Michigan Teach-In on Peace and Justice

Starting Date: 04-09-2005
Starting Time: 9:00am

Bobbitt Auditorium
Cass & Hannah St.
Albion, Michigan 49224
United States

ALBION, MI – Albion College Peace Action will hold a teach-in for peace and justice activists all day on Saturday, April 9, 2005, at Albion College to mark the 40th anniversary of the famous University of Michigan Teach-In against the Vietnam War.

The “Michigan Teach-In on Peace and Justice”—organized by Albion College students—was conceived initially in protest against the Bush administration’s war in Iraq. Student organizers, noting the lack of genuine debate in much of the mainstream media, say they also hope to foster debate and activism on peace and justice issues at the grassroots level in Michigan.

Albion College Peace Action is a student-run group of activists at Albion College in Albion, Michigan.

“We hope that Michigan Teach-In on Peace and Justice will encourage students and community members from all around Michigan to focus on peace and justice issues—and ultimately channel our shared concern into the beginnings of a stronger, more organized movement,” said Laura Jordan, president of Peace Action and an Albion College senior from Flint.

“Unfortunately, the mass media's virtual monopoly on public dialogue leaves us with little space for meaningful, independent dialogue on the pressing issues of peace and justice. Now there is a deep need for such dialogue,” Jordan said.

The original teach-in, held four decades ago in Ann Arbor, was a seminal moment in the escalation of the anti-war movement nationally, ultimately forcing Lyndon Johnson from the presidency in 1968.

The April 9 event will consist of renowned speakers, workshops, strategy sessions, films, music, and poetry readings. The teach-in will bring together activists from the anti-Vietnam War movement and other social justice activists from the 1960s with a new generation of students committed to peaceful social change.

Confirmed speakers include Staughton Lynd, lifelong pacifist, Quaker and labor attorney form California; Bill Davis, Vietnam Veterans against the War; Joel Geier, a member of the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Movement; Sherry Wolf, an editor of the International Socialist Review, a Chicago-based magazine; Bille Wickre, Albion College associate professor of art history; and Greg Martin of the Wesley Fellowship of the United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor.

Albion College Peace Action seeks to help build peace and justice movements on campuses and in communities around the state and around the country while increasing cooperation and unity among activists.

“In my mind, in a very practical sense Americans have no choice but to be extremely concerned with issues of peace and justice,” Jordan said. “Young people are dying, innocent civilians' lives are being violently disrupted, we've alienated our allies, our job prospects are dim, and our collective disregard for the environment is giving us cancer. We really have no room to do anything but place a higher emphasis on questions of peace and justice.”

Albion College President Peter T. Mitchell, a strong proponent of student activism and open dialogue on campus, applauded the efforts of Peace Action.

“At the core of the liberal arts tradition is a commitment to civic engagement, thoughtful reflection on the issues facing our nation, and sincere efforts to forge bonds of understanding,” Mitchell said. “A good liberal arts education should equip students with critical thinking and communications skills to help improve the human condition and usher in a world of peace and justice. The ‘Teach-In on Peace and Justice’ offers a venue for students of diverse opinions to speak honestly, responsibly and sensitively to these issues, and in the process come to a deeper understanding and greater commitment to be agents of peace and reconciliation on our campus and in our world.”

The event is free with donations welcome, and the public is encouraged to attend. It will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2005, at Albion College in Albion, Mich. Registration begins at 9 a.m. in Bobbitt Visual Arts Auditorium, located on the corner of Hannah and Cass Streets on the Albion College campus. For further information visit www.albion.edu/peaceaction / or email Samantha Hill (srh12@albion.edu) or Laura Jordan (lkj10@albion.edu).
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