CAPA Re-Cap: Peace Summit 2022

Militarism and the Violence of Climate Catastrophe

Peace Summit 2022, on demand. Use and share these resources to grow our movement towards peace for people and planet.

Thank you to everyone who made Peace Summit 2022 possible! Find recordings, resources, and acknowledgments from Days 1 and 2 below. We’re glad so many of you came to learn about how youth-led movements are alleviating climate catastrophe and US militarism globally. 

DAY 1:      Opening RemarksMeet Our Student NetworkDay 1 PanelBreakout Session #1Closing Poem    DAY 2:      Opening RemarksDay 2 PanelBreakout Session #2Breakout Session #3Closing Remarks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   **For further details, you can also check out our program and these resources shared by attendees!

Day 1– Saturday April 2nd, 2022, 9 A.M.-12 Noon CST

Opening Remarks and Land Acknowledgment

Peace Summit 2022 begins with opening remarks by CAPA’s Student Network Director, Liz Bajallieh, who introduces our student leaders. We continue with a Land Acknowledgment by CAPA DePaul leader Samir Muhammad.


Meet Our Student Network!

CAPA Student Network leaders Jacopo DeMarinis and Andrew White from CAPA UIUC, Lucille Symoniak from CAPA Loyola, and Samir Muhammad from CAPA DePaul introduce you to the work their chapters are doing. We also hear from Marcia Bernsten about additional CAPA campaigns.

Day 1 Panel: Situating Climate Resistance within Global Systems of Power

We hear from Dr. Charles Fogelman about the severe impacts of climate change on marginalized communities, the harmful framing often seen in mainstream climate change narratives, and various forms of resistance against the powerful entities most responsible for harm.

Resource: “The Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela

Breakout Session #1

Philippines: Environmental Justice and the Struggle for National Liberation

Gun Violence in Chicago: Militarism and Climate Crisis Intersections

Starting with an overview of the Philippines, and followed by discussions of indigenous environmental defense, election violence, and people’s resistance, this presentation hopes to inform and encourage the peace and climate justice movements in the US to think deeper about the needs and struggles of Global South countries like the Philippines in discussing a world free from ecological and military devastation. Presenters: Chicago Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines and Anakbayan Chicago.

This presentation brings together panelists from leading organizations in Chicago gun violence prevention, PBMR (Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation) and New Town Alliance. We learn about causes of the gun violence crisis including the great inequities present in small, medium, and large cities across the U.S. Gun violence is a public health crisis, but research is barely invested in it compared to other health crises. We learn the role the U.S. plays, being by far the world’s largest proliferator of guns and instability worldwide, which affects communities everywhere – and those with the fewest resources are placed most at risk. We also learn about restorative and practical solutions for the crisis. 

Environmental Peacebuilding Works!

As climate change exacerbates tensions within and among countries, there has never been a time when it is more important for us to be unified. Yet, we can- and should- view the climate crisis as an opportunity to promote reconciliation and unity among communities and states in conflict. Viewing the climate crisis from this lens will help us collectively promote the nonviolent resolution of conflict while addressing the climate crisis from a more just and equitable stance. This workshop will provide us with some of the knowledge and tools necessary to champion environmental peacebuilding! Presenter: Amanda King.

Resource: Amanda King’s Presentation Slides

Closing Poem: "Music" by Slam Poet Orion Meadows

We close out Day 1 with a powerful piece called “Music” by Slam Poet Orion Meadows, who also features in Day 2 of the Summit with a 45-minute breakout session, “Propelling Change in Carceral Systems through Creative Arts and Activism.” CAPA Student Network Director Liz Bajjalieh then concludes our Day 1 program with final remarks.

Day 2– Sunday April 3rd, 2022, 10 A.M.-1 P.M. CST

Opening Remarks: U.S. Representative Jesus "Chuy" Garcia

Chuy Garcia, U.S. Representative from Illinois’s 4th district, addresses the Peace Summit in solidarity with our work building peace at the intersection of militarism and climate crisis!

Day 2 Panel: Nuclear Weapons' Impact on Racial Justice, Climate Disruption, and Economic Inequality: How They Degrade our Social Order

Drs. Yuki Miyamoto and Vincent Intondi dissect and explore the intersections of nuclear weapons, race, climate, and economics. Learn how race-based colonialism influences everything related to nuclear weapons from the mining of fissile material to the the location of nuclear test sites. How rising sea levels threaten to overwhelm nuclear storage facilities, and how dangerous leaks are already happening. What are the unimaginable environmental consequences of any nuclear weapons exchange, even one that does not involve the enormous arsenals of Russia and the U.S.? Finally, we explore the enormous costs of our misguided Nuclear Modernization Program, estimated to spend $634b over the next ten years. This absurd waste of financial resources threatens our ability to make the necessary investments in human needs and programs of social uplift so desperately needed. 

