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University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Initiative Teaches Community-Centered, Collaborative Responses to Security Crises

 

Marie Berry, Director, Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

War in Ukraine, Yemen, and Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Ethnic violence and human rights violations in Myanmar, China, and Central America. Challenges to democracy around the world, and in the United States. These crises threaten people’s well-being around the world, and they push Professor Marie Berry to seek creative ways of challenging what she calls “systems of harm and oppression.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to be apathetic about human suffering. Seeking ways to be part of the solution is the only way to go through life,” says Berry, the director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Because we’re outside the Beltway, we can think out of the box. Our strength is in convening meaningful conversations among policymakers, researchers, and activists in the international affairs arena. Because it takes that to be able to design impactful, effective strategies for a world that is more secure for more people.Marie BerryBerry’s approach is to find collaborative, community-centered responses to complex crises. An initiative she launched at the Sié Center, the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI), concentrates on amplifying the work of women-identifying activists who work at the grassroots level for social change.

IGLI supports activists who teach courses in resisting authoritarianism and waging movements for social change. It also hosts an annual summer institute that brings 15 women-identified activists from around the world to Denver each summer. Past summer fellows include the leader of a Thai movement to end domestic violence and the Togolese leader of her country’s democracy movement against the longest-lasting dynasty in Africa.

“Our strength is in convening meaningful conversations among policymakers, researchers, and activists in the international affairs arena,” Berry says. “Because it takes that to be able to design impactful, effective strategies for a world that is more secure for more people.”

The Korbel School will launch a new certificate in global justice in fall 2023 to train students in community organizing and collective action. The certificate, which master’s students can add to their degree, will include a practicum in which students work with one of the movements represented by the IGLI summer fellows
on activities such as communications and designing strategy.


International Studies PhD Candidate Inspired by Radical Non-Hierarchy in Classroom

Korbel School student Sinduja Raja says she models herself on the “tireless” efforts of her PhD advisor, Sié Center Director Marie Berry, to make the world more equal and just. Raja, 27, from Chennai, India, recalls the awe she felt the first time she sat in a class taught by Berry, when the professor explained that she was a feminist political sociologist, and this meant she would aim to move beyond traditional hierarchies expected between instructor and student in the classroom. “She continues to make sure her research and her ethical values feed into each other and inspires me to think of my own research in a similar way,” Raja says.

University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
https://korbel.du.edu
korbeladm@du.edu
303-871-2324, press #1 for admissions