Professor of Religious Studies Receives Prestigious National Peacemaker Award

Kevin Ahern was cited for his worldwide peacemaking efforts.

Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and director of the new Manhattan College Dorothy Day Center received the Eileen Egan National Peacemaker Award by Pax Christi Metro New York. Ahern was honored for his work as the director of Peace and Justice Studies at Manhattan College and for his efforts as a leader with several international Catholic peace movements. Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace movement organization, cited Ahern for his leadership in the canonization process for Dorothy Day. Pax Christi Metro New York was founded in 1972 by noted peace scholars and activists at Manhattan College.  Pax Christi Awards Ceremony

“I am honored with this award, which I believe speaks to the peacebuilding power and potential of Manhattan College faculty and students,” said Ahern. “I hope that we as a college can continue to embody the gospel call to be peacebuilders in our Lasallian Catholic mission.” 

During his leadership work, Ahern facilitated a series of listening sessions with Catholic lay leaders in more than fifty countries. These listening sessions were accompanied by a series of online dialogues among professionals and young adult leaders on various themes, including good governance, human rights, and the crisis of democracy worldwide.   

As part of his work with the Pax Romana movements, Ahern has been involved in advocacy work for issues of peace, human rights, and youth participation in the United Nations system for 20 years. In addition to his direct advocacy work at the UN in New York, Geneva and Paris, Ahern has worked on how Catholic theology might inform the debates about the future of the UN system as a scholar and theologian. 

Ahern was honored along with other awardees, including Brother Thomas Egan, King Bay Plowshares 7, a group of seven convicted Catholic peace activists who broke into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base and carried out a symbolic act of protest against nuclear weapons, and Wendy Hernandez Higarede, a student at Cristo Rey New York High School. 

“Kevin, like Eileen Egan for whom this award is named, your peacemaking efforts have reached far and wide,” reads the text on the citation Ahern received. “Here at home you have served as director of peace and justice studies at Manhattan College. Farther afield, you have been a leader of several national and international organizations, including the International Movement of Catholic Students and the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA-Pax Romana) which, inspired by the gospel and the Catholic social tradition, supports its members to think, reflect and act on concrete issues facing our world and our church.” 

The Eileen Egan National Peacemaker Award is presented to a person or organization whose peacemaking efforts have reached people across the nation through teaching peace, making peace and being peace, as inspired by faith. It is named after Eileen Egan, a co-founder of Pax Christi USA.