2012.11.2-4 ►Ahimsa Center's Fifth Biannual Conference On Nonviolence

Published: 11.10.2012
Updated: 02.07.2015



Ahimsa Center

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona ● College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences

 September 18, 2012

Dear members of the Jain Communities in North America,

Jai Jinendra!

I wish to invite you to Ahimsa Center’s fifth biannual conference on nonviolence to be held at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona (in suburban Los Angeles). The 2012 conference is named after Prem and Sandhya Jain, ahimsa sponsors of the Center.

The theme of this conference is Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness. Drawn from diverse disciplines and fields of expertise, the speakers in the conference will examine and explore the relationship between positive aspects of nonviolence (such as compassion, love, gratitude, forgiveness) with lasting happiness.

Conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 2 and will conclude on Sunday, November 4 with lunch. Conference details (such as speaker bios, schedule of sessions and workshops, and registration options including on-line registration) are available for your review at:

I hope you will plan to join us for this important conference and for honoring Prem and Sandhya Jain.

Please feel free to contact me via email, if you have any questions.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Tara Sethia.



Conference speakers and panelists are drawn from a variety of disciplines and will bring their unique insights during the conference presentations and discussions. Stay tuned for a complete daily schedule of the conference.

RANDALL AMSTER is the Graduate Chair of Humanities at Prescott College in Arizona where he teaches Peace Studies. Dr. Amster serves as the Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Studies Association, and as Editor-in-Chief for New Clear Vision. Among his recent books are Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), and the co-edited volume Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), and Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB Scholarly, 2008). He regularly writes on issues of social and environmental justice for media outlets including Truthout, Common Dreams, and the Huffington Post.
JEFFREY PAUL ANSLOOS, a fellow of the Travis Research Institute at the Fuller School of Psychology in Pasadena, California, is pursuing his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. His research focus includes theoretical foundations of indigenous and multicultural psychologies of religion, peace psychology, and positive youth development. His doctoral dissertation explores indigenous peace psychologies for violently victimized youth in Canada. He cofounded Caravan a student-led initiative in mentoring and training emerging leaders in international psychosocial relief and development work. He has been involved in humanitarian projects in developing regions including the Middle East, North Africa, and at-risk urban regions of North America.
DANIELLA BARRIQUEIRO is Associate Professor of Art Education at Illinois State University. She received her Ph.D. in Art education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focus is children's graphic development in various contexts and the role of language in young children's art making. Her current research focus is on children's views of war and peace. Dr. Barroqueiro has served on the Editorial Review Board for Visual Arts Research, at the University of Illinois, for over a decade. Dr. Barroqueiro has received several honors and awards for excellence in teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and for outstanding teaching at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
CHRISTIAN BRACHO is a doctoral candidate in the International Education program at New York University. After receiving his B.A. in English and Comparative Literature at the University of Rochester, he completed a Master's degree and teaching credential at the University's Warner School of Education. Mr. Bracho then worked as an English teacher, English department chair, and as a teacher trainer for the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. He is currently a doctoral student in International Education at New York University. His research project focuses on teacher activism in Oaxaca, Mexico. He is a recipient of Ahimsa Center Fellowship and since then has also served as a teacher mentor at Center's summer institutes on Journeys of Nonviolence for K-12 Educators.
CHRISTOPHER KEY CHAPPLE is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University.  A specialist in the religions of India, he has published more than a dozen books, including In Praise of Mother Earth: The Prthivi Sukta (2012), Yoga and the Luminous (2012), Reconciling Yogas (2003), Jainism and Ecology (2002), Hinduism and Ecology (2000), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), and Karma and Creativity (1986). He serves on the advisory boards for the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the Green Yoga Association (Oakland), and the Ahimsa Center (Pomona). He edits the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology (Brill) and serves on the advisory boards for the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the Green Yoga Association, and other organizations. http://myweb.lmu.edu/cchapple/
MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, and Founding Director, Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC), Claremont Graduate University. The QLRC is a non-profit research institute that studies "positive psychology"; that is, human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility. Previously, he was Chairman of Psychology Department at University of Chicago. His books include Flow, The Evolving Self, Creativity, Finding Flow, Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet (co-authored with Howard Gardener and William Damon), and Good Business: Flow, Leadership and the Making of Meaning. Professor Csikszentmihalyi is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies.
