2001 - 2004 Activities

During the first months of 2001 the Center hosted a four-part event series exploring the multiple dimensions of economic justice and well-being, a timely issue that soon gave way to the shock of 9/11. In response to 9/11, the Center held a dialogue on "redefining power," and created an active website feature called "Perspectives on Terrorism and Nonviolence." During 2002, the Center launched a lecture series on exploring women and human values (later called the "Women of Courage" series), a seminar series on John Dewey's legacy, and the start of a seminar series on restorative justice. In 2002, the Center published another title in collaboration with Orbis Books, "Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy," edited by Paul Knitter and Chandra Muzaffar. The Center celebrated its 10th anniversary in September 2003 with a conference, "Re-imagining Self, Other, and the Natural World." The first annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, which focused on Thoreau's "Walden," was held in October 2004.


February 2-3, 2001
Center hosts first event in a four-part series entitled “Economics for Human Well-Being: Advancing a People’s Agenda.” Conference I, "Change the World! Building a Post-Seattle Coalition for Global Justice," included a Friday keynote address by Walden Bello, Director of Focus on the Global South, and a Saturday program featuring several scholars, authors, and activists.

Saturday presenters:
Marie Therese Browne, Mass Action for Women Audit
Jia Ching Chen, Youth Action for Global Justice
Tim Costello, Massachusetts Campaign on Contingent Work
Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology, Boston College
Naomi Klein, author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies
Mike Prokosch, United for a Fair Economy

March 10, 2001
Center hosts the second event in economic justice series, entitled “Beyond American Consumerism: Constructing a Transformative Politics.” The keynote lecture was by Juliet Schor, Women’s Studies, Harvard University, and author of Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure.

Other presenters:
Elfriede Fursich, Boston College
Douglas Holt Harvard Business School
Andre Norman, Ella J. Baker House
James Twitchell, University of Florida
Felice Yeskel, Stonewall Center, UMass-Amherst

March 22, 2001
Center hosts the third event in the economic justice series, a lecture by Riane Eisler entitled “Toward an Economics of Caring.” Riane Eisler is the author of The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future

April 3, 2001
Center hosts the final event in the economic justice series, a lecture by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on his new book, Development as Freedom

October 22, 2001
To help meet urgent need for dialogue in wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks, Center hosts forum entitled “Redefining Power for the 21st Century: Military, Economic, and Spiritual Options.” With content inspired by founder’s Soft Power lecture of 1991, the forum included presentations by:

Arun Gandhi, M.K.Gandhi Institute
Mohammed Abu-Nimer, American University
Randall Forsberg, Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies


February 12, 2002
Center hosts first Women’s Lecture on Human Values, in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer. Cosponsor: Wellesley Centers for Women. Linda Stout, author of Bridging the Class Divide, delivered a talk entitled “Social Justice in the 21st Century: What’s it Going to Take?” Rosemarie Freeney-Harding offered “Reflections on the Life of Fannie Lou Hamer."

April 6, 2002
Center hosts Dewey Memorial Seminar #1 entitled “Paths to a Democratic Future: Deweyan Pragmatism and Confucianism in Dialogue.” Cosponsor: Center for Dewey Studies and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. A paper by Roger Ames of University of Hawai’i entitled “Democracy of the Dead” served as a basis for a discussion that included:

Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University
John Berthrong, Boston University School of Theology
Michael Eldridge, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Larry Hickman, Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Robert Neville, Boston University School of Theology
Steven Rockefeller, Middlebury College, emeritus
Virginia Straus, Boston Research Center
Shannon Sullivan, Penn State University
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Bucknell University
Tu Weiming, Harvard-Yenching Institute

May 1, 2002
Center organizes Dewey Memorial Seminar #2, entitled “Humanistic Education: Beyond the Traditional/Progressive Debate” held at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and cosponsored by Center for Dewey Studies.

Larry Hickman, Center for Dewey Studies
Nel Noddings, Stanford University, emerita
Monte Joffee, Renaissance Charter School, Bronx, NY
Ted Sizer, Coalition of Essential Schools

June 1, 2002
Center cosponsors Dewey Memorial Lecture entitled “Democracy and Global Citizenship: Creating Value by Educating for Social Reform” by Larry Hickman, director of the Center for Dewey Studies, at SGI Culture Center in New York City.  Cosponsors are Center for Dewey Studies and SGI. Lecture included commemoration of a permanent exhibit illustrating the links between John Dewey and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.

