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2022 Schedule

Scroll down to see our 2022 Convention schedule or click on one of the dates below to be taken to that day's list of programming!

SCHEDULE AT-A-GLANCE

Please note that the times below are listed in Central Time.
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Thursday, August 25th

  9:00 AM:  Yoga

11:00 AM:  Training 1 - Building Community Circles

  2:00 PM:  Training 2 - Indigenous Leadership Circles

  4:00 PM:  Training 3 - Community Circles

   5:30PM:  Land Acknowledgement / Welcome

  6:00 PM:  G.I. Resistance Panel

  8:30 PM:  Welcome Reception

Friday, August 26th

  9:00 AM:  Yoga

11:00 AM:  Workshop Session 1

  2:00 PM:  Meditation

  3:00 PM:  Workshop Session 2

  5:00 PM:  Workshop Session 3

  7:00 PM:  Plenary 2 - Converting the War Industry

  8:30 PM:  Poetry & Song Soirée

Saturday, August 27th

  9:00 AM:  Yoga

11:00 AM:  Business Meeting (Learn More)

  2:00 PM:  Meditation

  4:00 PM:  Plenary 3 - Climate Plenary

  6:00 PM:  Keynote Event

  8:30 PM:  Community Event: Music & Games

 

Sunday, August 28th

  9:00 AM:  Yoga

11:00 AM:  Film 1: "Crossings" & Panel

  2:00 PM:  Meditation

  3:30 PM:  Closing Event

  5:00 PM:  Film 2

  7:00 PM:  Film 3

Additional Programming:

Social Room

AUGUST 25TH

Please note that all times are listed in Central Time.
What time is that for me?

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

YOGA: VETERANS YOGA PROJECT

Start off your day with a yoga class featuring teachers from the Veterans Yoga Project!

Teacher: Derek Dimond

11:00AM - 12:30PM

TRAINING #1: BUILDING COMMUNITY USING THE CIRCLE PROCESS

This training will provide a brief overview of the circle process as a form of communication for building community, and having difficult conversations. By the end of this training you will have the resources and foundational knowledge to start implementing community building circles in your home communities! After this training, we will be hosting 3 Discussion Circles centered around 3 main topics; Ukraine and Russian War, Intergenerational Organizing, Veterans for Peace Code of Conduct. We will be utilizing the circle process in small groups within each of these categories. 

Training led by Jeremiah Knowles

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

TRAINING #2: INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP CIRCLE

Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) speaks to how we can possibly achieve our VFP goals by “restoring the kinship worldview” and if it is too late, we can use it to help rebuild.

About Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows)

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

TRAINING #3: TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE COMMUNITY CIRCLES

Ukraine and Russian War Circle

One of the things that unites us as an organization is that we all recognize that war causes harm to not only soldiers but families, children, and the planet. This circle will discuss what this war means to us as Veterans for Peace and peace activists. 

 

Intergenerational Organizing Circle

One of the struggles in Veterans for Peace is bridging the generational divide between newer veterans and older veterans. Recognizing this struggle and some of the successes we have had, this circle will focus on how we start bridging this divide as well as how the next generation of veterans will lead VFP.

 

Veterans for Peace Code of Conduct Circle

One of the things that makes Veterans for Peace distinct from other veteran organizations is our Code of Conduct. It is important to continue to revisit the Code of Conduct and recognize its importance for creating a peaceful atmosphere within the organization. 

5:30 PM

OPENING STATEMENT ON INDIGENEITY IMPORTANCE AND AWARENESS & WELCOME

Chair of the Board Susan Schnall and Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen welcome attendees to the 2022 Annual VFP convention. We will hear an opening statement by Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and have special comments from some of VFP's advisory board members.

 

Opening Statement on Indigeneity Importance and Awareness: Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) reminds us of the importance of Indigeneity and our quest for peace in ourselves and in the world by going further than the usual “land acknowledgement,” and asking all to also begin the task of restoring our Indigenous worldview as a way to achieve the VFP goals.

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

OPENING PLENARY: G.I. RESISTANCE PANEL

Whistleblowers! Objectors! Resisters! Persons of Conscience! Meet the current and recent veterans who are actively resisting the US government’s attempts to stifle conscience, free speech, and truth telling. Acts of resistance, challenges to the UCMJ, and US border policy are some of the topics we will be discussing. As the style of modern warfare continues to change, our acts of resistance will adapt. Contemporary resistance is growing!

