PCSJS Final Portfolio
This online “book” represents my final portfolio for the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies studies concentration at Bryn Mawr. I pursued the concentration in order to link my co-curricular and academic interests in a way that is both analytical and self-reflexive, and this body of work represents the many facets of how I understand peace and social justice. Throughout my time at Bryn Mawr, issues of social justice and human rights have been at the forefront of many aspects of my life, informing my choices regarding summer experiences, coursework, study abroad program, internships and volunteer work. The concentration became a way to be able to work towards an amalgamation of these many scattered experiences together with other concentrators, while at the same time challenging my existing assumptions and ideas about the world.
I think that there are a number of ways in which to understand the field of Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies within a larger framework of social justice and human rights. More than anything, though, I think that this field of study has been so profound for me because it has given me the tools necessary to try to help foster a society based on equality and justice. The many experiences I’ve had throughout my college career thus far, both abroad and in the Philadelphia area, have cemented a commitment to empowering individuals and communities to fight for their own basic liberties, especially during times of conflict. I certainly don’t think that I can single-handedly change the world, but I do think that the broad range of courses I have taken for the concentration not only provide the theoretical backing to understand what causes social conflicts, and how they can be resolved, but also act as a toolbox to help me make a much bigger impact than I would be able to otherwise.
In many ways, my time at Bryn Mawr reads as a progression, a linear story with a beginning and an end – but in reality I have experienced it as spiraling. Every new experience has been informed by prior ones, and things I’ve learned in classroom settings seep into volunteer and community service work, and vice versa. As I think becomes clear in reading my portfolio, I would never have been able to be effective at my current job, for instance, without having taken social justice-related courses across a variety of disciplines and having had earlier volunteer and activist experiences.
Peace, conflict, and justice understandings are of growing importance, not just in the international realm, but also in terms of looking at nonviolent solutions to conflict within the United States. I hope that this portfolio helps to showcase one way in which the field can be understood within a multidisciplinary framework. I also hope that this portfolio becomes a site for continued collaboration, and I hope to invite all readers to comment with questions, insights, criticism, and feedback.