ALANE DAUGHERTY is the author of The Power Within: From Neuroscience to Transformation, and Embrace the Power Within: The Science and Practice of Transforming Emotion (forthcoming Dec. 2012). Her passion, professional training, research, and teaching experience are grounded in the neuroscience of transformation, and practical considerations, techniques and activities aimed at intentionally cultivating healing and healthy emotional states. She has received recognition for both her scientific research and her university teaching, and has taught courses at Claremont Graduate University, The Claremont School of Theology, Colorado College, The University of La Verne and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Daugherty routinely speaks, presents workshops and conducts seminars on these subjects.
ANDREW DUDEN received his Master of Arts in Education from Lewis and Clarke College in 1996. Currently, Mr. Duden teaches World History, the History of Western Civilization, and Political Action Seminar at Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon. In 2012, he initiated an interdisciplinary food garden program at the high school. He is a Model United Nations advisor, serves on the Oregon Model United Nations executive board, and advises the Lake Oswego High School Gay Straight Alliance. In 2011, he attended the AHIMSA fellowship program at Cal Poly Pomona. In 2012, he was an instructor for the Oregon Council for the Humanities Idea Lab fellowship conference, a symposium that explored the pursuit of happiness.  
VEENA RANI HOWARD teaches in the Religious Studies Department and Asian Studies Program at the University of Oregon. Her research interests include Hinduism, Gandhi's philosophy of asceticism, and Comparative Religions. Her publications include “Gandhi, The Mahatma: Evolving Narratives and Native Discourse in Gandhi Studies” in Religion Compass (2007), and “Non-violence and Justice as Inseparable Principles: A Gandhian Perspective” in Justice and Mercy Will Kiss: The Vocation of Peacemaking in a World of Many Faiths, eds. Michael K. Duffey and Deborah S. Nash (2008). Her article, “Gandhi's Reconstruction of the Feminine: Toward an Indigenous Hermeneutics,” has been published in Woman and Goddess in Hinduism: Reinterpretation and Re-envisioning, eds. Tracy Pintchman and Rita Sherma, (2011). She is the author of Gandhi'sAscetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Action (Albany: SUNY Press, forthcoming, 2013).
MATTHEW JARMAN is a postdoctoral scholar at Florida Atlantic University where he explores the mechanisms and effects of meditation practice. He received his MBA from Claremont Graduate University in 2009, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University in 2012. His dissertation research, under the guidance of Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, focused on the phenomenology and preconditions of creative insight. Dr. Jarman also has an academic coaching practice, Scholaris (www.scholarisacademics.com), in which he teaches students from high school through graduate school to apply meditation to academics in order to excel in school and enjoy the process.
  S. JEYAPRAGASM is aretired senior Gandhian Scholar at Madurai Kamaraj University. He has served as a mentor for hundreds of men and women across South India who now work as peace activists in the Gandhian tradition and/or work as faculty and contributing scholars in Peace Studies. Currently he is the Director of the International Gandhian Institute for Nonviolence and Peace (IGINP) and the Editor of Ahimsa (Nonviolence)
LISA CYPERS KAMEN is Executive Director, Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ (HH4Heroes), a non-profit offering free services to warriors and their families aimed at creating a balance of mind, body and emotion for their overall wellbeing and Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). In her practice Lisa draws upon interdisciplinary methods of positive psychology, yoga, meditation, and art to mindfully empower her clients to achieve self-esteem and self-actualization. Her publications include Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed, and Reintegration Strategies. She has also co-produced with her daughter a documentary, H-Factor: Where is Your Heart?, which explores how people in varied circumstances generate and share happiness. www.HarvestingHappiness.com
KALTRINA KUSARI is a native of Kosova. She left home shortly after the Kosova war of 1999 to pursue an education that would allow her to return and help her country with its post-war development. She studied and lived in Arizona, USA and then British Columbia, Canada from the age of 14. She graduated from Quest University Canada, with a Bachelor degree of Liberal Arts and Sciences. While at Quest, she was guided by the question “How can we create happier societies?” This led to her thesis, "Happiness Through the Ages," in which she draws upon positive psychology, philosophy and history of happiness, all of which allowed her to make connections between trust and social happiness. Her current interest is studying Denmark and other countries that score high on happiness surveys, and to apply her learning experience to creating social structures that can contribute to the happiness of her people in Kosova.
EDWARD W. MAINE is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Liberal Studies at California State University, Fullerton. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Claremont Graduate University in 1987. His publications have appeared in The Journal of Value Inquiry, and Philosophical Investigations. He is author (with David Adams) of Business Ethics for the Twenty-first Century (McGraw Hill, 1998).
