Peace and Justice

Loras College to host Peace and Justice Week Sept. 21-28

Event has brought community together for more than 13 years

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College will host a series of free events Sept. 21-28 during Peace and Justice Week. The events kick off with keynote speaker Paul Engler’s “Nonviolent Alternatives to War at 7 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 21 in the Alumni Campus Center (ACC) Ballroom. Engler, originally from Iowa, is co-author of the book “This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the 21st Century.”

“In a time of great divisions across our country and beyond, this week highlights the importance of dialogue and learning other people’s stories, leading to greater compassion and understanding,” said Anastacia McDermott, director of spiritual life and peace and justice and a graduate of Loras.

Engler is also the founding director of the Center for the Working Poor, based in Los Angeles. He has worked as an organizer in the immigrant rights, global justice, and labor movements. Engler is also one of the founders of the Momentum Training, which educates hundreds of activists each year in the principles of momentum-driven mobilization

Also featured is Ben Darr, Ph.D., associate professor of politics at Loras, who will present “War, Peace, and Superhero Culture” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Ballroom A in the ACC. Darr teaches courses on comparative politics and world politics with keen insights into the global economy, nationalism and China studies.

Throughout the week, Loras will display a historic poster exhibit in the ACC Concourse that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The posters were drawn for a 1949 UNESCO filmstrip developed to spark interest in human rights. Additional images come from international graphic artists depicting a specific article or the declaration as a whole.

 Other events

  • Hike to Help Refugees: Noon to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19. Hikers should meet at the Peace Pole outside Christ the King Chapel. Suggested $10 donation for students, $20 for adults.
  • Learn more about the Rev. Ray Herman: 7:30 p.m. in the Spiritual Life Office, Room 460, ACC. Herman is the inspiration of the Father Ray Peace and Justice Center and the house at the corner of Belmont Street and Loras Boulevard where four students strive to live in an intentional community. The Center hosts weekly meetings to discuss social justice issues, raise global and local social justice awareness, advocate for peace, and sponsor service and charity fundraisers.
  • The Rev. William Francis Cook (aka Father Emil) will speak about “Asociación Pueblo Franciscano de Muchachos y Muchachas,” which translates as Association of Franciscan Boys Towns and Girls Towns. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the Spiritual Life Office, Room 460, ACC. APUFRAM has educated more than 30,000 young people in Honduras who are now helping their communities in various fields such as agriculture, business, engineering, law, medicine and education.
  • Nonviolent Communication Workshop: 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28 in the Intercultural Programs Office, Room 563, ACC. Sergio Perez, director of Intercultural Programs and First Generation Scholars, will speak on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence.

Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.

Visit, call (563) 588-7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege to learn more.

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