The 4th Benjamin V Cohen Peace Conference: Building a Beloved Community will be held on April 9-10, 2021 as a virtual event.

Welcome to the Conference!

On behalf of the Ball State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, I am thrilled to welcome you to the 4th “Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference: Building a Beloved Community.” Like our previous three Conferences, this meeting features excellent presentations and dance performances, and many opportunities for rich dialogue and networking. Unlike our previous conferences, however, this meeting also features art, music, and theatre performances. Our presenters include scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, activists, and community leader from many different disciplines and backgrounds, and ten countries including the USA, Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, India, Norway, Ethiopia, Chile, Israel, and the Philippines.

I want to thank our dignitaries, Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns and The Honorable Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour, for their willingness to participate and support this Conference. I also wish to thank our esteemed keynote presenters, Derris Ross (Founder and CEO of the Ross Foundation) and Professor Tania Israel (University of California, Santa Barbara) for agreeing to enrich us with their vast knowledge and experiences.

This Conference would not be possible if not for the generosity of our sponsors for which I am grateful: Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Fund, Ball State University Multicultural Center, Champions for a Safe Community Fund, and Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Team.

I am also deeply appreciative to the Center’s Graduate Assistant, Brandon Miller, the Center’s interns (Rus’sel Butts, Mary Lowry, Sophie Nulph, Audrey Sullivan, and Chloe Thompson), Cheri Madewell (Zoom Technology Consultant), and the Center’s Advisory Board Members for the countless hours planning and then implementing this event. This Conference could not have happened, especially given its virtual format, without your dedication and creativity. You ALL ROCK HARD!

Lastly, I want to thank each of you for attending this 4th Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference. Hopefully, you will acquire some new knowledge and skills to “Build Beloved Communities” consistent with the vision and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lawrence H. Gerstein, Ph.D.
Director, Ball State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies
George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Psychology-Counseling


 Learn more about our previous conferences.


April 9 & 10, 2021

Presented on Zoom

With the kind support of:

Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Fellow Fund

Ball State University Multicultural Center

Thanks to our additional sponsors.