posted October 9, 2002

Muste Lecture to Address How to Be a Peacemaker

The annual A.J. Muste Lecture at Hope College will be delivered on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in Cook Auditorium of the De Pree Art Center by a long-time journalist and activist for peace.

Colman McCarthy will present "How to Be a Peacemaker: Nonviolence in a Time of War."

The public is invited. Admission is free.

A teach-in titled "Lifting the Veil: Why War Is NOT the Solution" will precede the address in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall. The teach-in, which will run from 4-6 p.m., will feature presentations by members of the Hope faculty and staff who are addressing issues of justice and peace in their scholarly work, teaching or in the course of their work, and will include an opportunity for questions and discussion. The public is invited to the teach-in, admission to which is also free.

Affiliated since 1968 with "The Washington Post," McCarthy is founder and director of The Center for Teaching Peace, a Washington-based nonprofit group devoted to fostering and developing programs in peace studies and conflict resolution. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Maryland, where he offers a course titled "Solutions to Violence." He also teaches a daily class at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

McCarthy lectures at more than 20 colleges and universities a year, as well as at conferences for educators, social workers, policy centers and corporations. He has appeared on C-SPAN, "Crossfire," the "Today Show," "Donahue" and other media programs. He has been described as "a remarkably gifted and stimulating teacher" and "a man of profound spiritual awareness."

The A.J. Muste Lecture began in 1985 to commemorate the 100th birthday of Muste (1885-1967), a 1905 graduate of Hope College who became a world-famous advocate for peace and justice.

Muste became a pacifist at the outbreak of World War I and then began working with the fledgling American Civil Liberties Union. During the 1920s he chaired the religious pacifist organization the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and in 1929 he helped form the Conference for Progressive Labor Action, an organization crucial to the formation of the American Workers Party in the 1930s. In 1940 he became executive secretary of the Fellowship for Reconciliation, a post he held until 1953, and was instrumental in the formation of the Congress on Racial Equality. During the Cold War, Muste led the Committee for Nonviolent Action. He demonstrated tirelessly against the war in Vietnam, meeting in 1966 with Ho Chi Minh.

The first A.J. Muste lecturer at Hope College was Jane Ooimans Robinson, his biographer. Other lectures have been given by theologians, peace activists, labor organizers and prison reformers. About half of the speakers have been Hope alumni.

According to Dr. Donald Cronkite, professor of biology and chair of the A.J. Muste Lecture committee, lecturers judged to "display the spirit of A.J. Muste" choose their own topics.

The event is sponsored by the Muste Lecture Fund, and the offices of the president, provost, and dean for the arts and humanities at Hope. Additional funding has come from the college's departments of communication, education, English, history and religion.