“Us and them” – Prejudice and Peace – Dr. Tiffani Betts Razavi

History furnishes no shortage of examples of the suffering of one group of people at the hands of another, even as news headlines daily document ongoing conflict and oppression. Some stories are well known, others obscure or lost, and none are as well understood as they need to be to overcome the barrier posed by the “us and them” attitude that is at their root. Continue reading

Hello? It’s the default male again – Dr. Tiffani Betts Razavi

Is there an equivalent to emasculate for women?  As I am getting to know the default male, I am finding him everywhere. Why is it that there is a word to describe the removal of maleness from a man, but the closest word in structural terms, effeminate, mostly also is used with reference to men? I am a middle- aged woman who grew up in the era of third wave feminism and I find it bewildering. Apparently, I am not alone. Continue reading

Still far from equal: reflections on Women’s inequality in America – Dr. Nasim Ahmadiyeh M.D., Ph.D

She was only five, but she spoke in a metered and matter-of-fact tone, stating plainly that she no longer wanted to play with boys because she had observed that boys on the playground were rough and used harsh words and tone. Bias or astute observation? By age six, she shared that it appeared that girls were valued less than boys by society, and by age seven she proclaims she would like to move to a country with a female leader because she feels life during a pandemic would be better there, as women make better leaders.  You might think my daughter was fed these thoughts, that I sit to brainwash my child, or get into lengthy political commentary with her – but I don’t – I truly don’t, although I have lied to her on one occasion, but more on that later.  The scientist in me was fascinated that to a young child growing up in the Midwestern United States, gendered stereotypes and the implications of gender inequalities were already clear and causing concern. Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Reactionary Democracy in the United States: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream

Reactionary Democracy in the United States: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream

September 3, 2020

2PM

You can register to attend the event at:

tinyurl.com/bahai-mondon

Dr. Aurelien Mondon, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Bath 

Dr. Aaron Winter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of East London  Continue reading

Globalization, Pandemics and Shared Insecurity – Professor Simon Dalby

This is a reflection written by Professor Simon Dalby for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This post was originally published by the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the original post can be viewed here.

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How to reduce the racial gap in COVID-19 deaths – Professor Rashawn Ray

This is a reflection written by Professor Rashawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, and Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The blogpost is included in the series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic and was originally published on the Fixgov blog of Brookings. 

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Still protected: Employed mothers-to-be in the land of milk and honey during the COVID-19 pandemic – Dr. Orna Blumen and Naama Bar-On Shmilovitch

This is a reflection written by Professor Orna Blumen, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Human Services,  University of Haifa, Israel, and Naama Bar-on Shmilovitch, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences and the manager of the Center for the Study of Organizations & Human Resource Management at the University of Haifa, for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Bearing witness to the ableism embedded within the pandemic – Dr. Audra Buck-Coleman, Dr. Cheryl Fogle-Hatch and Robin Marquis

This is a reflection written by Dr. Audra Buck-Coleman, Dr. Cheryl Fogle-Hatch and Robin Marquis. Buck-Coleman is an Associate Professor and director of the Graphic Design program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Fogle-Hatch is the founder of MuseumSenses, a Baltimore-based advocacy studio that researches and develops multisensory experiences for galleries, museums and other cultural organizations. Marquis is a Baltimore-based artist, facilitator, disability activist and accessibility consultant. They currently serve as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Access Smithsonian, the central accessibility office for the Smithsonian Institution.

During the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters, Buck-Coleman’s students worked with Fogle-Hatch, Marquis and others from the disability community to create an exhibit entitled Redefine/ABLE: Challenging Inaccessibility. The following is an asynchronous conversation about society’s treatment of those with disabilities during the pandemic written for the series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Upcoming Virtual Event: A World Without War: A Conversation with Authors Drs. Hoda Mahmoudi & Janet Khan

A World Without War: A Conversation with Authors Drs. Hoda Mahmoudi & Janet Khan

Moderator: Mr. Vafa Valapour

July 25, 2020

7:00 – 8:30 AM EDT

3:00 – 4:30 PM United Arab Emirates Standard Time

9:00 – 10:30 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time.

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Why are Blacks dying at higher rates from COVID-19? – Professor Rashawn Ray

This is a reflection written by Professor Rashawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, and Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The blogpost is included in the series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic and was originally published on the Fixgov blog of Brookings. 

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The media in our children’s lives – have our views changed? Professor Dafna Lemish

This is a reflection written by Professor Dafna Lemish, Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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The Great Pandemic and Lessons (we failed to learn) from History – Professor Joseph L. Graves Jr.

