of Maryland and located in the Caribbean, at its peak Haiti was the most prosperous colony in the world which enabled France, and other Western nations, to acquire wealth at the expense of its own development. Continue reading
Can Women Think?
When Dr. des Bouvrie prefaced her lecture with the question, “Can women think?” the entire audience looked around with faces of confusion and some with disdain. It seemed rather preposterous that a woman would be questioning if she or any other woman has the ability to think. Continue reading
This is a reflection written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Dr. Nicole des Bouvrie on the 30th of November 2016.
Why We Should Search for the Impossible
What if the question, “Can Women Think?” is not an absurd question? Dr. des Bouvrie began her lecture by introducing historic western philosophers whose ideas have established the foundation of Western thinking. From ancient times, white male philosophers have built identities based on differences. Following their philosophies women cannot think, or at least, not as men do. Continue reading
Book Review: The Risks of Righteous Fury
This is a book review of The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. The review was written by Vicky Yu.
Morality and common sense suffer from the same underlying assumptions; we believe that people all abide by the same principles. Experience teaches us that common sense is not universal, but accepting the same verdict on morality is more difficult. Acknowledging differences in how we determine right versus wrong fundamentally alters perceptions of who we are and our place in the world. Continue reading
This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Mrs. May Rihani as part of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace series on Women and Peace.
The Impact of Examples
Mrs. May Rihani’s lecture, “Sexism, Gender Roles and Their Intersection with Power”, shed light on the broad range of issues surrounding sexism and gender bias around the world. Continue reading
This is a reflection written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture given by Dr. Rashawn Ray as part of the Bahá’ì Chair for World Peace series on Structural Racism.
Racism as a Barrier to Justice
Dr. Rashawn Ray’s emotional presentation on “Why Police Compliance Does Not Save Black Lives” left me feeling a deep sense of disappointment in our society’s failure to recognize and deal with racism. He began his lecture with the juxtaposition of videos and statistics that emphasized the differences between races in police compliance and non-compliance. Continue reading
This is a book review of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. The review was written by Esther Kaufman.
“Mercy is most empowering, liberating and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving,” writes author Bryan Stevenson in his book, Just Mercy. This is a concept that is difficult but perhaps essential to embrace as the media constantly divides people and societies into heroes and villains. I was born to immigrant parents who fled anti-Semitism and praise America as the land that gave their families mercy when no other state could. Yet, Bryan Stevenson’s portrayal of the American criminal justice system revealed injustices that disrupted all of my preconceived notions regarding America’s inherit goodness. Continue reading
This is a reflection written by Vicky Yu on the lecture by Professor Orna Blumen at the recent Learning Outside the Lines Conference.
My initial reaction to the topic of this talk, was a visceral sense of discomfort. “Orthodox” religious communities conjure up stereotypes of intense social conservatism: traditional, nuclear families, dogmatic leaders and a disdain for the evolution of an increasing secular and liberal youth. “Ultra-Orthodox” (U-O) could only be worse. Continue reading
This is a reflection written by Esther Kaufman on the lecture by Professor Cindi Katz at the recent Learning Outside the Lines Conference.
By juxtaposing childhood in Sudan and New York City, Professor Cindi Katz successfully brings to attention alarming issues impeding social childhood development in her lecture “Good Childhood, Social Childhood”. Continue reading