MARK MALISA teaches at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. He is the author of (Anti) Narcissisms and (anti) capitalisms: Education and human nature in the works of Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and Jurgen Habermas (2010) and Out of these ashes: the quest for utopia in critical theory and critical pedagogy (2009). He is currently working on a project related to conscientious objection.
DARRIN M. McMAHON is the Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University. Educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale, McMahon is the author Happiness: A History (2006), which has been translated into thirteen languages, and was awarded Best Books of the Year honors for 2006 by the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Library Journal, and Slate Magazine. His books include Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (2001). Currently he is completing a history of the idea of genius in Western thought (forthcoming 2013), and co-editing with Samuel Moyn, Rethinking European Intellectual History: New Perspectives and Appraisals (forthcoming, 2013). Professor McMahon writes frequently in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times.
JANE GRAY MORRISON is an ecologist whose work has taken her to over 30 countries. She has co-authored numerous books, including with Michael Tobias Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence and Donkey: The Mystique of Equus Asinus. Ms. Morrison has produced numerous films for such networks as Discovery, PBS (where she also Co-Directed "A Day in the Life of Ireland" for Irish Television and WNET/New York) and Turner Broadcasting for which she served as Senior Producer for "Voice of the Planet," a 10-hour dramatic series based upon the history of life on Earth. Ms. Morrison produced the feature documentary trilogy, "Mad Cowboy," "No Vacancy" and "Hotspots." She is also a co-executive producer of the film Yasuni: A Meditation on Life, which premiered at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012. She is a Goodwill Ambassadors for the Yasuni­-ITT Initiative to save Ecuador's heart of the Amazon.
CATHERINE O'BRIEN is Associate Professor of Education at the Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia (Canada) where she developed the first university course in the world on sustainable happiness based on the groundbreaking concept of sustainable happiness she created! Her research explores how sustainability and happiness studies can contribute to a more sustainable future. She co-developed a course on leadership, happiness, sustainability and health for UC Berkeley's School of Public Health Management. She is currently involved in a pan-Canadian project that involves the development of education resources linking sustainable happiness with health education. Working with US and Canadian colleagues she co-developed an online course on sustainable happiness for the general public. For her Publications visit www.sustainablehappiness.ca
RODERIC OWEN is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution Program at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia. Dr. Owen is a contributing scholar in the fields of Ethics, Mediation, and Peace and Justice Studies and has recently completed a research leave based in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India studying Gandhian ethics.
ANTHONY PAREL, a political philosopher, is among the world's leading scholars on Gandhi. For nearly four decades he was professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada. Born in Kerala, India, and educated there and the U.S., he received his Ph. D. in Political Science from Harvard University. His major books include Gandhi's Philosophy and the Quest for Harmony, (Cambridge University Press, 2006); Gandhi, Freedom and Self-Rule, ed., (Lexington Books, 2000); Gandhi: Hind Swaraj and Other Writings," ed., (Cambridge University Press, 1997); The Machiavellian Cosmos, (Yale University Press, 1992); and Comparative Political Philosophy, ed. with R. C. Keith, (2 nd edition, Lexington Books, 2003).
MADHU SURI PRAKASH is a professor of education at the Pennsylvania State University where she teaches philosophy of education. Shereceived her Ph.D. in philiosophy of education from the Syracuse University. She celebrates Gandhi's ideals in both her co-authored books, Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures and Escaping Education: Living as Learning at the Grassroots. Her current scholarship connects the social and educational thought of Gandhi, Ivan Illich, Wendell Berry and Rabindranath Tagore. She studies how their ideas and ideals remain vital and alive today in peoples' movements lighting candles of hope in our dark times. How and why does Gandhi rise like a phoenix from his ashes? This question moves Professor Madhu Suri Prakash to study and celebrate the unsung genius and creative Shakti of common women and men all over the world –“ refusing domination by the weapons of Nation States and their Global Economy.
TAZEEN RASHID is an AP Social Studies teacher, with a special focus on ethics in economics, at Suncoast Community High School ranked recently by Newsweek as the 9 th best school in the nation. She and her students have successfully piloted the Competition of Decision Making Ethically (C.O.D.E) implemented by the Florida Council of Economic Education (FCEE), which have received state-wide recognition. Rashid received a Master of Science in Social policy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, India. She has considerable experience in curriculum development at the grassroots level and has served as a teacher-trainer in Bangladesh. In 2011 she received a fellowship to participate in the Journeys of Nonviolence program offered by the Ahimsa Center at Cal Poly Pomona.
RAKESH SARIN is the Paine Chair in Management at the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. He is the co-author of Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012). Sarin was recently invited to discuss Engineering Happiness at a TED conference.