August 2002
Center publishes online a conversation between Randall Forsberg and Elise Boulding that provides a post-9/11 update on Center book, Abolishing War.

September 20-22, 2002
Center hosts seminar and forum entitled “How Compassion Arises in the Process of Social Healing” convened by peace scholar and activist Judith Thompson. At the end of the weekend seminar with 25 international peacebuilders, selected participants led a public discussion. Forum presenters included Hizkias Assefa, Svetlana Broz, Dumisa Ntsebeza, and Sulak Sivaraksa.

November 2002
Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy, edited by Paul Knitter and Chandra Muzaffar, is published by Orbis Books.

November 22, 2002
Virginia Straus serves as respondent on panel entitled “Religious Responses to Violence” at meeting of Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. Other panel participants are:

Harold Kasimow, Grinnel College
Sarah Pinnock, Trinity University
Rebekah Miles, Perkins School of Theology
Sister Elaine McInnes, O.L.M.

November 23-26, 2002
Center hosts reception to launch Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy at American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. The speaker was Subverting Greed co-editor Paul Knitter.

December 19, 2002
Center hosts Restorative Justice Seminar engaging local professionals working in this field, including:

Carolyn Boyes-Watson, Suffolk University, Director of the Center for Restorative Justice
Robin Casarjian, Founder and Director of the Lionheart Foundation
Cheryl Connor, Co-founder of The New Law Center
Donna Hicks, Deputy Director of PICAR at Harvard University
Saroeum Phoung, Roca, Inc.
Judith Thompson, Co-founder of Children of War
Kaethe Weingarten, Founder and Director of The Witnessing Project and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School

Moderator: Virginia Straus


January 26, 2003
Center cosponsors second Women’s Lecture on Human Values, this time honoring Jeanette Rankin and held at Wellesley College. Cosponsor: Wellesley Centers for Women. Lecture was entitled “Forging Alternatives to War,” and delivered by Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California who cast a lone vote in September 2001 against launching a “War on Terrorism” and the bombing of Afghanistan.

April 16, 2003
Center hosts first of three-part series of Restorative Justice Seminars. This seminar, moderated by Virginia Straus, was entitled “Exploring the Healing Paradigm: Victims, Perpetrators, and Accountability,” including a paired interview with Judith Thompson and Robin Casarjian. Seminar participants:

Carolyn Boyes-Watson, Director of Suffolk University’s Center for Restorative Justice
Robin Casarjian, Director of the Lionheart Foundation and its National Emotional Literacy Project for Prisoners
Cheryl L. Conner, lawyer, economist and educator
Donna Hicks, Deputy Director of PICAR, Harvard University
Saroeum Phoung, Director of Community Restorative Justice Initiative, Roca, Inc.
Judith Thompson, social healing expert
Kaethe Weingarten, director of The Witnessing Project
Jon Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Hope Magazine and President of Just Alternatives

May 12, 2003
Center hosts second Restorative Justice Seminar, entitled “The Wounded Witness: Police, Lawyers, Judges and Community,” including paired interview with Kaethe Weingarten and Cheryl Conner.

June 18, 2003
Center hosts third and final Restorative Justice Seminar, entitled “Local and Global Implications: Resolving Conflicts and Restoring Communities,” including a paired interview with Saroeum Phoung and Donna Hicks.

September 26-27, 2003
Center hosts its 10th anniversary conference entitled “Re-imagining Self, Other, and the Natural World,” cosponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment. Mr. Ikeda sends message commemorating 10th anniversary of the Center in which he states, “The main force in the 21st century will neither be civilization nor religion, but rather human beings.”

