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Ericka Huggins – 2015 Race Conference Keynote Speaker

Ericka HugginsCCS is proud to announce that Ericka Huggins will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Race Conference.

Ericka Huggins is a human rights activist, poet, and educator, as well as a former political prisoner and leader in the Black Panther Party. Upon release from prison in 1972, Ericka became writer and editor for the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service. Ericka was the Director of the Oakland Community School, and created the vision for an innovative curriculum that later became the model for the charter school movement. In 1976, Ericka was both the first woman and first Black person to be appointed to the Alameda County Board of Education. Over the past fifty years she has worked on a variety of issues including education reform, HIV/AIDS, and incarcerated youth. Ericka has lectured on human rights, restorative justice, and the role of spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change. To see a detailed biography of Ericka, click here.

Her keynote address is titled “Becoming an Ally: An Antidote to the Disease of Racism.” Her address will be delivered at 5:30 pm on Thursday, November 5th. Registration for the Race Conference will begin on Sunday, October 11th. Please check back soon for a link to the registration page.


CCS Director to discuss “The Hunting Ground” at MIIS

Hunting Ground

The Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (MCRCC) and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) are partnering to bring the critically acclaimed film “The Hunting Ground” to the Institute’s Irvine Auditorium at 499 Pierce Street, on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

In the New York Times review of the film, Ann Hornaday stated “’The Hunting Ground’ makes clear that its message isn’t just intellectual, legal and political, but deeply emotional. In a series of harrowing interviews, young women — and a few young men — recount in sickening detail how they were attacked, raped, threatened and discounted on the very campuses that should have been safe harbors for their learning and personal growth.”

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion in which local experts will illuminate the reality of sexual violence in Monterey County and throughout the world. Panelists include MCRCC’s Executive Director Clare Mounteer, Monterey County Assistant District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni, CSUMB Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Christine Erickson, and Institute Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Conflict Studies Dr. Pushpa Iyer.

Please register online by clicking here to ensure admittance to the film screening, panel discussion, and reception.

Fourth Annual Conference on Race and Conflict

Siamese CrocodilesCCS is pleased to announce its fourth annual conference on the topic of Race and Conflict. The conference is titled “Breaking Down Shades of Color: Power, Privilege and Potential in Race Conflicts” and will be held in Monterey from November 5-7, 2015. This conference aims to highlight the sources, nature and growing incidence of race-based conflicts and the efforts being made to manage, resist and transform these conflicts.We invite proposals from graduate students, academics and practitioners in conflict studies, peace studies and other related disciplines (such as law, human rights, gender, culture, criminology, and media). For more information about the conference and  for proposal submission guidelines (deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015), visit


2015 Summer Peacebuilding Program

SPP ReceptionThe 2015 Summer Peacebuilding Program has begun! CCS is happy to welcome 17 participants to the beautiful MIIS campus for a 3-week intensive course on bridging the theory and practice of building peace in societies emerging from conflict. The program launched on Sunday night with a reception to welcome the students and introduce the faculty. It will continue in the coming days with sessions by Dr. Iyer, MIIS faculty, practitioners, and visiting academics, including influential voices in the field of conflict studies such as Dr. Christopher Mitchell. Participants will also visit local organizations and projects including Rancho Cielo and Oakland Ceasefire.

Follow the reflections and experiences of the program participants on the SPP blog.

Announcing the 2015 Peacebuilder Fellows

_________               San Juan
CCS would like to introduce our 2015 Peacebuilder Fellows! Christine Young and Tayna Martins are participating in this year’s program in Honduras. Partnering with the Catholic Relief Services, they will research water conflicts in the country, gathering stories from stakeholders and learning about approaches to conflict resolution. Upon their return, the fellows will work with the Center to share the stories they have heard and the knowledge they have gained. Read about their background and experience here, and be sure to follow the blog for updates about their experiences!

Reflections April 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.15.07 PMThe Center is proud to share the first issue of the new, re-launched Reflections magazine! Reflections will now be an annual publication, reviewing the year’s activities at the Center, sharing research and field experiences, highlighting alumni accomplishments, presenting the coming year’s events, and more. As ever, the magazine’s articles and features are designed to make readers reflect on new thoughts and important issues in conflict studies and peacebuilding.

This year’s magazine was presented at the “Violence Explained and Peace Explored” presentation at MIIS on April 4, and will also be available on our website as a PDF.

Violence Explained and Peace Explored

Mindanao photoThe Center for Conflict Studies invites you to attend its upcoming presentation, “Violence Explained and Peace Explored.” In 2015, CCS organized two field courses: “Challenges to Peacebuilding in Mindanao” and “The Praxis of Conflict Transformation: Poverty, Homelessness and Violence in Los Angeles.” Dr. Pushpa Iyer will lead 15 MIIS and 3 CSUMB course participants in telling stories of violence and peace.

We will also be celebrating the re-launch of our magazine, Reflections.

The presentation will take place Thursday, April 9 at 6:30 pm in Irvine Auditorium, 499 Pierce Street in Monterey.

You are also invited to a reception following the presentation. This event is open to the public. For more information, email

Visiting Scholar – Robert Brears

robert_brearsThe CCS Visiting Scholar for 2015-16 will be Robert C. Brears, founder of Mitidaption, an ideas lab. Robert is an expert on the impacts of climate change and environmental risks to business, governance and society as well as adaptation strategies to mitigate these risks. He is a contributing author for the Johns Hopkins University’s Global Water Magazine, China Water Risk and RepRisk. He has published widely on water security, water resources management, and related issues, and has conducted field research around the world, including Antarctica. His research with CCS will focus on water security in the Asia-Pacific.

For more information on Robert and past visiting scholars, please visit our website.

2015 Peacebuilders Fellowship: Honduras


2014 Peacebuilder Fellows in the West Bank.

Applications for the second summer Peacebuilders Fellowship are now open! The 2015 program will once again focus on water conflicts, this time in Honduras. Fellows will work with Catholic Relief Services and their partners to conduct research and document local challenges and approaches in dealing with water conflicts. This material will provide vital information to the Center in developing a manual for peacebuilders working on water conflicts.

Two fellows will be selected for the project, and are expected to be in the field for 8 to 10 weeks over the summer. Following the field research, fellows will work with the Center to finalize reports and document their stories.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, please visit our website. To apply for the fellowship, please click here.

The Praxis of Conflict Transformation: Poverty, Homelessness & Violence in Los Angeles


Dr. Iyer and the 2015 Los Angeles course participants.

CCS Director Pushpa Iyer and 6 MIIS students are currently in Los Angeles for “The Praxis of Conflict Transformation” field course. The course seeks to help participants link the theory of peacebuilding with practice through field research. LA is the perfect location for this course because it is a city of contrasts: it is home to Hollywood and a celebrity culture, but also overwhelming poverty, homelessness and violence. Participants will be meeting with NGOs, government officials, and civil society members to learn about how they work on these deep-rooted conflicts in the context of racial tensions, extreme wealth, and other structural imbalances. Outcomes of the trip will be shared in presentations and various publications.

You can keep up with the participants’ research and experiences in LA by reading their blog. Bios of the course participants can be found here. For more information about the course, please visit our website.