Local Peace Group Hosts Panel Discussion “Is War Ever Black and White?”
By Emily Mininger
April 14, 2015
Waterloo, ON — Local peace group PeaceQuest KW is hosting a panel discussion event “Is War Ever Black and White? Recolourizing the Reality of War on April 30th at Stirling Mennonite Church.” This free public event is features speakers Marlene Epp, professor of History and Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo; John Siebert, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares; and Andrew Thompson, Director, Amnesty International Canada Board.
As we are currently in the midst of commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, PeaceQuest wants to use this as an opportunity to raise conversations about working towards peace. April 22nd- May 25th marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of 2nd Ypres, and so PeaceQuest KW seeks to hold a conversation about the complex nature of war around this prominent anniversary. To quote PeaceQuest KW facilitator Emily Mininger, “Instead of glorifying our past conflicts, we should be motivated by horrific violence to ensure that it never happens again. PeaceQuest encourages Canadians to reflect on how we can learn from these tragedies to build a brighter future.”
Much of the time, news and popular media, war is painted as a black and white image- us vs. them, evil vs. good, hero vs. villain. As we’re commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWI, the “Great War” is often depicted as a just and noble war in which we heroically defeated the evils of the Central Powers. But is that really the case? Can a conflict that caused the deaths of over 9 million combatants and 7 million citizens truly be noble?
This panel discussion hopes to dig into a complicated reality, as we replace the monochromatic commemorative narrative with a full colour version that illustrates the true complexity of war from WWI to our present conflicts.
This event is being hosted in collaboration with PeaceQuest, Stirling Mennonite Church’s Peace and Justice Working Group, the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College, and Educators for Justice.
The meeting will be on Monday, 29 September, 7PM, room 1301, at Conrad Grebel on the east side of Westmount Drive just north of University Avenue.
Parking is free and, for those who need it, there are several accessible spaces just in front of the main door.
Our main agenda item will be organizing for the Write-for-Rights event in December. This always occurs on or near Human Rights Day which is on the 10th. Nancy Bernhardt can no longer organize these, but she will be there on the 29th to advise anyone else who can volunteer.
One of the items to be discussed is the invitation from Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel to give a one hour presentation on Group Nine and Amnesty International to their brown bag lunch series. I’ve tentatively set this for November 20th.
If there are any other items you’d like to have on the agenda, please let me know ASAP. In general, I see this as an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other and make plans for the coming year. New members are always welcome!
Hope to see you on the 29th!
firstname.lastname@example.org is the offical Group Nine e-mail address. Group Nine is the local chapter of Amnesty International Kitchener-Waterloo and area.