For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran

Homelessness & Poverty: Violence against the Vulnerable

A Symposium Sponsored by Legal Services of New Jersey, the Anti-Poverty Network, and Georgian Court University

Lakewood, N.J., Oct. 19, 2007—The homeless are often the victims of street crimes. The most vicious of which, setting them on fire, happened yet again, this time only a week ago in New York.

“The question is why would someone do this,” says Catherine Darcy, RSM, who planned Nonviolence Awareness Week at Georgian Court University (, which takes place November 5 to November 9, including “Homelessness and Poverty: Violence against the Vulnerable” on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Little Theatre on the Lakewood campus.

“Many times the motive is robbery,” she continues, “but sad to say sometimes it’s just vicious entertainment for the perpetrators.” That’s just one of the reasons that influenced Catherine Darcy, a Sister of Mercy, to call together this open forum. She was also led to action by one of the critical concerns of her religious order, which is the practice of nonviolence. This symposium is also sponsored by the Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ), and the Anti-Poverty Network. LSNJ ( provides legal advice to low-income New Jerseyeans, and the Anti-Poverty Network ( is an information-oriented forum open to all concerned with ending or eliminating poverty.

“People have become desensitized to the violence that occurs all around them everyday,” says Sister Darcy. “The goal of Nonviolence Awareness Week is to bring the topic of violence in its many forms—violence against the homeless, bullying in schools, violence against women—to the forefront of the discussion again and to work for solutions.”

MaryAnn Sorensen Allacci, a lecturer in social work and criminal justice, teaches a service learning class on housing and homelessness at GCU, and her students will present their service learning and research projects at the beginning of the Homelessness and Poverty symposium.

All events for Nonviolence Awareness Week are free and open to the public, but reservations are required by calling 732.987.2263. Schedule and presenters are subject to change. Please check for updates.

Nonviolence Awareness Week Schedule of Events

All events take place in the Little Theatre unless otherwise noted.

Monday, November 5

Keynote Speaker Representative Chris Smith, R-NJ, 4th District, on Human Trafficking

9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.

Dorothy Day: A Prophet of Nonviolence

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; Lou McNeil, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology & Religious Studies

Just War as Christian Witness?

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.; Mark Ryan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies

Making Peace with Earth

2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m.; Suzanne Golas, CSJP, Director of Waterspirit, Elberon, New Jersey

Conflict Resolution Skills for Teachers

4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.; Diane Guerin, RSM, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Gwynedd Mercy College Center for Lifelong Learning and Consultant, Creative Conflict Consultants

Preventing Sexual Violence

5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m.; Michelle Aimone, LSW, Program Director, St. Francis Community Center, Brant Beach, NJ

Bullying Awareness & Prevention

7:00 p.m.–8:10 p.m.; Diane Guerin, RSM, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Gwynedd Mercy College Center for Lifelong Learning, and Consultant, Creative Conflict Consultants

U.S. Involvement in the Middle East: Iranian Perspectives

8:20 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Suzanne Pilgram, Associate Professor of Art

Tuesday, November 6

No Peace without Making Relationships Right

8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.; Catherine Darcy, RSM, Ph.D.

Understanding Violence in Youth: A Psychological & Developmental Perspective

9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.; Christopher Trigani, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Family Violence: Impact on Children & Adolescents

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; Lorraine Licata, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Gene Sharp & Political Nonviolence: 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.; Scott Bennett, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Diffusing Violent Verbal Exchanges

2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m.; Robin Solbach, Psy.D., Director of Counseling; John Viterito, Counselor

Hostage Negotiation: What EVERYONE Needs to Know

4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.; Robert Louden, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice

Conflict Resolution Skills

5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m.; Diane Guerin, RSM, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Gwynedd Mercy College Center for Lifelong Learning, and Consultant, Creative Conflict Consultants

The Philosophy & Praxis of Nonviolence

7:00 p.m.–8:10 p.m.; Kasturi DasGupta, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology

The Organizational Effects of Bullying on Performance

8:20 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Leslie Korb, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Business

Wednesday, November 7

Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience

9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.; Maria Cordis Richey, RSM, Ph.D., Professor of English

Demilitarizing Our Everyday Language

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; Connie Chismar, Ed.D., Professor of English

Criminal Justice & Alternate Dispute Resolution

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.; Robert Louden, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice

Student Panel Discussion on Gun Control

2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m.; Evelyn Saul Quinn, Associate Provost for Academic Support & Student Life Programs and Associate Professor of Social Work

The Biological & Psychological Bases for Violence

4:00 p.m.–5:45 p.m.; Linda James, Ph.D., Dean, Schools of Sciences & Mathematics and Arts & Humanities, and Professor of Psychology; Marie Cook, RSM, Ph.D., Professor of Biology

Homelessness & Poverty: Violence against the Vulnerable

7:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

Thursday, November 8

Rearing Our Children to Embrace Nonviolence

9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.; Ana Binkiewicz, M.D., Retired Professor of Clinical Pediatric Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson

Is Peace Possible in the Middle East?

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; Karen Donahue, RSM, Justice Office, Sisters of Mercy Detroit

Forgiveness as Blind Vision: Integrating Peace & Reconciliation

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.; Deirdre Mullan, RSM, Ph.D., Director, Mercy NGO at UN

Film: Between Iraq and a Hard Place

2:00 p.m.

Peacemaking in the Bible

4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.; Judith Schubert, RSM, Ph.D., Professor of Theology & Religious Studies

The Spiritual Significance of Nonviolence toward All Beings, Arts and Science Center, Room 104

4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.; Holly Roberts, Ph.D., ‘02

Fair Trade: A More Peaceful World

5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m.; CRS Fair Trade Ambassadors

Land Mines: Seeds of Destruction; A Harvest for Peace?

7:00 p.m.–8:10 p.m.; William Bishop, Assistant Professor of Geography

Growing up Violent: Psychological Indicators

8:20 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Joseph Paglino, Lecturer in Psychology & Criminal Justice

Friday, November 9

Violence against Women: Psychological & Theological Considerations

11:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; Johann Vento, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies; Theresa Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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