Friday evening speakers:
Sarah Conn, Ecopsychology Institute of Center for Psychology and Social Change
Steven Rockefeller, Professor Emeritus of Religion, Middlebury College
Virginia Straus, BRC executive director
Tu Weiming, Director of Harvard-Yenching Institute and professor of Chinese History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies at Harvard
Masao Yokota, BRC President

Saturday speakers:
Molly Baldwin, Founder and Executive Director of Roca, Inc. in Chelsea, Massachusetts
Rick Clugston, Executive Director of Center for Respect of Life and Environment
Harold Gatensby, Member of the Tlingit Nation in the Yukon Territory, trainer in peacemaking circles
Saroeum Phoung, Former Director of Community Restorative Justice Initiative, Roca, Inc.
Kay Pranis, restorative justice planner and circle trainer
Christina Robb, faculty member at Jean Baker Miller Training Institute of Wellesley College
Kris Rondeau, founder of Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers
Janet Surrey, founding member of the Stone Center at Wellesley College


February 27, 2004
Center hosts third Women of Courage Lecture, The Rachel Carson Lecture on Environmental Ethics by Janine Benyus. Her presentation entitled “Echoing Nature: Lessons for a Sustainable Future” was cosponsored by Wellesley Centers for Women.

May 2004
As follow-up to 10th anniversary Center event on interconnectedness in theory and practice, the Center launches a two-year BRC Learning Circle on Community Building (BRC-LC). An initial meeting of several participants is held at the Center in May 2004. Then, regular meetings begin in October 2004 with a four-day gathering that introduces the community-building practice of the "peacemaking circle" with support from Tlingit elder Harold Gatensby and circle trainer Gwen Chandler-Rhivers. After numerous gatherings at the Center, the BRC-LC ends in early June 2006 with a final session reflecting on lessons learned. The purpose of the two-year ongoing circle is to provide a venue for local experts in community-building to share their work with each other, and through their reflective interactions, develop a language about community-building that can reach a wider public.

Local BRC-LC participants:
Carolyn Boyes-Watson, Director, Center for Restorative Justice, Suffolk Univ. (peacemaking circles)
Meenakshi Chhabra Gupta, PhD student doing research on the Seeds of Peace project
Sarah Conn, Director, Ecopsychology Institute
Sayra Pinto, Director, Latino Coalition for Fitchburg and Leominster
Jan Surrey, Founding Member, Stone Center, Wellesley College (relational psychology)
Judith Thompson, Founder, Children of War and Union Institute PhD student (role of compassion in social healing)
Jon Prichard, Extension Educator,  University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Paula Gutlove, Program Manager, Institute for Resource and Security Studies (psycho-social trauma healing)
Donna Hicks, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard Univ. (“Dignity Model”)
Ceasar McDowell, Program Director, The Center for Reflective Community Practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John Bell, Director, Training & Learning Center, YouthBuild USA
Peter Kiang, Director, Graduate College of Education and Asian American Studies Program, Umass-Boston
Shirley Tang, Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies and American Studies, Umass-Boston
Radhika Rao, Ed.D student at Harvard Graduate School of Education. (use of theatre/drama in peace education)
Andrea Nagel, Senior Associate, Interaction Institute for Social Change
Raewyn Haywood, Health Practitioner: Healing Trauma using Self Regulation Therapy. Certified Alexander Technique Teacher
Betty Burkes, Pedagogical Coordinator for a Peace and Disarmament Education Project at the United Nations

October 1-2, 2004
Center holds inaugural Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue entitled “Re-Awakening East-West Connections: Walden and Beyond” celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Thoreau’s Walden. Center publishes special Ikeda Forum in-depth report after Forum.

Friday night speakers were:
Alan Hodder, Professor of Comparative Religion, Hampshire College
Yoichi Kawada, director, Institute of Oriental Philosophy
With welcome by Masao Yokota and opening remarks by Virginia Straus, who also moderated the discussion.

Saturday speakers were:
Phyllis Cole, professor of English and American Studies, Penn State University, and President of the Emerson Society
Judith Thompson, convener of dialogues on justice, compassion, and social healing sponsored by Fetzer Institute
Zoughbi E. Zoughbi, Director of Wi’am, Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center
Bradley Dean, Editor, Thoreau’s Letters to a Spiritual Seeker, Faith in a Seed, and Wild Fruits
Sarah Conn, Director, Ecopsychology Institute, Center for Psychology and Social Change
Leslie Gray, clinical psychologist and director of Woodfish Institute
Paula Miksic, Northeast Women’s Leader, SGI
Ronald Bosco, professor of English and American literature, State University of New York at Albany

With opening and moderation by Virginia Straus


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