This is a reflection written by Professor Joseph L. Graves Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro, for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Continue reading

The Other Epidemic: Human Rights Abuse and Dehumanization – Professor Alison Brysk

This is a reflection written by Professor Alison Brysk, Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Moving out under COVIDs shadow – Tactical Urbanism and Being Partisan – Dr. Melissa Nursey Bray

This is a reflection written by Dr. Melissa Nursey Bray, Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Environment and Population, Faculty of Arts, University of Adelaide, South Australia, for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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Quarantine and Solitary Confinement – Mahvash Sabet

This is a reflection written by Mahvash Sabet, poet poet, psychology teacher, and member of the Baha’i Yaran for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

For Mahvash Sabet  –  poet, psychology teacher, and member of the Baha’i Yaran –  who experienced severe solitary confinement during a ten year sentence in the prisons of Iran, there is a certain irony in now being confined with all her compatriots, outside their walls as a result of the current epidemic. But although the two experiences can hardly be compared, her insights might resonate with readers at this time. 

This piece has been adapted and shortened from the original Persian, courtesy of the on-line magazine “aaSoo” (https://www.aasoo.org.)

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Pandemics, Borders and Crisis in a Globalized World – Professor Simon Dalby

This is a reflection written by Professor Simon Dalby for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This post was originally published by the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the original post can be viewed here. Continue reading

Centered Around a Common Purpose – Dr. Nasim Ahmadiyeh M.D., Ph.D

This is a reflection written by Dr. Nasim Ahmadiyeh M.D., Ph.D for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

There is no cure for one infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus which can cause the disease commonly known as COVID-19.  All we can do is wait it out, support the body and hope the immune system can fight the virus and survive its scourge. Ironically, or perhaps poetically, what is needed to fight the virus in one body, can lend insight into what is needed to fight the virus globally.

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Learning from the Current Crisis – Professor Peter N. Stearns

This is a reflection written by Professor Peter N. Stearns for the new series from The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace on Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The suffering and dislocation caused by the recent pandemic legitimately provoke all sorts of thoughts, including many constructive suggestions about how we can build on short term response to construct a better society and, more specifically, seek to prepare better for similar crises in the future. I certainly hope some good can indeed emerge.  Continue reading

Insight – Black Girl Labor as Magic: Toward an Understanding of Digital Black Feminism

This is an insight written by Jack Schurman on the recent Bahá’í Chair for World Peace lecture by Dr. Catherine Knight Steele, Black Girl Labor as Magic: Toward an Understanding of Digital Black Feminism, co-sponsored with The Critical Race Initiative, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Behavioral and Social Science on March 12, 2019.  Continue reading

Insight – Black Girl Labor as Magic: Toward an Understanding of Digital Black Feminism

This is an insight written by Angela Yang on the recent Bahá’í Chair for World Peace lecture by Dr. Catherine Knight Steele, Black Girl Labor as Magic: Toward an Understanding of Digital Black Feminism, co-sponsored with The Critical Race Initiative, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Behavioral and Social Science on March 12, 2019. 

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Insight: Is the Cost of Globalization the Extinction of Ancestral Identities?

This is an insight written by Esther Kaufman on the recent 1oth UN Session of the Forum on Minorities. 

Is the cost of globalization the extinction of ancestral identities? 

The UN held the 10th session of the Forum on Minorities from the 28th of November to the 1st of December 2017. This conference welcomed organizations from across the world to speak as representatives of their respective minority nations, and to air their concerns to the International community. Continue reading

Insights: Muslims and the Holocaust: Reconciliation and Hope

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

Upcoming Event: Muslims and the Holocaust: Reconciliation and Hope

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace Fall Lecture

Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College

Muslims and the Holocaust: Reconciliation and Hope

Tuesday October 24th

3pm

Special Events Room, 6th Floor, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park

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Upcoming Event: Fear of the Dark: Cultural Myth, Psychological Schema, and Prejudice

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace Series on Structural Racism and the Root Causes of Prejudice Presents:

Sheri Parks, First Director of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy at the University of Maryland

Fear of the Dark: Cultural Myth, Psychological Schema, and Prejudice

Tuesday October 10,2017

3PM

Atrium, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park

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Insights: The First Political Order

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.

 

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Upcoming Event: The First Political Order: Sex, Governance, and National Security

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace Annual Lecture

Valerie M. Hudson, Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University

September 21st 2017

7pm

Atrium, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

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Reflection: Do Ethics have a Place in Capitalism?

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

A Warm Welcome to Campus

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

Upcoming Event: Finding Justice in the Cambodian Genocide

The Department of Government and Politics, College Park Scholars, International Studies,

and The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace

Present a Lecture

Finding Justice in the Cambodian Genocide: Mistakes, Consequences, and Questionable Ethics

Youk Chhang, Executive Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), founder of Sleuk Rith Institute 

   2.00PM, May 9, 2017, Special Events Room, McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park
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Insights: Non-violence as an effective strategy?

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

Reflection: The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere?

Reflection: “The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere”

Proud Beginnings

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

Insights: Searching for the Impossible

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

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

Insights: The Power of Patience

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

Insights: Racism as a Barrier to Justice

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

Book Review: How to Rescue Those Who the System Fails

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

Insights: Ideas of Equality in Religious Communities

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

Insights: Can We Provide a ‘Good Childhood’ to American Children?

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