Senior Dinah Gilbert, majoring in peace studies and religious studies, decorates a bowl to be fired for the Empty Bowls event. Photo Provided.
Senior Dinah Gilbert, majoring in peace studies and religious studies, decorates a bowl to be fired for the Empty Bowls event. Photo Provided.
NORTH MANCHESTER – The kickoff speaker for Manchester University’s 2022 Peace Week is a community liaison from Ohio, Alicia Smith.

Smith will explore project-based learning and community action and education in the face of climate injustice, according to a news release from Manchester University.

“Environmental Justice & Community Democracy – BIPOC & Beyond” is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 18 in Cordier Auditorium at the North Manchester campus. This event is free and open to the public. The presentation is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts (VIA) series at Manchester.

Smith is a liaison with Junction Coalition, a Toledo-based organization focused on building safe and sustainable communities. Junction Coalition’s “Four Pillars” are economic justice, environmental justice, social justice and peace education.

Following the VIA event there will be a lunch with Smith for students, faculty and staff. Smith will join the Kenapocomoco Peace Coalition student group April 18.

Alumni and peace studies students will visit Junction Coalition the week following Smith’s presentation. This is an annual trip to various U.S. cities organized by peace studies and alumni relations to bring together current students and Manchester graduates. This year it is a joint trip with the environmental studies program.

Events throughout Peace Week, April 18-23, that are open to the public include:

• “Environmental Justice & Community Democracy – BIPOC & Beyond” on April 18.

• Interfaith Chapel at 7 p.m. April 19 in Petersime Chapel

• Drum circle at 7 p.m. April 20 in Petersime Chapel.

• Empty Bowls fundraiser from noon to 2 p.m. April 23 on the Manchester University Mall.

At the annual Empty Bowls fundraising event, soup will be served in bowls decorated by members of the Manchester University community. Donations will go to Urban Seeds, an Evansville-based nonprofit that works to increase access to nourishing foods in southwest Indiana. The suggested donation is $5, but larger donations are welcome.

During Peace Week, students are also invited to join gatherings, including Simply Brethren on April 19, Pagans of Manchester on Wednesday evening and Thursday’s dialogue circle. Led by Education for Conflict Resolution members in the Toyota Round, the dialogue circle is centered on campus sustainability. April 22 events include the Faith and Belief luncheon for students, faculty, staff and invited guests, and a service project at Koinonia, the environmental retreat center owned by Manchester University, from 4 to 6 p.m.