Conference to explores U.S. culture of violence, paths to peace

October 25, 2011 | Events, UToday
By Jasmine R. Neilson

By first examining fear, war and violence and then exploring the practice and teaching of peace, the 2011 Charles DeBenedetti Peace Conference at The University of Toledo aims to raise awareness about what a “culture of peace” might mean — and how it might be achieved.

The daylong conference Friday, Oct. 28, in Libbey Hall will include UT and Bowling Green State University faculty, as well as psychologists, peace and civil rights advocates, lawyers and others who will provide insight into deconstructing a culture of violence and building a culture of peace.

“So often peace only comes up in connection with war and then only as an impractical ideal,” said Dr. Cynthia Jo Ingham, UT assistant professor of history and conference coordinator. “But the absence of peace and the orientation of a nation toward war have wide-ranging consequences for society, for culture and for human relations.”

The free, public conference will start with three morning panels, the first at 8 a.m. A round robin is scheduled for 1 p.m. to invite the audience to raise other issues or questions related to the conference theme. Two afternoon sessions will be followed by a break from 5:15 to 6 p.m., resuming with an hourlong workshop on strategies for learning and living nonviolence.

The last panel at 7 p.m. will be on “Choosing Peace” and feature independent scholar Staughton Lynd and Mike Ferner, interim director of Veterans for Peace.

There will be light snacks available throughout the day.

There is no registration required, and the public can attend all day or a single panel. Parking is available in Lots 13, 13N and the West Ramp Parking Garage.

The conference honors DeBenedetti, a faculty member in the UT Department of History from 1968 until his death in 1987 at age 44. He authored several books on antiwar movements and was a tireless advocate of peace in his professional as well as personal life.

The 2011 Charles DeBenedetti Conference is supported by the UT Department of History, UT Center for Religious Understanding, BGSU Peace and Conflict Studies, Corpus Christi University Parish, the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, and the Toledo branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

For a detailed program and information about the conference, visit

For questions, contact Ingham at or 419.530.2393.

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