Just Peace Students Receive Peacemaker Award from New York State Group

The group has worked to raise on-campus awareness for the peace and justice movement.

Smith Auditorium as seen from O'Malley LibraryJust Peace, a Manhattan College student group, has received the Don Shaffer Student Peacemaker Award from Peace Action New York State (PANYS). The award recognizes an outstanding student chapter on their work and leadership in peace education and activism within their community and among their peers. 

Manhattan College’s Just Peace club is a student chapter of Peace Action New York State. The co-presidents of the club are student organizers for PANYS, and participate in regular meetings and an annual conference. 

“This is great news,” said Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and faculty advisor to Just Peace. “It reflects the leadership role of our students at Manhattan in the struggle for justice and peace.”

Students in Just Peace organize the annual Period Project, where they collect free menstrual products to donate to local shelters. The month long Period Project usually involves several meetings on awareness, and collecting the products. They host events on different topics depending on current events and membership interest, and collaborate with other organizations on and off campus. Event topics range from mental health to modern day slavery to climate justice. 

In 2018 and 2019, Just Peace students also led a peace tour of New York City. Students and faculty visited different sites in lower Manhattan, including One World Trade Center, and reflected on the significance of the sites to peace and justice in our world.

Just Peace also helps collaborate on an annual Peace and Justice Week set of events, with a changing theme each year. The 2020 theme was “Doing Good in the World,” with a focus on people from all walks of life who devote their time to making a positive difference globally.

By Pete McHugh