PJSA/WIPCS Joint Conference: Call for Proposals, due 4/23/21

The theme of this year’s PJSA/WIPCS conference offers the opportunity to explore the intersections of health, equity, justice, and peacebuilding. The roots of health disparities stretch back in history with colonization practices and are laid bare again by COVID19. The rawness of our recent crisis provides an important opportunity to explore the depth of health hierarchies. Importantly, it also energizes our recognition of the urgent need for change. Through papers, plenaries, and performances, we will explore the critical barriers and opportunities to address public health crisis points such as racism, economic disparity, social determinants of health, and gendered violence among other examples of systemic inequalities. Key to discussions will be the thirst for innovative change and the centering of excluded and silenced voices.  

Calling upon the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary peace scholarship and conflict resolution practices, this conference aims to further dialogue, mobilize strategy, and catalyze new insights and practices that empower global change through interconnected local actions. Participants are encouraged to frame their contributions to the conference in ways that shed light on the dynamics of social upheavals and revolutionary social histories.  

The Conference 

The conference is a collaboration between PJSA (U.S. and Canada) and WIPCS (Wisconsin), a regional organization that brings peace/conflict educators and scholars together to discuss pedagogy, research, and practice. There will be multiple opportunities to engage, beginning with interactive pre-conference programming, as well as panels, plenaries, workshops, and discussion sessions, concluding with our annual awards ceremony and silent auction. 

Submissions may include various formats: 

  • Individually submitted papers (to be organized into panels by the conference committee) 
  • Panels (3-4 individual papers or presenters linked thematically) 
  • Films, creative works, and art presentations 
  • Roundtable discussions (interactive, facilitated discussion led by presenter/s) 
  • Teaching and/or skill-building, interactive workshops 

Submissions from teachers, students, activists, youth, and first-time presenters as well as academics are welcome. The PJSA provides a welcoming environment designed to facilitate the sharing of work and ideas across disciplines. 

We are especially interested in papers and panels which address: 

·       Health issues and opportunities in minoritized communities 

·       Global and local health/wellness models 

·       Connections of conflict/violence with health disparities 

·       Trauma-informed practices and peacebuildling 

·       Post-pandemic pathways to health equity 

·       Visual arts in health and healing  

·       Policy and practice that promote positive individual and community health 

·       The development of more just and inclusive health systems (e.g., food deserts and health, trauma-informed care, health systems change, refugee health etc.) 

·       Connections to SDG #3 and #16  

We also welcome proposals that go beyond the conference theme and stimulate conversation on pressing and emergent aspects of justice and peace, such as: 

  • Racial justice and the opening possibilities arising from the George Floyd protests
  • Healing divisions in a polarized nation
  • Policing, community-led policing, or alternatives to policing
  • Conversations on violence and nonviolence
  • The politics of de-platforming and issues of free speech and censorship
  • The Capitol Siege and the effects on democratic governance and values
  • Challenges to science, regimes of truth, and attacks on the media

    Submissions are limited to 3 per person 

You can submit your proposal HERE 


Details regarding registering (e.g., individual rates, discounted group rates, etc.) are forthcoming. For more information, contact info@peacejusticestudies.org or visit https://www.peacejusticestudies.org. We want to support participation by activists and students and offer discounted registration for these individuals as well as further discounts for faculty-student groups. Please reach out to info@peacejusticestudies.org as early as possible to make arrangements.  

About Milwaukee 

The city has its roots in the work of colonizing fur traders and later the post-Revolutionary war thirst for land grabs by European immigrants. Homeland for the Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk and Menominee as well as the contemporary presence of the Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida and Mohican nations. Also known for its beer and tanning factories Milwaukee is a classic rust-belt city on the banks of beautiful Lake Michigan. Growing in its identity as a racially and culturally diverse city with great theater and cultural festivals, Milwaukee is a troubled metropolitan region with multiple issues such as hyper-segregation, child poverty, and sex-trafficking among others; while also being a hub for urban agriculture, water science and a plethora of non-profit organizations. The conference will be hosted at UW-Milwaukee, a public university merging the goals of R-1 science with access for students who are first in their family to be in college or face other types of disparities. https://www.visitmilwaukee.org/about-mke/ 

Local Arrangements 

Hotel information will be available by May. Regional airports are Milwaukee (MKE) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Amtrak is available from Chicago and Minneapolis to Milwaukee. Conference events will be held at the main campus of UWM. 

Proposals due by April 23, 2021 


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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