Breakout Session #2

We Need Green Diplomacy with China

Modern Organizing: Moving from Lobbying toward Active Involvements

In the past few years, we’ve seen politicians across the political spectrum take a sudden, incredibly hostile stance towards China. Presenter Jerome Glenn asks: is militarizing the Pacific Ocean and beating the drums of war with China what we need when the real, tangible threat haunting all of us is climate catastrophe? As the two largest polluters on the planet, it’s imperative that the U.S and China start working together to figure out how we can reduce our global emissions. Join us for a discussion of what Green Diplomacy with China looks like, and how it can not only help us reduce the effects of the climate crisis, but create a more peaceful, collaborative world.

Resource:  Jerome Glenn’s Presentation Slides.

Student leaders Andrew White of CAPA UIUC and Samir Muhammad of CAPA DePaul lead us through useful frameworks and strategies for engaging a wide range of people in our movements to create local and national peace, equity, and justice!

Resource: Andrew and Samir’s Presentation Slides.

Propelling Change in Carceral Systems through Creative Arts and Activism

Social Media as a Tool of Change: Communications Work 101

Chicago artist, author, and activist Orion Meadows brings together slam poetry and advocacy in this session on shifting systems of retribution toward restoration and inspiration. Orion works with Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP) and the National Alliance for Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated (NAEFI) to connect community members to platforms for change, and challenge the prison industrial complex. Come hear his dynamic call to reimagine justice and uplift social consciousness!

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and now Tik Tok are becoming one of the best ways not only to educate the general public on major issues but to show people how to take action. With over a billion people logging onto these sites daily, you can make huge things happen with a single tweet. But how do you draft a tweet that grabs the eyes of political leaders? What can you do to create an Instagram graphic that motivates people to take action? Join us in learning how to best utilize social media to support avoiding climate catastrophe, protesting increased militarization globally, and any other cause you care about. Presenter: Emily Dorrel

Importance of the Stop Line 3 Movement

It’s impossible to talk about the climate crisis without recognizing the work that Indigenous populations across the globe do to protect the environment. Indigenous people have not only met with violent histories of forced displacement, but with continued state violence from police and militaries across the globe. Land and water protection in resistance to Line 3 shows the profound wisdom and power of those who care for what the ancestors have bestowed to us and what we, as ancestors to future generations, will bestow. Presenter: Taysha Martineau.

Breakout Session #3

What the U.S. Military Doesn't Want You to Know about Climate Change

The Art of Compassionate Connection

Citizens are constantly blamed for the environmental problems the United States is experiencing, but when will this country’s greater establishments be held accountable? This workshop will hold an in-depth discussion regarding the environmentally destructive actions of the US military. The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with a greater perspective on how the US military greatly affects climate change through the use of facts, cases, and more. With CAPA student leaders Lucille Symoniak and Samir Muhammad hosting guest speaker Shea Leibow.

In order to enhance justice for everyone, especially the most marginalized, it is really important that we learn to talk with each other with cordiality and respect. Yet respectful and productive dialogue has long been absent from politics and the public sphere, given our hyperpolarized political climate. However, not to fear! Engaging in active listening, nonviolent communication, and other conflict resolution techniques will help us establish common ground with those who, at face value, seem to have nothing in common with us. We firmly believe that, once this common ground is established, we will be able to pursue a more just world that meets everyone’s needs.  Presenter: Samuel Smith.

Challenging the Ideology Behind Wealth and Militarism: the Status Quo of Always Producing and Selling More Weapons

What Can I Do? Organizations Working on the Intersection of Militarism and the Climate Crisis

David Swanson of World BEYOND War reveals the workings of the military- industrial complex, how it distorts the federal budget and U.S. foreign policy towards spending on war and preparations for war, and away from investments in addressing urgent problems like pandemics, climate change, and racial and economic injustice. The presentation explains the tools of influence used by the weapons industry, from campaign contributions to lobbying to funding of think tanks, and how we can put pressure to bear in favor of more humane priorities. Included is a discussion of the Pentagon’s role in promoting climate change, both as a major user of fossil fuels and a partner in crime with oil-producing regimes like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Now that we’ve learned about how the military contributes to the climate crisis, let’s figure out what to do next. Join a conversation with local organizers from Rising Tide Chicago, the Chicago Sunrise Movement, the Illinois Climate Caucus, and CAPA’s own Climate Group are up to in their organizations, from protests to policy work, to boycotts, to coalition building, and more. Presenters: Carolyn Leigh, Jessy Bradish.

Closing Remarks

CAPA Student Network Director Liz Bajjalieh offers closing remarks, inviting us to continue connecting and taking action together after the summit!

Help us support our Student Network and become a sustaining member!

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