The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), a nonprofit organization, was formed in 2001 when the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED) merged with the Peace Studies Association (PSA). It is devoted to bringing together academics, K-12 educators, and activities to envision a more peaceful world, to share ideas and strategies for peace building, and to work toward social change for social justice. PJSA is the professional organization for scholars in the field of peace and conflict resolution and is the North American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association.
Specifically, PJSA’s mission is to create a just and peaceful world through the following activities:
- The promotion of peace studies within universities, colleges, and K-12 grade levels
- The forging of alliances among educators, students, activists, and other peace practitioners so as to enhance one another’s work on peace, conflict, and nonviolence
- The creation and nurturing of alternatives to structures of inequality and injustice, war, and violence through education, research, and action
Members share several values and beliefs, including the belief that nonviolent strategies are the most effective way to make social change. Additional shared values and beliefs include, but are not limited to, critical analysis of social structures and institutions, equitable sharing of world resources, lifelong education and community service, innovative and effective pedagogy, and building of collaborations and alliances.
PJSA hosts an annual conference in which it educates and honors activists and members; it also hosts a blog on peace-related topics. In 2010, the organization hosted its first Youth Summit. Additionally, PJSA compiles and disseminates the Global Directory of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Programs.
Members of PJSA receive two publications: The Peace Chronicle and Peace & Change: A Journal ofPeace Research. Members can also participate in a listserv to keep up-to-date on the group’s events. In addition, the PJSA website features a job board and links to other peace and justice resources.
PJSA partners with a variety of other groups and organizations. In 2005, for example, it entered into a partnership with Bridge Connect Act (BCA) designed to “promote peace and justice through education, research and action and to engage students, faculty, and college and university staff members in international programs focused on peace, justice and other issues of mutual concern.” Members of PJSA institutions receive special consideration for BCA’s programs throughout the world, and BCA will waive the application fee from students involved in PJSA who would like to study abroad in one of BCA’s peace and justice studies programs.
Another partnership is with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). HECUA is a group of 18 colleges, universities, and associated organizations that promote interdisciplinary, community-based learning related to civic engagement and social justice. HECUA has program sites in the United States as well as in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Poland. Established in spring 2005, this collaboration allows students the opportunity to participate in experiential learning programs that focus on social change and social justice. Undergraduate students enrolled at PJSA member institutions receive special benefits when they enroll in HECUA study-away programs, including discounted fees.
In November 2008, PJSA announced a partnership with the Center for Global eEducation (CGE). CGE is based at Augsburg College (Minneapolis) and offers discounts to individual members and member institutions who want to travel to the Center’s Mexican or Central American locations to study. The Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP) also partners with the PJSA to provide intensive one-week courses on peace building. PeaceVoice is an organization devoted to changing media by offering articles and commentary by peace and justice professionals to newspapers and online news sources; it solicits brief articles from PJSA members and then distributes them to appropriate news sources.
- Peace and Justice Studies Association: www.peacejusticestudies.org