“Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation”

October 17-19, 2013






The enduring tension between tradition and innovation, and between continuity and change, will be the overarching theme of the 2013 meetings of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, to be jointly hosted in Waterloo, Ontario by the University of Waterloo’s Conrad Grebel University College and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Global Studies. Inspired by the broader Kitchener-Waterloo region — where a long and distinguished history of Mennonite peacemaking exists alongside a growing reputation as one of Canada’s most dynamic high-technology hubs — the 2013 PJSA conference theme honours the tradition, history and accomplishments of the peace and justice studies movement while simultaneously seeking to expand the movement’s frontiers in search of new and innovative ways to promote both the practice and the culture of peace in a divided world. The conference will include sessions from across a wide range of disciplines, professions and perspectives on issues such as the innovative use of social or communications technology in the promotion of peace, the use of unconventional or unorthodox peace promotion strategies by long-established actors in the field, or on the comparative accomplishments of ‘new’ vs. ‘old’ actors in the field of peace and justice studies.

Keynote Speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers include: 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams (International Campaign to Ban Landmines), James Orbinski (Global Health Governance), George Roter(Engineers Without Borders), Rhoda Howard-Hassmann (Canada Research Chair, International Human Rights), Sylvia McAdam (Idle No More), Deborah Ellis (author – Teachers Professional Development strand), and Howard Zehr (Eastern Mennonite University – Mediation/Restorative Justice pre-conference session).

Student Conference

Alongside the main PJSA Conference, there will be a Student Conference for undergraduate and high school students (Gr. 11 & 12) who are passionate and interested in peace and justice.

The students will hear the main speakers (Jody Williams, James Orbinski, Rhoda Howard-Hassmann) and also have their own keynote speakers:

* Sylvia McAdam (Co-Founder, Idle No More)
* Brigette DePape (Canadian Activist)
* George Roter (Co-Founder and CEO of Engineers Without Borders)
* Shannon Moroney (Restorative Justice advocate, and Author of Through the Glass)

There will be opportunities to meet and network with other students, academics, and practitioners with extensive experience in the field of peace and justice.

The registration fee is $60.00 and can be paid when students arrive at the conference. Please register here to reserve your spot. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us at [email protected]


RHODA E. HOWARD-HASSMANN is Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Global Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is also Professor Emerita at McMaster University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from McGill University (1976), and as of 1993 is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2006 she was named the first Distinguished Scholar of Human Rights by the Human Rights Section, American Political Science Association. She originated and directed McMaster’s now defunct undergraduate minor Theme School on International Justice and Human Rights (1993-99).

SYLVIA McADAM, an activist with Idle No More, is from the Whitefish Lake reserved lands #118. She is a mother and grandmother, and enjoys spending time out on the lands and waters of her people’s territory of Treaty Six. Sylvia has her Juris Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor in Human Justice from the University of Regina. She currently resides at her reserve in Whitefish lake and teaches university classes in Prince Albert. Sylvia is the author of the bookCultural Teachings: First Nations Protocols and Methodologies, a guide to appropriate traditional etiquette for individuals attending ceremonial activities of indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan.

JAMES ORBINSKI, OC, MSC, Bsc, MD, MA, is a physician, writer, and humanitarian activist. He is an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs. In January 2011, he also assumed the Chair of Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and in 2013 became the CIGI Chair in Global Health Governance and Director of the Africa Initiative at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He was President of the International Council of Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders) at the time the organization received the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize.

GEORGE ROTER is the co-founder and CEO of Engineers Without Borders (Canada). He and Parker Mitchell founded the Canadian organization in 2000. Roter received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo and left part-way through his master’s degree to focus full-time on Engineers Without Borders. His area of research was orthopaedic tribology, particularly studying hip implants under John B. Medley. In 2004, he was selected to be on Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list.

JODY WILLIAMS is known around the world for her work in banning anti-personnel landmines, her defense of human rights – especially those of women – and her efforts to promote new understandings of security in today’s world. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

HOWARD ZEHR (Mediation/Restorative Justice pre-conference session), Professor of Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Zehr previously served 19 years as director of Mennonite Central Committee’s Office on Crime and Justice. He is considered a pioneer in the field of Restorative justice, a response to criminal justice that focuses on repairing harm rather than establishing deterrence, and is the author of The Little Book of Restorative JusticeChanging Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice, and numerous other books.