Area professors unite and create proposals to quell brutality in its many forms
(Dec. 2, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–The professors gathered from Finger Lakes area colleges have dubbed themselves Group of Seven. Should they achieve their goal–reducing violence in America–they may become known as “The Magnificent Seven.”
Started by Marvin Bram, professor emeritus of history and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Group of Seven can be thought of as a combination think tank and book club, only without the books. In their stead are seven papers, drafts of which are written by individual members, that concentrate on remedies for violence. The group plans to meet and discuss one draft a month, with everyone giving feedback to improve the recommendations therein. The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 9.
Bram hopes to present the group's papers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Additionally, a comprehensive “best practices” document will be delivered to New York State Congressional representatives, and individual members of the group will continue to communicate with decision-makers in and out of government, he says.
Those slated to write papers and their particular topics are:
• Bram, violence toward children
• Steven Lee, professor of philosophy at Hobart and William Smith, violence among nations;
• Richard Salter '86 and Bahar Davary, assistant professors of religious studies at the Colleges, violence among religions;
• Martin C. Dodge, professor of environmental conservation at Finger Lakes Community College, violence against nature;
• Thelma Pinto, instructor of languages, and George Joseph, professor of French and Francophone studies, both at HWS, violence against people of color;
• Warren Skye, head of the social work major at Keuka College, violence against the poor; and
• Betty Bayer, associate professor of women's studies at HWS, violence against women.
Bram was spurred to form Group of Seven after receiving letters from HWS alumni and alumnae concerning the lack of a forum to discuss and work on issues they are passionate about, which is something they had while in school. He urges them and others to start their own Group of Seven.
“Democracy requires the best possible thinking from everyone,” he says. “The reduction of violence on every scale should transcend political party, gender, age–indeed, all divisions–as a value everyone can uphold.”