Moderator: Stephanie Atkinson
Panelists: Rosa Del Duca · Alan Kennedy · Reality Winner · Kyle Toon · Jenn Budd

8:00 PM - 9:30PM

WELCOME RECEPTION

Poem by Jenny Pacanowski. Join VFP National President, Executive Director and other members of the board in the convention social room and gather with old friends and make some new ones.

 
 

AUGUST 26TH

Please note that all times are listed in Central Time.
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9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

YOGA: VETERANS YOGA PROJECT

Start off your day with a yoga class featuring teachers from the Veterans Yoga Project!

Teacher: Laverne Glover

11:00AM - 12:30PM

WORKSHOP 1A: CHANGING THE CULTURE OF CONFLICT

By changing the culture of conflict, we are learning how to engage conflict positively, instead of avoiding conflict, to make accountability attractive in our families, communities, and organizations. Generative conflict can allow people to feel the “rightness” even in their “wrongness”, which is going to be very necessary in welcoming WE (white evangelicals or white folks) to radically accept where we have been, where we are, and where we want to be on the racism scale. Through this presentation, we will learn how various characteristics of white supremacy affect how we engage conflict. We will learn to recognize aspects of our society that have engrained in us a culture of violence to uphold oppressive structures. By leaning into tension, we can assertively address any arising afflictions through constructive communication. Training ourselves, we can avoid white fragility and align our values to engage conflict to combat white supremacy characteristics in our conversations, communities, and countries.

Presenters: Val U Baul French · Leo Barrera

11:00AM - 12:30PM

WORKSHOP 1B: PEACE WARRIORS FROM THE KOREAN WAR

It is very fortunate that we have some outstanding American peace warriors who emerged from the horrific Korean War. This workshop will explore the life and peace work of a few of these veteran peacemakers. What did they do in the forgotten U.S. war in Korea, 1950-1953? Why did they become peace warriors? What did they accomplish as peacemakers? These are some of the questions to be explored in this workshop, sponsored by VFP's Korea Peace Campaign.

Moderator: Ann Wright

Panelists: Lee Jae-Bong · Paul ("Pete") McCloskey · Charles ("Chuck") Overby 1926 – 2017)

11:00AM - 12:30PM

WORKSHOP 1C: THE AUSTRALIAN RESPONSE TO AUKUS AND THE MARCH TO WAR AGAINST CHINA

This presentation by four members of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network will provide an overview of Australian opposition to war, US military bases and militarism with emphasis on the more recent development of opposition to the AUKUS war pact, proposed acquisition of nuclear propelled submarines and the march to war against China. 

Presented by: Ross Gwyther, Bevan Ramsden, Kathryn Kelly, Faynez Khan - all members of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network and long term activists for independence and opposition to militarism and war and activists for social and economic justice.

2:00 - 2:45 PM

AFTERNOON MEDITATION: MEDITATION IS A WAY OF LIVING

Meditation is not just something we do while seated on a cushion or in a meditation hall, it’s a way of living. The practice of meditation can be present and support us in all things, in every moment, like a life jacket that keeps us from drowning. Without it, we will sink into the sea of samsara, the sea of our confusion and suffering.

 

By living a life rooted in meditation, we have the opportunity to recognize our repeating patterns of suffering and begin to establish a more conscious relationship with these patterns so that they no longer control us. Through this process, through living a life rooted in a disciplined, committed meditation practice, we have the opportunity to finally experience the wonder of being alive. The root form in all of this is silent sitting meditation.

Led by Claude AnShin Thomas

3:00-4:30PM

WORKSHOP 2A: HOW VETERANS ARE FIGHTING PRIVATIZATION OF THEIR JOBS, HEALTH CARE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military veterans, who work for the VA, the Postal Service, and other state and local governments bodies face a common threat—privatization of the public services they provide.

 

Through their unions, and with the help of community-labor coalitions like VFP’s Save Our VA campaign, these workers are organizing against costly and wasteful outsourcing schemes that will undermine public provision of veterans health care, public education, mail delivery, and many other essential services.

 

Suzanne Gordon and Don Cohen have both co-authored books about these inter-related anti-privatization struggles, which are essential to protecting the wages, benefits, and better working conditions that veterans have achieved in public sector employment, due to union organization and collective bargaining.

 

This book-related panel will include VFP members active in the Save Our VA campaign, who will join this discussion of effective legislative and political strategies, media work, public education, and anti-privatization protest activity.

