Peace and Justice Studies
Who works for peace, justice, and conflict resolution in our contemporary world of national, cultural, religious, racial, gender, and environmental differences?
You can with Fordham's minor degree in peace and justice studies. You will explore issues in the program areas of war, terrorism, and violence; human rights and humanitarianism; peace and social justice movements; theories of negotiation and conflict resolution; religions and ecumenism; multiculturalism; race and gender equality; economic justice; criminal justice reform; and environmental justice. And you have the option of focusing on one of these areas in coordination with your major.
Men and Women For Others
Peace and justice studies embodies Fordham's mission of "men and women for others," and is one of the university's oldest interdisciplinary programs, having been founded in 1986. The program was first inspired by the 20th-century movements of liberation theology, social justice and civil rights, and peace activism. Central figures were the peace activist Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J., who taught at Fordham for many years, and Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic workers movement, after whom Fordham's Dorothy Day Center For Service and Justice was named (recently renamed as Center For Community Engaged Learning). Other major influences on the program's formation include Mahatma Gandhi, the Buddhist peace movement, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King. Today the program also encompasses the diversity movement and the environmental justice movement, as well as global justice issues inspired by the international human rights movement, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and other international venues of conflict resolution and peacemaking.
What Students Say About the Minor
Bailey Barnett, Class of 2018: "The most valuable thing that you can do is push yourself outside of your comfort zone within the minor. . . . I think it's important to recognize that there's so much more to learn than just terminology and theories." Robin Happel, Class of 2019: "I’ve found its faculty to be some of the most dedicated and diverse voices on campus. . . .They tend to teach not just from a textbook, but from their own experience. Professor Asha Castleberry knows how important it is to have female UN peacekeepers because she was one. Dr. Erick Rengifo’s lectures on climate change aren’t just graphs or charts, but a heartfelt account of mountain snow melting around his hometown in Peru. . . . Dr. Rengifo helped found Spes Nova, an innovative fair trade initiative that helps lift impoverished communities around the world out of poverty. . . Professor Peleg, who teaches the intro and internship classes, is an expert on peace negotiations in his home country of Israel. . . . And, after tragically losing his son in 9/11, Professor Orlando Rodriguez used his expertise in Peace and Justice Studies to help organize September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows."
Experiential Service Learning
Peace and justice studies is unique among Fordham's programs in that its students are required to perform service work for local charities, government agencies, or international NGO’s. Students complete at least two credits of experiential service and conflict resolution learning through volunteer work, internships, and co-curricular projects in programs such as the Center for Community Engaged Learning, Multicultural Affairs, Campus Ministry, Global Outreach, United Nations Academic Impact, Study Abroad, or the Social Innovation Collaboratory.
A Distinctive Educational & Professional Profile
The peace and justice minor makes your profile distinctive, and sets you apart, whether your career goals are in government, NGOs, law, business, education, healthcare, community development, environmental organizations, or religious organizations. In the words of student Robin Happel, "you don’t necessarily have to handcuff yourself to anything to be an activist. If you want to work on Wall Street, consider a corporate social responsibility division that works for reform, and invest in start-ups like Spes Nova. If you want to be a lawyer, make your pro bono service something meaningful to you, more than just another box to check for the bar. Whatever path you take in life, I promise there is something in Peace and Justice Studies for you."
The Peace and Justice minor makes an excellent complement to majors in Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, Economics, Business, Organizational Leadership, Theology, Philosophy, Humanitarian Studies, International Studies, International Political Economy, Urban Studies, Environmental Studies, African and African American Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Middle East Studies, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Two courses can be double counted between major and minor.
Declaring the Minor
John van Buren, Program Director, Rose Hill and Lincoln Center
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