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Center for Applied Conflict Management to Hold 40th Anniversary Conference

Posted Mar. 3, 2014

Kent State is too often known for the violent conflict that occurred on campus on May 4, 1970.Yet it is becoming increasingly well-known for its many creative and constructive responses to that conflict. 

In the aftermath of the tragic deaths of four Kent State University students shot by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, while protesting the U.S. war in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Center for Applied Conflict Management was created at the university in 1971 as a “living memorial.” Originally named the Center for Peaceful Change, the center established an undergraduate B.A. degree program in peace and conflict studies in 1973/74, making it one of the oldest and now also one of the largest in the country.  

“The need for this center and the study of conflict management is still as great as it was when our degree was first established 40 years ago,” says Patrick Coy, Ph.D., political science professor and director of Kent State’s Center for Applied Conflict Management.     

On March 7, the Center for Applied Conflict Management will present "Conflict Management Practices and Possibilities:  A Conference Celebrating 40 Years of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University.”  The conference will kickoff at 9 a.m. in the Moulton Hall Ballroom with a keynote address by George Lopez, Ph.D., vice president and director of the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace.  He will address the evolution and current state of the field of peace and conflict studies, charting current trends and future challenges and opportunities.

Other highlights of the conference include morning and afternoon workshops on diverse methods of mediation, improving organizations through appreciative inquiry, alumni of the center discussing careers in conflict management, and methods for creating positive community change. The workshops will be led by local professionals in the field as well as the center’s alumni. Bernie Meyer will portray Mohandas Gandhi and lead a discussion on Gandhi during the luncheon at 12:45 p.m. Meyer is a former Catholic priest, social worker, peace activist and author of The American Gandhi: My Truth Seeking with Humanity at the Crossroads.

“This conference celebrates two milestones at the university: the establishment of the B.A. degree 40 years ago and the inaugural year of the conflict analysis and management doctoral track in the Ph.D. in political science,” Coy says.“Kent State University is a national leader in the study of constructive conflict management, and this conference is a deserving celebration of that role.”

A detailed conference schedule is available at www.kent.edu/cacm/news/annivconf.cfm.