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Threats to Democracy and Dangers of War

October 12, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

UMass History Conversation

An Interactive Conversation with Medea Benjamin (Code Pink), Dr. Amer F. AhmedMojgan Sanepour Haji, and Christian Appy 

The United States is at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and U.S. leaders have threatened war in North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela. Fears of deportation, white supremacist violence, police violence, climate change-related disaster, and economic insecurity have heightened anxieties among vulnerable populations. 

What “Threats to Democracy and Dangers of War” do we face today? How can history inform strategies for resisting war and attacks on democracy?

Join the UMass Amherst History Department, Historians for Peace and Democracy and more than a dozen community partners to discuss these questions in roundtable dialogue and small group break-out sessions with our panelists. 

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink and the fair-trade organization Global Exchange. She has been a peace and justice activist since the 1970s and has authored nine books, including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection (O/R Books, 2016). Read more.

Amer F. Ahmed, Ed. D., Director of Intercultural Teaching and Faculty Development at UMass Amherst and frequently requested keynote speaker, facilitator, and consultant on issues of social justice, diversity, and inclusion. He was born in Ohio to Indian Muslim immigrants, and draws on lived experience, theoretical analysis, and practical application to guide institutions, leadership, and workplaces on a path to transformative change. Read more.

Mojgan Haji was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States in 1983 at the age of 16 during the Iran-Iraq War. She is a Massachusetts-based pharmacist and political activist who has volunteered for the National Iranian-American Council and led groups of Iranian-Americans to meet with legislators to discuss the Iran Nuclear deal and Muslim ban.

Christian G. Appy (facilitator), Professor of History at UMass Amherst, member of the Historians for Peace and Democracy speakers’ bureau, and author of three books on the American War in Vietnam, including American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (Viking, 2015). Read more.

UMass Amherst Goodell Hall is a short distance from the Campus Parking Garage. The garage is off of Commonwealth Ave (1 Campus Center Way) and is $1.75/hour. Goodell Hall is wheelchair accessible. Check out the wall of this page for a campus map, directions, and information about accessible parking.

This event is hosted by the Umass Amherst Department of History and Historians for Peace and Democracy, a national organization of historians whose goal is to stand up for peace and diplomacy internationally, and democracy and human rights at home. 

Two dozen community and university partners have co-sponsored this event. Many will be present at the event to share information about what they do and how attendees might plug into this work. They include: Arise for Social JusticeClimate Action Now MA Code PinkMassachusetts Peace Action, Hampshire Peace and World Security Studies, Islamic Society Of Western MassachusettsNorthampton Committee to Stop the WarsKaruna Center for PeacebuildingPioneer Valley Workers Center, the Resistance Center for Peace and Justice (American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts), Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership, UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine, Traprock Center for Peace & JusticeWestern MA International Socialist Organization – WMA ISO,Jewish Voice for Peace Western MassPioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of AmericaPioneer Valley Progressive MuslimsRosenberg Fund for Children and the following UMass Amherst programs and departments: Anthropology, Political Science, Social Thought and Political Economy, Resistance Studies Initiative, Sociology, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. More co-sponsors will be added daily. Check back for updates.


October 12, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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UMass Goodell Hall
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003 United States
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