In Memory of Darrin Adams
I first met Darrin while teaching a class in Manoogian Hall in 2017. He was cleaning the classroom and we spark up and immediate bond. Upon our first meeting, we discussed the Wayne State work culture, and before long he shared with me his love of sociology. He knew I had family in Flint Michigan, and was outraged by the criminality and governmental failure concerning the water crisis.  We discussed the comparisons between Flint and Downriver where he was born, and in Highland Park and Detroit where he worked, lived, and studied. Once in my peace and conflict studies I saw that rare potential where hard work and critical thinking coalesce. His critical assesments of human trafficking and research into contemporary trends into modern slavery were graduate level analysis. He attended our WSU/Rotary 2019 "Peace in the Streets" in Detroit digested hard-hitting panels concerning urban gun violence and mass shootings, restorative justice, mindfullness and meditation, and civic engagment. His extra credit summary of the event was brillant. Mr. Adams was grappling with ideas about the intersectional nature concerning issues of human rights and justice. His sociological perspective was growing, informed by his real life experiences, shrouded in critial theory and the intellectual rigors of the social sciences writ large. Darris was just finding himself, that sacred intersection between doing what you are good at, what you love, and what the world needs. Darrin embodied not only our missions at Wayne State University and in the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, but also his own destiny. He was just building his launching pad upon graduation to go out there and be the change in the world he so wanted to see. The final time I spoke in person to Darrin, is now in retrospect both beautiful and haunting. We were discussing structural poverty and the upcoming elections, specifically the American health care system and disparities in America and the world more generally (Bernie Sanders vs. Joe Biden). I find it absolutely gut wrenching (and more than ironic), that upon our last conversation in February, that Darrin said to me "Hey Doc, they still got poison in that Flint water, we gotta keep talking about that until its fixed." Darrin was thinking about Flint when most of the world had turned the page, he was thinikng about sometbody other than himself, about my family, our "peeps as he would jokinlgy utter. Darrin Adams deserves to be here graduating, holding fast to his dream, but instead, he is gone way too soon. I will remember him fondly, I will remember him often, and may god bless he and his family. 
Eric J. Montgomery 

Eric J. Montgomery, PhD

Anthropologist | Author | Filmmaker | Activist
Michigan State University, Assistant Professor of Anthropology (Fixed Term)
Wayne State University, Faculty in the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies 

Detroit News, 4/27/20

Darrin Adams donned a green cap and gown and a big smile three years ago when he participated in commencement exercises at Oakland Community College. Adams, who was on OCC's dean's list when he earned his associate's degree, then began studying at Wayne State University, with a goal of earning a bachelor's degree for a career in sociology. But Adams' dreams were cut short when he succumbed earlier this month to COVID-19. He was only a few classes away from earning his bachelors degree so he and another coronavirus victim, Western Michigan University student Bassey Offiong, are getting their diplomas in spite of their untimely deaths. Wayne State is planning to bestow Adams' degree during its virtual commencement ceremony on Wednesday, in addition to two other students who died of other causes before graduation. The WSU board approved the three posthumous degrees prior to its regularly scheduled board meeting, officials said Monday. During a recent interview, Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said Adams, who worked as a custodian on campus to make ends meet, had good grades and was close to finishing his degree. "It’s the right thing to do, he was so close and if this didn’t happen, he would have within months gotten his degree," Wilson said. Besides Adams, WSU will award posthumous degrees to Dwayne Carrero-Berry, who will receive a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with minors in Latino/a and Latin American studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. He was diagnosed with a heart disease at the age of 19 and died in December 2017. Former Wayne State student Bri’Jon Moore will receive a bachelor of science degree in psychology. A psychology major, Moore dreamed of applying to nursing programs after she graduated. She died Feb. 4 at the age of 22. 



Detroit News, 2/5/20

Opinion: A shorthand history of U.S.-Iran relations

By Frederic S. Pearson

Frederic S. Pearson, professor of political science and director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, wrote an op-ed tracing the U.S.-Iran relations.“The up-and-down U.S.-Iranian relationship, at times teetering on the brink of war, is highly complicated and fraught with historical memories; it cannot be characterized simply as black and white/good and evil. Recent developments indicate that with the crackdown on Iran and its militias, as well as Washington’s blow to Kurdish forces in Syria with the green light to Turkish occupation of their zones, the U.S. has essentially weakened the two most effective anti-ISIS forces, while stirring up massive anti-American popular responses in Iran, Iraq and Yemen.”
























International Conflict



      In August 2017, our director, Dr. Pearson, shared his thoughts and insights on Channel 7 .WXYZ-TV Detroit news regarding the North Korea's missile threat aimed at the U.S. You can view that video here.







In August 2016, Emell Derra Adolphus of Model D Media published an article on the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Department and discussed some the pressing resources it provided during it's 50 years of establishment, including the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. You can view that article here.




In July 2016, Amy Miller of  WDET 101.9FM interviewed the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Department on their unique annual summer institute that teaches violence prevention and peace-making skills to high school students, grade 10th-12, from the Detroit Metropolitan area. You can view that interview here.







Ralph Bunche Summer Institute 


In 2014, WXYZ-TV Detroit published a video on the Ralph Bunche Institute engaging in a service learning project. The students helped remove invasive and distructive plants from diminishing plants that are Detroit native. You can view that video here.





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