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Greeley Peace Scholar Visits UMB

Holding the honor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s 2016 Greeley Scholar for Peace, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, co-founder and executive director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and co-author of the first United Nations resolution mandate to specifically mention women (UN Security Council Resolution 1325), visited the University of Massachusetts Boston campus on April 14.
Hosted by the Department of Conflict Resolution at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, students of the Global Governance and Human Security (GGHS) PhD program had the privilege to hear Anderlini speak of her work with the UN training governments, non-governmental organizations, and policy organizations worldwide in the peacemaking process.
Two classes from the GGHS program took part in the presentation: “International Organizations,” taught by Visiting Professor Margaret Karns, professor emerita of political science at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio; and “Gender and Human Security,” taught by Visiting Professor Anna M. Agathangelou, a political scientist from York University in Toronto, Canada.
As mentioned on the UMass Lowell website, the Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies Award “honors a distinguished advocate for peace, noted humanitarian, or faith leader who is asked to serve in limited residency at the University of Massachusetts Lowell during one semester each year.”
Some major themes from Anderlini’s talk included the importance of womens’ role in peace talks, what women in war zones need, and masculinity in time of war.
Questions like “How do you process all the work that you do and when is it too much?” gave Anderlini a chance to remind the class to “be honest with how much [they] can take.” Another question danced around the issue of changing the bureaucratic system one finds themselves working in. In answering the question, Anderlini spoke about the removal of public spaces and the chance to speak one’s mind and opinion: “If [they] shut down moderate political spaces, all that’s left will be radical.” She says her role at the UN is to relay what civilians say on the ground.
Another question touched upon creating a culture of peace. Since the student was from Colombia, Anderlini used the country to provide an example to demonstrate the need for social cohesion within a nation: “No one cares about Colombia but Colombians, right? Colombians, this is your country. We all want the same things but we don’t talk to each other.”
“What do you do when academics aren’t hired in governmental positions?” was the last question of the session. Anderlini flatly answered, “Work in civil society.”