A dialogue between religious activists in the movement against the American war in Vietnam and interfaith leaders in contemporary struggles for economic and racial justice.
Free Zoom Webinar
MARCH 22, 2021 • 7-9 PM (EST)
The peace movement to stop the US war in Vietnam was composed of numerous sectors of civil society, including religious and interfaith organizations. The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee invites you to an online webinar to discuss how religious groups were organized during the war and how faith-based organizations are confronting today’s challenges, exploring what can be learned from a dialogue across the decades.
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- Rev. Dick Fernandez, Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam
- Rev. Carol A. Jensen, Chair, Faith Action Network, Washington state
- Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
- Rev. Petero Sabune, Sts. John Paul & Clement, Mount Vernon, NY
- Marie Dennis, Senior Advisor, Pax Christi International
- Doug Hostetter, Peace Pastor, Mennonite Church
Doug Hostetter is a Peace Pastor in the Mennonite Church. Doug was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War who chose to do his alternative service working for the Mennonite Central Committee in Tam Ky, Vietnam, from 1966 - 1969. During his time in Vietnam, Doug established a literacy program which used Vietnamese high school students to teach thousands of Vietnamese children, whose schools had been destroyed by the US military, how to read and write. Doug returned to Vietnam in 1970 with the US National Student Association delegation that negotiated the People’s Peace Treaty, and was broadly active in the US antiwar movement. Doug worked for the United Methodist Office for the United Nations, was the Director of the New England Office of the American Friends Service Committee, the Director of the US Fellowship of Reconciliation and directed the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office for over a decade. Doug is currently the NGO Representative for Pax Christi International at the United Nations. Doug has published widely on the issues of war, peace and nonviolence, and is a contributing author to The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar movement.
Marie Dennis was co-president of Pax Christi International from 2007 to 2019. She is now a senior advisor to the secretary general and serves on the executive committee of Pax Christi’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. She worked for Maryknoll for 22 years, primarily as director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and was a founder of the Center for New Creation, the Washington Area Community Investment Fund and Assisi Community in Washington DC. Marie has been active in popular and faith-based movements for social justice and peace for over 40 years. She is author or co-author of seven books, editor of the award-winning Orbis Book, Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church Returns to Gospel Nonviolence and co-editor of Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Church and the World, published by Pax Christi International in 2020.
REV. DICK FERNANDEZ
Reverend Dick Fernandez became the first Executive Director of Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALCAV) in January of 1966 following a short two year stint as a campus minister at the University of Pennsylvania. CALCAV was started by a group of prominent clergy in the fall of 1965 including, Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Father Phillip Berrrigan, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Reverend Richard Neuhaus and Rabbi Balfour Brickner. As an interfaith and non-pacifist organization it had wide appeal across the nation. Dick set about to create an organization that by 1969 had 65 chapters and more than 20,000 members. In addition to its grass roots organizing efforts across the country and its annual clergy and laity lobbying/protest effort in Washington, CALCAV was responsible for authoring several books including, In the Name of America, a study of war crimes committed by U.S. troops and Military Chaplains, a critical look at the role of chaplains during war. In addition the organization placed a chaplain in Stockholm to support the more than 2,000 deserters in Sweden and mounted a national advertising campaign against the war engaging ad firms in New York and San Francisco. CALCAV organized Dr. King’s famous 1967 Vietnam speech in opposition to the war at Riverside Church in New York City. King became a Co-Chair of CALCAV immediately following that speech. Few organizations did more to organize in the cities and towns across the nation. Dick served, with Lee Webb, as the Co-Director of Vietnam Summer and was very involved with the Mobilization to End the War which was responsible for many of the nation’s largest anti-war protests.
REV. CAROL JENSEN
Rev. Carol A. Jensen Becoming active against the American War in Vietnam while a student at the University of Washington (1966-70) and active in Lutheran Campus Ministry, Carol joined with Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam in the late 1960s, She later served on the staff of its Northern California chapter (1973-77) and the national staff (1977-80). She was a founder of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign and served with her late husband Ron Young as Middle East Representatives for the American Friends Service Committee in the 1980s. Ordained a Lutheran pastor at the age of 42, she served parishes in Philadelphia and Seattle for 25 years. Currently, she chairs the Board of the Faith Acton Network of Washington State, an interfaith advocacy organization, and the City of Everett's Council of Neighborhoods.
RABBI DAVID SAPERSTEIN
For 40 years, Rabbi Saperstein directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the largest segment of American Jewry to the U.S. Congress and Administration and currently serves as its Director Emeritus. In 2015-17, he served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Also an attorney, he taught seminars on Church, State Law and Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2019-2020, Rabbi Saperstein served as the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the international arm of the Reform Jewish Movement. Long a leader in interfaith coalitions, including those dealing with peace efforts, as a college and graduate student he was involved in anti-Vietnam War activities, in the late '70s served as chair of the Religious Committee on SALT II Treaty, in the '80s edited "Preventing a Nuclear Holocaust: A Jewish Response", and has remained involved in such efforts ever since.
REV. CANON PETERO SABUNE
The Rev. Canon Petero A. N. Sabune is the Africa Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Church. Most recently, Sabune, an Episcopal priest, was the pastor and Protestant chaplain at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Ossining, New York.
In 1972, Sabune fled his native-born Uganda and the ruthless dictator Idi Amin. Sabune�s brother was killed by Idi Amin in 1976 and his sister was killed by one of Amin's men in 1977. Another brother died in Nairobi, Kenya after a narrow escape from Amin's men.
As a parish priest, Sabune served in churches throughout the greater New York/New Jersey area, including as Dean of a cathedral.
Internationally, he is a trustee of the Episcopal Seminary in Haiti, was a founding board member of the Business and Technology Institute of Haiti, and was chair of the Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project. Among his awards and honors, he received the Minorities in Criminal Justice Leadership Award, the NAACP Community Service Award, and the Caribbean American Families Inc Community Service Award.