The annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference, a Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies sponsored event, took place Friday and Saturday at the Hesburgh Center to encourage students to have discussions about peace-building and social justice.The conference was organized by senior co-chairs Elizabeth Hascher and Erin Prestage, who said they have been planning the event since September.“Something that’s hard when you plan anything this big is that you have to rely on other people,” Hascher said. “There were some bumps along the way, but ultimately we had so much help from our professors, our advisors [and] the other students on the committee who showed up early and stayed after we told them go home.” Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hascher Professors, advisors and co-chairs present at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies’ annual Student Peace Conference. The conference took place April 13 – 14 and was themed ’Toward Just Peace.‘In addition to professors and advisors, the co-chairs said they worked with students who were part of the academic committee, hospitality committee or publicity committee.“I think with any event it’s always challenging because obviously not everyone is going to be as excited as we are because we spent the last eight months working towards this,” Prestage said. “I definitely think our committee members rose to the occasion and made sure that what we envisioned the conference to be like not only would go that way but would go so much better.”This year’s theme was ‘Toward Just Peace,’ a topic chosen by Hascher and Prestage, they said, because of its applicability to other areas of interest outside of peace.“We were hoping to get more presentations and papers talking about the intersections between justice and peace,” Hascher said. “We had felt that this was something that can be overlooked in a lot of conversations because sometimes justice and peace are not necessarily compatible, and we want to challenge people to think about getting to a place where they are.”The universal nature of their theme attracted a more diverse group of students to the conference this year, Prestage said.“I think our theme was so inclusive towards justice rather than just different ways of peace, which is what it has been in the past,” Prestage said. “It focused a little bit more on the compatibility between the two themes; I think it welcomed a lot more majors that otherwise wouldn’t really be interested in just a conference about peace.”Hascher and Prestage said that although the conference’s goal was to promote discussion about issues related to justice and peace, they hoped it would accomplish more than conversations.“It’s one thing for us to have these conversations, but we’re really hoping that people will feel compelled to go out and do something,” Hascher said. “Because if we’re just talking about it, if we’re not actually doing something, we’re not showing up, we’re not speaking out, we’re not protesting and organizing and generally engaging with experiences of violence, we kind of lose the point.”The highlight of the weekend for Hascher and Prestage, they said, was their keynote speaker Alexis Templeton, an activist who they discovered in the documentary “Whose Streets?” when the Center for Social Concerns sponsored a screening of it last semester.“Their presentation exceeded all my hopes for this conference,” Prestage said. “They really provided a wake-up call to everyone who was at the conference to that fact that words only mean so much if you’re not showing up and actually putting action to what you’re talking about.”Tags: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, peace building, Social justice, Student Peace Conference
View Comments An Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter, Walken is no stranger to bringing Broadway musicals to the screen, having starred in this summer’s Clint Eastwood-helmed Jersey Boys and the film adaptation of Hairspray (produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who will reunite with Walken for Peter Pan). Walken’s many films include Stand Up Guys, A Late Quartet and Seven Psychopaths. The actor began his career in the 1950s as a Broadway dancer. He received Tony nods for his performances in The Dead and A Behanding in Spokane. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that the titular role will be played by a woman, as it is traditionally performed. The network honcho revealed that Frozen star Kristen Bell was at one point considered for Peter, saying, “she was interested but she’s doing House of Lies. It’s tricky finding the right person in the schedule that we need but we’re actually close.” “I started my career in musicals,” Walken said in a statement, “and it’s wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child and to work with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan again after Hairspray. It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again.” A Great White Way family classic, Peter Pan premiered on October 20, 1954 at the Winter Garden Theatre, featuring a book by J.M. Barrie, music by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Jule Style, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins and Mary Martin in the lead role of the boy who won’t grow up. NBC has broadcast the musical live a total of three times previously: in 1955 (when it reached 65 million viewers), 1956 and 1960. The musical has been revived five times on Broadway since. Who’s the swiniest swine in the world? Oscar winner and Tony nominee Christopher Walken will headline NBC’s previously announced Peter Pan Live!. Walken will take on the role of the self-proclaimed “greatest villain of all time,” Captain Hook. The Peacock Network’s follow-up to the highly rated Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood along with many Broadway favorites, Pan will broadcast on December 4. Additional casting will be revealed at a later date.