Dr. Hill and students

Building peace

Wofford students attend annual Peace Conference at Notre Dame

Peace 382
2018-06-07

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Two Wofford College seniors attended the 2018 Student Peace Conference at the University of Notre Dame in April and brought back knowledge they hope to implement on Wofford's campus and throughout their lives.

Anna Katherine Wilson, a Chinese major with a minor in international affairs from Fort Mill, S.C., and Sarah Clemens, a French, German and international affairs triple major from Rock Hill, S.C., attended presentations and seminars around the theme "Toward Just Peace." The Rev. Dr. Ron Robinson, Wofford's Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and professor of religion, who teaches a Peace and Conflict Management course, encouraged their attendance.

"The theme really focused on how peace builders work to fix social issues and inequality, or to reconcile justice, which can be a controversial subject," says Wilson. "At its core, peace building is really about human rights and how we protect our fellow humans."

Clemens, who helped establish the Wofford chapter of Amnesty International, already has shared insights she gathered at the conference with members of the student organization. Wilson and Clemens also have presented to the Peace and Conflict Management class.

"Whether or not you want to be an activist, it's important to have the awareness that it takes for reflection when it comes to social problems," says Clemens. "The key word in peace building is mindfulness, and learning mindfulness - realizing that the world is bigger than just you - allows for thinking and acting. … It gives you incredible power."

Following graduation, Wilson will move to Taiwan for a year to participate in the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University. Clemens is attending a tri-lingual master's degree program.

By Kelsey Aylor, Wofford Class of 2018