PAX Dinner on April 10!

April 2nd, 2014

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March 18th, 2014

Waltham, MA. ― College students across the country have once again been challenged to design and undertake Projects for Peace.  A total of 127 winning projects have been selected and are being awarded $10,000 each for implementation during the summer of 2014. Projects for Peace was the vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis beginning in 2007 on the occasion of Mrs. Davis’ 100th birthday. Until her death at 106 in 2013, Mrs. Davis was intent on advancing the cause of peace and sought to motivate tomorrow’s promising leaders by challenging them to find ways to “prepare for peace”.

The Davis family has chosen to honor her legacy by continuing to fund Projects for Peace and is heartened by the quality and inventiveness of the projects to be undertaken in 2014.  Projects that address conflict resolution and reconciliation, foster understanding, provide opportunity, and community building are among the many winning proposals submitted by motivated students this year.

Projects for Peace invites all undergraduates at the 91 American colleges and universities which are partners in the Davis United World College Scholars Program (see to compete for these grants. Other participating institutions include International Houses Worldwide, the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Future Generations Graduate School, and the University of Maine.

“Competition is keen and we congratulate those students whose projects have been selected for funding in 2014,” said Philip O. Geier, Executive Director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program which administers Projects for Peace. “We are pleased to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to improving the prospects for peace in the world.”

Two projects have been selected from Brandeis University. Abie Troen and Andrea Verdeja will be traveling to India to work on their project, “A Call for Dignity: Ending Manual Scavenging” in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, India”.  Abie and Andrea hope to make a documentary promoting the rights and empowerment of Hindu and Muslim Dalit (Untouchable) women in their ongoing struggle to eliminate the caste based practice of cleaning the toilets of upper caste people by hand and transporting the waste in buckets carried by hand for miles to disposal places.  The film Troen and Verdeja will make will become part of a larger movement to end the caste-based scavenging process as it has continued to this time.

Catriona Stewart & Eli Philip will be traveling to Israel to work on their project, “Brandeis University – Al Quds University Student Dialogue Initiative”.  Catriona and Eli plan to visit Al Quds and work with students to create a framework for long-term student dialogue between Brandeis University and Al Quds University.
For more information on Projects for Peace, see

JBS Summer offerings!

March 3rd, 2014

Check out the Justice Brandeis Summer offerings for the summer of 2014!

Joint Information Session for both Sociology programs next week!
Thursday, March 6, 2014
From 1:00-2:00 pm
Study Abroad Conference Room
Usdan 169

Why choose JBS this summer?

Are you interested in gaining work and research experience this summer while earning 12 academic credits in Sociology?  These two JBS programs may be for you!

Students say the JBS experience is unlike any they’ve found in a standard classroom setting. It offers an intensive, hands-on engagement in the field with first-hand exposure to issues related to social justice.  It’s a great way to earn 12 credits while getting work and research experience over the summer

PLEASE NOTE:  The final application deadline for all JBS programs is March 15. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so sign up now!

JBS Civil Rights flyer_2014_Page_1 jbs-flyer-Breaking Boundaries- Immigration and Education_Page_1

Hindu Altar on campus!

January 30th, 2014

All are cordially invited to witness ‘Murthi Sthapana’ the ceremony to establish the Hindu altar on campus. Murthi means sacred sculpture or image, sthapana means placing. This ceremony is done to place the sacred sculpture or image. The purpose of the ceremony is  to awaken the mind of the participants, through the power of ritual, to the presence of divinity within the sacred image.

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Learn more about this year’s Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winners!

December 5th, 2013

Click the image to find out who the Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winners are, and that they’ll be doing with their grant!

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Abie Troen, Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winner

November 21st, 2013

Congratulations to Abie Troen, one of our Karpf and Hahn Peace Prize Winners! Here’s some info on him and his project.

Abie Troen, Film Major, Class of ’14, from Jerusalem, Israel.

In his project, Abie will be going to Kenya to hold a screening of the short documentary films that he is creating for the Kenyan Street Vendor’s Alliance. At the screening, he plans to invite supporters, donors, but also the street vendors who are all the stars/protagonists of the films. He hopes this will project will highlight the struggles of the street vendors who are members of the alliance, the men and women pursuing social justice and the coexistence between different groups on Kenyan city streets.


Russia’s Arctic Oil Rig

November 18th, 2013

The Russian government and the Greenpeace organization are arguing over the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic. The rig is owned by Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company. The base of the rig is so heavy that it cannot be moved, and it sits about 20 meters (66 feet) deep on a seabed.

The issue with the rig is not its structure. Instead, it is the possibility of a spill in the Arctic waters. Campaigners say that “the nature here is unique,” as the animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals, have nowhere else to go if there is a spill. The arctic ocean has two narrow entrances to the remaining oceans: one by Iceland and the other by Alaska. Therefore, there is little mixing with other seas, causing oil spills to stay in the Arctic. Also, an oil spill would be catastrophic because of the low temperatures in the north. In tropical waters, oil becomes absorbed readily by bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms do not live in cold waters, so the oil would stay in the Arctic for about 100 years. Companies also do not have the technology to collect spilled oil under ice.

Gazprom claims that they have extremely safe measures intact. The rig is in shallow water, enabling the wellhead to be inside the rig. There is also a cut-off system  that offloads the oil into tanks. There are detections on the tanks to detect movement, and if there is too much movement by a factor such as ice, oil stops flowing. The company also claims that they could clean up a spill under the ice by using icebreakers. Two icebreakers are near the rig, which would enable skimmers to enter the water and clean oil if needed.

The safety measurements are not enough for Greenpeace activists, who repeatedly attempt to climb the rig in protest. By climbing the rig, the activists are creating risk to the rig’s possibility of spilling. Workers have even started to spray the rig with fire hoses while the activists attempt to climb up, but the activists claim that the use of inflatable boats and lightweight ropes deters them from being a threat.

This year, when 30 Greenpeace activists attempted to climb the rig, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, pulled the activists off, pointed guns at them, and opened fire onto the water. The activists are now in jail with charges of “piracy as part of an organized group.” The Netherlands, where the Greenpeace ship that went to the Arctic is registered, is currently challenging the arrests with an argument of the “Convention of the Law of the Sea.”

View the full article here.

Russia Oil Rig

The Black-Jew Dialogues

November 14th, 2013

The Black-Jew Dialogues is coming to Brandeis!

What’s so funny about two US American marginalized groups that have slavery, the KKK, and chicken livers in common?

That’s what you’ll find out in this extraordinary two-actor play on the history and absurdity of prejudice and racism and the power of tough conversations that push us closer to coexistence. The Black-Jew Dialogues combines fast-paced sketches, improvisations, multi-media, puppets and a game show to create a show that has gained praise across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. at universities, high schools, synagogues, and theaters.

Where: Lown Auditorium

When: November 14, 9:30 PM

Entrance is FREE!

View the trailer here. Hope to see you there!