Professor Sarin received his Ph.D. in Operations Management at UCLA. He has developed models that have found applications in project evaluation, new product development decisions, and analyzing risks to human health and the environment. He has served as a consultant to several private and public organizations. His theoretical interests are in preference theory, decisions under uncertainty and equity and fairness in decision-making.
SUNIL SHARMA is the co-director of East-West School of Integrative Healing Arts in North Liberty, Iowa where he teaches life skills and meditation. Dr. Sharma is the author of a book, From Here to Happiness, which was serialized into twenty television episodes in the UK.

He spent his formative years at a residential school in India founded on spiritual principles, where meditation was a part of everyday life. He then studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, and subsequently completed his B.Sc. from the University of Durham, and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Dr. Sharma has a deep compassion for humanity. Life has brought him into contact with a wide range of cultures, experiences and challenges. His calling is to guide people, individually and collectively, to live life from a place of inner strength and peace. sunilsharma.com
VIKAS SRIVASTAVA has been involved with The Ahimsa Institute as a fellow (2007), speaker (2008) and panel discussion moderator (2010). Vikas has been in education since 1997, and began his intense study of Gandhian principles, history and modern applications since 1998 -- beginning with the autobiography after his BA at UCSD, then his master's thesis on Gandhian School Design at Harvard; and now dedicating his professional life as a musician, business owner, teacher and speaker to Ahimsa in one's personal, spiritual and professional endeavors. Vikas is currently a high school teacher, independent business/education consultant, founder of Music Moves the World, musician and father/husband/son. Vikas has been requested and confirmed to deliver a variation of the abstract below at TEDx Columbia College in October of this year.
JASON T. SIEGEL is a Research Associate Professor at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Siegel has been studying prosocial behavior, particularly organ donation, for the past fifteen years. Dr. Siegel is an expert in research methodology and survey design and has been invited to give workshops at organizations such as the Center for Disease Control and NBC-Universal Television.
MICHAEL TOBIAS is a world-renowned global ecologist, author, filmmaker, historian, and explorer. He is the author of more than 35 books and director/producer of nearly 100 films, documentaries and T.V. series. His field research has taken him to some 80 countries. Tobias is the President and CEO of the Dancing Star Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation devoted to animal welfare, international biodiversity conservation and environmental education. For his work he has received numerous awards and honors, including the international “Courage of Conscience Award” for his passionate commitment to animal rights, nature and nonviolence; and, the Parabola Focus Award for his long-standing body of work aimed at creating a better world. Dr. Tobias is director and producer of the film, Yasuni: A Mediation on Life, which premiered at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012. Dr. Tobias is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Yasuni-ITT Initiative to save Ecuador's heart of the Amazon.

Tobias received his Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness Program. For more information, visit:
  DALE TURNER is a Professor of Philosophy at Cal Poly Pomona. He received his Ph. D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside in 2000. His publications have appeared in Argumentation, The Journal of Informal Logic, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, and the Philosophy of Education Yearbook. He is the author (with Scott Christensen) of Folk Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind (Earlbaum, 1993).
ANDREW THOMSON is pursuing a doctorate in Positive Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from Middlebury College and double majored in Psychology and Economics.

Andrew's research focuses on research with areas of interest that include: elevation, positive emotions, morality, mentoring, civic engagement, and how to maximize prosocial behavior.
SASKIA VAN GOELST MEIJER studied humanistics at the University for Humanistics (UvH) in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where she graduated on a Ma thesis on Gross National Happiness. She is affiliated with the UvH as a junior researcher and is working towards her doctoral dissertation on 'Nonviolence as a Paradigm for Humanization'. Her research focuses on principled nonviolence, understood not just as the absence of violence, but as the wielding of 'integrative power'. She has recently started efforts towards establishing Nonviolence Studies as an academic field of study in The Netherlands. Her publications have focused on Gross National Happiness, Personal development from a relational and nonviolent perspective and Nonviolence and Integrative Power.
ADRIAN VILLASENOR-GALARZA is passionate about human transformation in service of the Earth (http://living-flames.com). He holds a bachelor's degree in Biology and Ecology, a master's in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, UK, and is currently a PhD student in Ecology, Psychology, and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. He has given presentations and workshops in several universities of Mexico and the US and his work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and book anthologies. He completed the Spanish translation of Joanna Macy's seminal book Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World. Adrián is devoted to an integral approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing the importance of direct experience in the creation of a spiritually versed and sustainable culture.
MICHAEL WARREN received his MA in 2011, and is currently a fourth year Ph.D. student, in Positive Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). His research focuses on the promotion and measurement of well-being throughout the lifespan. For his Master's Thesis, Michael investigated a meditation intervention to test the relative effectiveness of two separate meditation practices in enhancing well-being in adults 55 years of age and older. He recently taught a Psychological Testing and Assessment course at Cal State Fullerton, and served as a teaching associate in the Positive Psychology course taught by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura. Michael's dissertation will focus on the role of mindfulness in consolidating values during adolescence.


Please see: http://www.csupomona.edu/~ahimsacenter/conference/conference_12_workshops.shtml
  • http://www.jaina.org/events/event_details.asp?id=268550
  • http://www.csupomona.edu/~ahimsacenter/conference/conference_12_speakers.shtml
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