January 23, 2014 – WASHINGTON – Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is thrilled to announce keynote speakers for its 2014 policy plenary on Saturday morning, March 22 as part of its 12th Annual National Gathering in Washington, D.C. The theme for the 2014 gathering is Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace. Early registration for the event is now available here. The Saturday Policy Plenary is entitled “People of Hope: Justice and Peace Shall Embrace.”
Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love is a tenured Associate Professor of International Relations in the Politics Department of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is on the Core Group for the Department of State’s working group on Religion and Foreign Policy, charged with making recommendations to the Secretary of State and the Federal Advisory Commission on how the US government can better engage with civil society and religious actors in foreign policy.
She served as a Fellow at the Commission on International Religious Freedom, where she is working with the Foreign Service Institute in creating new training and education materials on religion and foreign policy. USCIRF was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress.
She teaches graduate and undergraduate International Relations courses at Catholic University and the Pentagon, such as “Security, Peace Studies, Just Peace, U.S. Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Globalization,” and “The Problem of Sovereignty.” Her recent International Relations publications include Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda (4th Edition, 2011), Morality Matters: Ethics and the War on Terrorism (forthcoming at Cornell University Press), “What Kind of Peace Do We Seek?” a book chapter on peacebuilding, in Notre Dame University’s volume on The Ethics and Theology of Peacebuilding (Orbis 2011), “The Church and Global Governance” chapter for a Vatican book volume on Pacem in Terris, and “Women, Religion, and Peace” chapter for a U.S. Institute of Peace book Exploring the Invisible.
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II serves as Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW) in Washington, D.C. The Office of Public Witness is a prophetic office of the denomination and implements the social justice agenda of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through advocacy with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. The OPW also engages in a broad range of activities with Presbyterian congregations and structures, providing constituency education materials and arranging briefings and conferences. Nelson believes that grassroots organizing within the denomination is a major key to impacting the prophetic witness and political sphere in today’s globalized culture.
Engaging in ecumenical leadership and advocacy, Dr. Nelson, together with nearly a dozen other national religious leaders, was arrested in July of 2012 in the U.S. Capitol Building while engaging in prayer and civil disobedience in the Capitol Rotunda. Frustrated that their pleas to the Administration and Congress to protect funding for the nation’s most vulnerable people are being ignored, the leaders refused to end their public prayers for an equitable resolution to the debt ceiling debate, despite repeated warnings from the U.S. Capitol Police.
As an extension to his community-based ministry, Dr. Nelson served as Associate Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. As a consultant, he provided staff development training for Teacher Specialists, Curriculum Specialists and Principal Leaders who provide assistance for low-performing schools.