Youth Arts New York presents:
PEACE OUT! Action and Civil Resistance
A one-day workshop for high school students
In this interactive workshop Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert introduced students to the role of civil disobedience and resistance in the Peace Movement, explore its rationale and practice, examine the prison industrial complex and share personal testimonies. Together with students they discussed strategies for incorporating civic responsibility into everyday life. Dr. Emily Welty, Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University, examined the role of restorative and transformational justice in developing a culture of peace. With educators Kathleen Sullivan and Robert Croonquist.
Sister Ardeth Platte, the inspiration for Sister Jane Ingalls on Orange Is The New Black, Sister Carol Gilbert and Sister Jacqueline Hudson broke into an unmanned Minuteman III missile silo in Weld County, Colorado in 2002 and used their blood to protest war and to advocate for peace and an elimination of nuclear weapons. They were convicted and spent 41 months at Danbury on sedition charges. Jackie Hudson languished for days in the prison infirmary with little treatment for an illness that ultimately claimed her life. Sisters Platte and Gilbert said the experience led them to confront the for-profit prison model that sees incarcerated people as commodities. For decades, Sister Carol Gilbert and Sister Ardeth Platte have practiced their Roman Catholic faith with an unwavering focus on world peace. They were branded by Maryland State Police as terrorists and placed on a national watch list as part of an extensive surveillance of antiwar activists. Sister Ardeth Platte was one of the founding mothers of the Underground Railroad, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, in Saginaw, Michigan, and served on the Saginaw City Council. She has been an educator, principal and coordinator of an inner city high school and educational center, an elected City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem, who with others formed a rape crisis center and home for battered women. She participated with Cesar Chavez in the farmworkers struggle, with African Americans in the civil rights movement, and in marches and draft board actions to counter the Vietnam War. As part of their calling as Dominicans, the Sisters believe in the power of organized people to engage in political, legal and direct action to create a just and peaceful world for future generations.
Dr. Emily Welty is an academic, ecumenist and artist living and working in New York City. She is the Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University where she teaches classes focusing on nonviolence, humanitarianism and reconciliation and transitional justice. Her research focuses on the religious dimensions of peacebuilding with an emphasis on humanitarianism and nuclear disarmament as well as nonviolent social movements. She is the Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs and is the chair of the Nuclear Disarmament Working Group. Emily is part of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) where she works on faith-based engagement in nuclear disarmament. She is the co-author of Unity in Diversity: interfaith dialogue in the Middle East and Occupying Political Science. Emily is also a playwright and has worked with The Civilians, the Acting Studio at Chelsea Rep and the Einhorn School of Performing Arts.
ABOUT CONVICTION: In 2002, Youth Arts New York Fellows and Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert with Sister Jacqueline Hudson saw it as their duty, mission and religious calling to break into a nuclear missile silo in Colorado. They chanted, made peace symbols and crosses with their blood and landed in jail for their beliefs. For these women, bringing attention to the atrocities of nuclear weapons was a sacred act; for the U.S. government, it was something much different. The nuns trespassed on federal property and criticized our national defense. The religious right labeled them fanatics; the left called them Joans of Arc; and the justice system convicted them of sabotage and sentenced them each to federal prison. Sisters Ardeth and Carol spent 41 months at Danbury and Sister Jacqueline died in prison of illness and neglect. Conviction tells their story.