PEACE-PHS Kent 2019 Program and Events

PEACE-PHS Kent 2019 Program

We're excited to announce our 2019 program in Kent! To use our online program, including our personalized scheduler, you must be logged in to In the meantime, you are welcome to view our downloadable PDFs of the program and our meetings and receptions list.

Preliminary Schedule


Thursday, 24 October, 2019
TBD Registration/Check-In
6:00p-8:00p Opening Reception in KSU Hotel Ballroom, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
Reception music by Druk Fusion, a Bhutanese-Nepali fusion band from the North Hill neighborhood of Akron.
Friday, 25 October, 2019
TBD Registration/Check-In
8:30a-10:00a Concurrent Panels (FA)
10:30a-12:00p Concurrent Panels (FB)
12:00p-2:00p Lunch Break
2:00p-3:30p Concurrent Panels (FC)
4:00p-5:30p Concurrent Panels (FD)
5:45p-7:15p PHS Business Meeting (by invitation only), in Reflections Gallery of May 4 Visitors Center (FD)
7:30p-9:30p Fishbowl Discussion
When Government Kills: State Violence and Youth Movements
Discussants: Ms. Christine Nobiss, Dr. Thomas Grace, Dr. Tony Gaskew, and Ms. Sibley Hawkins. (See below)
Welcoming/Interpretive Remarks by Director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Dr. R. Neil Cooper
Saturday, 26 October, 2019
TBD Registration/Check-In
8:30a-10:00a Concurrent Panels (SA)
10:30a-12:00p Concurrent Panels (SB)
12:00p-1:30p Lunch Break
1:30p-3:00p Concurrent Panels (SC)
3:30p-5:00p Concurrent Panels (SD)
6:00p-7:30p Conference Banquet (Pre-Registered Attendees Only)
8:00p-10:00p A Reader's Theater Production of the play, May 4 Voices: Kent State, 1970
Welcoming/Interpretive Remarks by Kent State University President, Dr. Todd Diacon

Events at the Conference (expand for more)

Occurring Friday evening, October 25, 2019 as part of the Kent State conference: “Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace”

Location: Ballroom of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center
Time: Friday, October 25, 7:30 – 9:30 pm.

How can it happen that children and teens sometimes find themselves looking up the barrels of their own governments' guns? The May 4 shootings shocked the United States, but it was hardly unique. This group of discussants brings together scholars and analysts who have worked on police and military violence against youth and people who, as youths, have been the target of this violence. We will use a fishbowl discussion format to engage in a lively discussion to consider the causes and consequences of this surprisingly common form of state violence, and ways to reduce it.

Fishbowl Discussants:

Ms. Christine Nobiss

Christine Nobiss is Plains Cree-Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Canada and grew up in the city of Winnipeg but has been living in Iowa for 14 years. She is a Decolonizer with Seeding Sovereignty and directs the SHIFT and Land Resilience Projects. Her goal is to dismantle colonial-imperialist institutions, and replace them with Indigenous practices created in synchronicity with the land. Christine holds a Masters Degree in Religious Studies (Native American focus) and uses that knowledge to fight for a better future for her two small children.

Dr. Thomas Grace

Thomas M. Grace, Ph.D., is best known for his scholarship on the student rebellion of the 1960s. He is the author of Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016) as well as other articles and chapters in books devoted to the protest era. As one of nine surviving casualties of the Ohio National Guard gunfire in May 1970, he spoke at the second and fifth commemorations of the fatal shootings at Kent State and in every decade since. In the aftermath of the killings, he served on the board of the Kent Legal Defense Fund and later in the same decade was part of a group of plaintiffs that won a 1974 US Supreme Court decision, Scheuer v. Rhodes, for their right to sue Ohio National guardsmen and he testified in both the subsequent 1975 and 1978 civil trials. Grace also testified at the federal grand jury that returned criminal charges against eight guardsmen in March 1974. Pursuing a long-term interest in history, in 2003, Grace earned a PhD after decades as a social worker and elected labor leader. Currently, he is adjunct professor of history at SUNY/Erie in Buffalo.

Dr. Tony Gaskew

Tony Gaskew, Ph.D., is a professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford. He has over twenty years of policing experience and in 2001 he received the Region IV Florida Narcotic Officer of the Year award. He is a Fulbright Hays Fellow and is the founding director of the Prison Education Program, where he has created groundbreaking post-secondary education initiatives in prisons since 2007. As a critical ethnographer, his research focuses on the relationship between policing and the Black experience in the U.S and beyond, decolonizing and dismantling justice systems, and the intersecting metaphysical nature of creating a Black resistance consciousness in the U.S. and beyond. He is the author of Policing Muslim American Communities (Edwin Mellen Press, 2008) and of Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility (Lexington Publishers, 2016). His next book, Decolonizing Policing: Critical Race Theory and Black Liberation, is forthcoming in 2020 from Rowman and Littlefield. In 2016 Tony Gaskew was invited to the White House by the Obama administration along with ten other educators from across the nation to lead discussions on criminal justice reform and higher education inside prisons.

Ms. Sibley Hawkins

Sibley Hawkins has been with the International Center for Transitional Justice since 2014, focusing primarily on gender justice and truth seeking in Côte d’Ivoire, Nepal, Syria, and Tunisia and elsewhere. Through research and engagement with victims’ groups, she strives to change the narrative about how women and victims of gender-based violations are perceived. Recently, she has been examining the role of unofficial truth seeking in highlighting victim’s voices and experiences where “official” processes are either non-existent or ineffective. Ms. Hawkins helped develop ICTJ’s gender mainstreaming policy and has conducted workshops with civil society on implementing a gender-sensitive approach. Before joining ICTJ, she focused on the rights of persons with disabilities. She holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Human Rights and International Law from New York University. She has lived in Colombia and Spain and is fluent in Spanish. She loves performing with her all-female improv group Butterfly Kisses.

Occurring Saturday evening, October 26, 2019 as part of the Kent State conference: “Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace”

Location: Ballroom of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center
Time: Saturday, October 26, 8:00 – 10:00 pm.(following the conference banquet, 6:00 – 7:30pm)

“May 4th Voices” is a play about the May 4, 1970 shootings of Kent State students by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Written by David Hassler, the director of Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center, and directed by Joe Gunderman, or WKSU-FM radio, the play is based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, which includes more than 115 interviews that contain first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970. The interviews contain the viewpoints of members of the Kent community, Kent State faculty, students, alumni, staff, and administrators who were on campus that day, as well as National Guardsmen, police, hospital personnel, and others whose lives were affected by their experiences of May 4 and its aftermath.

Weaving these voices and stories together anonymously, Hassler’s riveting play tells the human story of May 4th and its ongoing legacies, capturing the sense of trauma, confusion, and fear felt by all people regardless of where they stood that day, and afterwards.

First performed in 2010 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the shootings, this reader’s theatre version of the play will follow the conference banquet on Saturday evening. It will surely move all audience members fortunate enough to view it.

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