Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Workshops set stage for PeaceJam’s focus on activism

The weekend-long 10th anniversary celebration of PeaceJam kicked off Friday with a series of workshops aimed at engaging PeaceJammers and motivating them for the activities ahead. DU faculty, staff and students joined community members to present 20 sessions ranging from genocide and environmental justice to campus activism and U.S. immigration.

John McMahon, a junior Russian and international studies major and junior journalism major Mary Jean O’Malley led a discussion on Activism Past and Present: Making Connections and Moving Forward. McMahon is managing editor of DU alternative student newspaper the Disclaimer; O’Malley serves as chair of DU’s Young Democrats. More than 40 PeaceJammers attended the workshop.

Expressing his commitment to activism, McMahon shared with his audience why the university setting, and DU in particular, encourages activism.

“Activism is designed to effect change,” McMahon said. “And it’s incredible to see the change here at DU. It’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be a DU student,” he continued. He noted DU students’ campaign for fair trade coffee and groups such as Students for Positive Social Change as examples of the University’s commitment to activism.

Colin Brauns, student organizer of the workshops, was pleased with the participants’ enthusiasm in the sessions.

“It’s important for PeaceJam, local organizations and DU to get the word out about the issues,” said Brauns. “We all have the same ultimate goal and we’re trying to represent that in the workshops.”

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