by Amy M. Boyle
The Peace Studies Minors and the Behavioral Science Club co-sponsored a Peace and Justice Conference held in Founders Auditorium on Tuesday.
The conference was held in commemoration of the five year anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots, as well as the altercation involving senior Jamie Bigornia and sophomores David Riffle and Eric Britton that took place one year ago.
The annual conference was facilitated by Dr. Deborah Burris-Kitchen, assistant professor of sociology. At the conference, she proclaimed, “The U.S. was founded on hatred, and that continued through World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, so it has been difficult to move toward a peaceful nation.”
Dr. Burris-Kitchen also introduced a series of speakers including Dr. Mary Prieto-Bayard, assistant professor of behavioral science, who spoke on inter-personal and family violence. Dr. Ann Wichman, associate professor of sociology, spoke on the effects of social-psychology and violence. Debbie Roberts, campus minister, spoke on global peace, Dr. Dan Merritt, professor of zoology, spoke on violence in the environment and sociologist Trevor Campbell spoke on violence against minorities.
There was an open microphone available for students to express their views and ask questions.
“I hope that students will gain the knowledge that we live in a very violent society. The students have the power to change the way we exist,” said Dr. Burris-Kitchen, who hopes to hold more such events in the future.