April 1-2, 2016
Muncie, Indiana

Organized by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and with the financial support, in part, from the Benjamin V. Cohen Memorial Endowment Fundcommunity activists and scholars from all disciplines as well as laypersons presented their strategies, research, and recommendations related to peacemaking and peace-building, and those that explored the bridge between activism and research.

The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, in collaboration with the City of Muncie, recently hosted the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference: Peace in Troubled Times on April 1-2, 2016. The Peace Center specifically chose the date of the conference in April, due to the history of increased violence that occurs during the month. Over 120 attended the conference, which focused on sharing knowledge, research, experiences, expertise, and recommendations for peacemaking and peacebuilding from a variety of different perspectives and disciplines. Keynote speakers, including Mayor Dennis Tyler, Interim President Terry King, Dr. Nazgol Ghandnoosh of the Sentencing Project in Washington, D.C., and Reverend Charles Harrison of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, used their unique experiences and vast knowledge to inspire conversations involving issues such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, education, and their impact on peace, nonviolence, and the criminal justice system. Because the message of peace can be conveyed in more ways than through the use of words, the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference ended with an inspiring dance performance by Ball State dancers under the direction of Assistant Professor Susan Koper.

Held in honor of Benjamin V. Cohen, the conference also remembered the Muncie native and his great contributions to peace negotiations, political developments of the New Deal, and his role as a major architect in the creation of the United Nations. Respecting his interest in world peace, nonviolence, and international conflict negotiation, the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies hosts the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference bi-annually in his memory to promote the attainment of global peace.

Conference Program

Links to Conference Presentations:

A Town Hall Discussion: Community and Campus Initiatives Promoting Peace in Troubled Times
Acting President Terry King and Mayor Dennis Tyler

Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequities throughout the Criminal Justice System 
Slides for the Presentation
Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
The Sentencing Project

The Ten-Point Coalition: Assessing and Mobilizing the Community to Address and Prevent Violence
Reverend Charles Harrison
President of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition

Dance Performance: For All Its Invisibility
Susan Koper, M.F.A.
Ball State University

Concluding Session
Gerald Waite, M.A., and Lindsey Blom, Ed.D.
Center for Peace and Conflict Studies

Interim President and Mayor Dennis Tyler



Dr. Lawrence Gerstein, Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies


Dr. John Peterson, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Advisory Board Member


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