Peace and Pizza is a unique series at Berea College featuring talks with renowned peace advocates from around the world and from right at home — with pizza. This educational lecture series is sponsored by Berea College’s Peace and Social Justice Studies and is guided by Michelle Tooley and Meta Mendel-Reyes. This year’s lineup is special, because it features student and faculty speakers, which Tooley refers to as Berea’s “internal resources.” Tooley invites all faculty, staff, students and community members to attend Peace and Pizza, stating:
a crucial part of ‘God has made of one blood all the peoples of the Earth’ is that sense of common humanity, and the common earth we all share, and all of these programs, in different ways, do two things. It brings a speaker, from inside or outside the institution who will talk about an issue, but more importantly, it brings a group of people together to hear of an experience, and to translate it to their own reality.
The fall semester lectures began on October 2 with Jill Bouma, an associate professor of sociology at Berea, and the Shepherd Poverty Interns. Bouma explained these issues, along with the student interns, by talking about what “poverty looks like, how it’s grown, and the shape it’s taken,” said Tooley.
Next, Julia Vallejos of Witness for Peace came from Nicaragua on the October 9 as an advocate for Fair Trade in her country. “This year, the regular coming of an outsider intersects with Berea as a Fair Trade campus.” Tooley says of Vallejos, “this woman is a manager of a T-shirt shop that is Fair Trade in a place where 20,000 people work at low wages, and this woman had the imagination to say, ‘Why wouldn’t a Fair Trade shop work here?’” She and her workers built their own factory, and they share the profits together.
Last Thursday Matthew Cape, a senior psychology major and peace and social justice minor, talked about aboriginal hardships, such as internal migration and poverty, and what he learned about during his internship in Australia.
The lectures are only half-way through, so there are still chances to see some memorable speakers over the course of the next three Thursdays.
On November 6, Nadine Umutoni, a senior Communication and Peace and Social Justice Major, will discuss her experience being selected for the Caux scholarship in Switzerland, a major Peace and Social Justice learning event. Next, Nick Mullins, a junior communication major, and his wife, Rusti Mullins, a junior history major, will discuss their tour across the country to raise awareness about mountaintop removal while learning about the other issues and injustices faced by peoples across the nation (November 13).
Lastly, Lnaya Langford, a Junior Child and Family Studies major and Logan Smith, a junior undeclared major will be talking about their internship with the Border Angels, a group that works for the protection of migrant families and their children (November 20).
Please come and support the Peace and Social Justice program in the Appalachian Center Gallery, 11:45-12:50pm on selected Thursdays, and expand your awareness of social justice issues over a hot slice of pizza.