Annual Peace Week Focuses on New York City

Melanie O’Connor

Contributing Writer

Manhattan College hosted its annual Peace Week on campus last week which featured lectures, events and discussion about the importance and understanding of peace movements.

This year, the week highlighted issues of peace and conflict in New York City.

Tom Ferguson, the program director of Peace Studies, said, “The main goal this week was to highlight the role New York City has played, and continues to play, in the quest for world peace,” Tom Ferguson, Ph.D. and peace studies program director, said. “Everyone who attends an event leaves with that goal firmly reinforced in their minds.”

Given today’s local and international conflicts, president of the Just Peace club Ryan Waters said the topic of peace is and always will be equally important.

“For our generation, we have almost always lived in a time of war,” Waters said. The junior has participated in Peace Week and the club for the past 3 years.

Peace Week at Manhattan College has a different theme each year. This year, the peace studies advisory committee agreed to base this week upon movements based exclusively in New York. Some of the lectures held during the week included the topics of immigration policy and refugee communities in New York City and New York as a center of peace movement activism.

Waters said that the benefit of this week is that it is mainly based upon bringing people together and educating them on what peace is all about.

“It is more about advocacy toward the issues than it is necessarily about the direct impact,” Waters said.

As Waters said, the goal of this week is always “to get people driven enough to want to create change.”

However, creating change isn’t easy.

“It’s hard when you cannot visualize the issues to actually make change about them,” he said.