The University of Utah partners with the Oxford Human Rights Consortium to offer a weeklong workshop to a select group of students at the University of Oxford. The Consortium is a partnership between Oxford and several U.S. universities, including the University of Utah, USC, Oregon, and Stanford. Two second-year College of Law students, Nubia Peña and Stanford Bell, were among the students selected to participate in this year’s workshop on peacemaking and armed conflict. Peña and Bell were sponsored by the College of Law’s Center for Global Justice. The weeklong workshop studied human rights in and after conflict, humanitarian action, conflict trends, human rights law, and peacemaking, with a focus on recent armed conflicts. The module mixed seminars, working groups, and student presentations.
“The Consortium was an awesome opportunity where we developed an understanding of human rights and humanitarian aid during violent conflicts, the laws surrounding the conduct of war and the peacebuilding process,” Bell said. “We were able to apply what we learned and conduct a study of the current conflict in Syria.”
Pena and Bell, along with five other Utah students, met four times before Spring Break with the Faculty Mentor Deen Chatterjee to discuss assigned readings and research plans. The workshop was led by the Oxford faculty and featured prominent guest speakers. Chatterjee traveled with the students as a member of the workshop teaching team. Students stayed at Hertford College and the workshop was held in Merton College, which is one of the three oldest of 38 Oxford colleges.
On Monday, April 12, Consortium director Professor Cheyney Ryan of Oxford, will give a talk at the University of Utah, “Teaching Peace in Times of War: Reflections on Violence and Non-Violence in the 21st Century.” On Tuesday, April 13, Utah students who participated in the workshop will recount their experience and perspectives in a student panel on Peacemaking and Violent Conflict.
“I truly encourage students to join the panel that will be hosted by the Hinckley Institute for Politics on April 13 at 12 p.m., where I will have the opportunity along with other Oxford Fellows from Utah, to share experiences from this transformative conference and how it has dramatically impacted our perspectives on peace building and violent conflict,” Pena said. “In addition, students will learn about the great work Professor Ryan is doing.”