Peace Conference Flags

2007 Peace Conference Draws International Scholars, Acclaimed Writer

Noted scholars and champions of peace will convene in Buffalo for the sixth annual Buffalo State College Conference for Peace, a series of free events and presentations, most of which occur Wednesday, October 24, at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The theme “Promote Peace, Reduce Poverty” has been selected for 2007 to further expand the concept and impact of nonviolence on all aspects of life. “From the local community to the world stage, peace is the answer to improving our social, political, and economic situations,” said Jean Gounard, director of International Student Affairs. “It is an interlocking thread to be woven into the everyday fabric of our lives.”

Gounard, a Fulbright scholar, and Carmen J. Iannaccone, professor emeritus of exceptional education, founded the Conference for Peace and each year have advanced the concept and participants. “This year, we are especially grateful to the many scholars who are traveling here, student participation, and the support of the Committee for the Study of Understanding Community, Diversity, and Peace,” said Gounard.

On Tuesday, October 23, Eric Monte, actor and screenwriter, will speak on “Issues of Representation: Disenfranchisement and Stereotypes in the Media” at a brown-bag luncheon during Bengal Pause (12:15–1:30 p.m.) in Bacon Hall 115.

Best known for his screenwriting for Cooley High, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Good Times, Monte is also the author of Blueprint for Peace. He will sign copies of his book from 11:00 a.m. to noon in the Barnes & Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore. Monte’s visit is funded by an Auxiliary Services Grant and is cosponsored by the Student Life Office, the Communication Department, Students for Peace, and the International Student Affairs Office.

Highlights of events on October 24 include:

9:15 a.m.: Opening remarks, Dr. Muriel A. Howard, president of Buffalo State College.

9:50–10:20 a.m.: “Economic Initiatives of the United Nations.” U.N. representative Sergio Vieira will discuss the work of the United Nations on poverty around the world. Vieira has devoted his career to poverty issues in different countries and most recently works in this regard with the U.N. Division for Policy and Development.

10:20–10:55 a.m.: “The Just Third Way: Lifting Barriers to Universal Abundance and Global Peace,” a presentation by Dr. Norman Kurland, president of the Center for Economic and Social Justice. As the legal mind behind the creation of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), Kurland has enabled millions of American workers to participate in the national economy through whole or partial ownership in the corporations in which they work.

2:00–2:35 p.m.: “Blueprint for Peace.” Award-winning writer Eric Monte discusses his new book about how we can end war forever, eliminate taxes, and reduce crime. Monte is known for bringing African American family life to television through his writing and creation of popular ’70s sitcoms.

The presentations will be interspersed with panel discussions, student essays on peace, an awards presentation, and community videos. At 1:05 p.m., Charles Mancuso, professor of music, and his colleagues will provide a musical interlude of selections from the Great Depression era.

On Thursday, October 25, a community fair titled “From the Ground Up: Growing Peace through Healthy Economic Communities” will take place from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Asarese Matters Community Center, 50 Reese Street. The fair is free and open to the public. It will include a panel discussion about the successes and challenges in grassroots economic development and also will feature the following breakout sessions:

  • Cooperative Economics: Keeping the Dollars in the Community
  • Community Wealth: Where Do We Find It?
  • Youth, Economics, and Peace
  • How Do We Keep Good Businesses in Buffalo?
  • The Ideology of Peace: How Peace and Economics Are Linked Together
  • Building Capacity and Sustaining Organizations

For more information about the Conference for Peace and related events, call the International Student Affairs Office at ext. 5331, e-mail Jean Gounard, or visit the Committee for the Study of Understanding Community, Diversity, and Peace Web site at