Presenters: Suzanne Gordon · Donald Cohen

3:00 - 4:30PM

WORKSHOP 2B: MILITARISM, EXTREMISM, AND DIGITAL SPACES

This roundtable discussion will feature experts in digital spaces (from social media to online streaming platforms) talking about the current trend of social influence towards violent extremism. Panelists will discuss current extremist messaging and recruitment practices, a brief history of extremist growth in digital spaces, best practices in addressing the growing crisis, and various forms of digital-de-radicalization and counter-recruitment.

Moderator: Chris Velazquez

Panelists: Jeff Whyte · Katie Considine · Other panelist info coming soon!

3:00 - 4:30PM

WORKSHOP 2C: BE THE CHANGE - FROM A CULTURE OF PUNISHMENT TO A CULTURE OF CARING

VFP "Be the Change" working group panelists share ideas gleaned through readings and conversations, laying the groundwork for a discussion on racist, capitalist, patriarchal, dominant culture rooted in an economy of punishment. How do we engage our hearts and imaginations in transforming our world to one based on an economy of care?

Presenters: Vince Dijanich · Kathleen Hernandez · Becky Luening · Bob Prokop · Ken Mayers · Judith Sandoval

5:00 - 6:30PM

WORKSHOP 3A: NATO TROUBLE MAKING - FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC

NATO is expanding its militarism from the Atlantic into the Pacific despite efforts of indigenous groups in the Pacific to demilitarize the region. The largest naval war maneuvers in the world -Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)-is taking place from June 29-August 4, 2022, with 26 countries sending 38 warships in the Hawaiian waters, 4 submarines, 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. 8 of the countries are NATO members coming from the Atlantic into the Pacific and 4 countries are NATO “partners” from Asia and the Pacific, making up 45 percent of the RIMPAC exercises. Presenters from Hawai’i, Guam, South Korea and Australia will speak of their governments’ increasing the militarization of their countries and pollution from their militaries while grassroots organizations directly challenge militarization with encampments, kayak blockades and community education.

Moderator: Ann Wright

Panelists: Dr. Joy Enomoto · Moneaka Flores · Sung-Hee Choi · Annette Brownlie

5:00 - 6:30PM

WORKSHOP 3B: KHE SANH, KHAMISIYAH, AND KABUL: EXPANDING VETERAN ACCESS TO VA FOR THE UNSEEN WOUNDS OF WAR

How the PACT Act expands veteran access to VA for the unseen wounds of war.  More than six decades of war have exposed generations of veterans to deadly toxics and psychological stressors in battlefields and installations. The just-passed PACT Act addresses some of those exposures as a result of decades of veteran advocacy.  The panel will explain how VA offers care and disability benefits for distinct veteran groups.  A few examples include the herbicide Agent Orange sprayed throughout southern and central Viet Nam (e.g. Khe Sanh), Laos, and Cambodia; the chemical warfare agent sarin released in Iraq (e.g. Khamisiyah); and toxic particulate pollutants released from military burn pits throughout Afghanistan (e.g. Kabul), Iraq, and elsewhere. We all know that military service is associated with trauma and suicide resulting from deployment, military sexual assault, and discrimination.  Intentional and irresponsible exposure of troops to toxics represent yet another way that the DoD leaves the VA to deal with the aftermath of war.  The panel will conclude with how to apply for VA benefits and care followed by a Q&A session.

Moderator: Paul Cox

Panelists: Susan Schnall · Paul Sullivan · Andrea MacDonald

5:00 - 6:30PM

WORKSHOP 3C: “STOP THE WAR, SAVE THE CLIMATE”: CLIMATE CRISIS AND MILITARISM WORKSHOP

While the Russia-Ukraine War rages, with the threat of use of nuclear weapons, the global climate crisis grinds on. Moderator Jules Vaquera will start this informative and inspirational workshop with clips from music videos on these issues. Jim Janko will show selections from the CCMP slideshow, which has so far been presented to over 70 groups nationwide. Chris Velazquez, Gamers For Peace, will speak about being in action with Extinction Rebellion NYC during Earth Week. Longtime organizer Jim Driscoll will lay out the plan for veterans engaging in actions at congressional offices to demand a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine and a redirection of funds to the climate crisis. Plenty of time for Q and A. Don’t agonize – join us!

Moderator: Jules Vaquera

Panelists: James Janko · Chris Velazquez · Jim Driscoll

7:00 - 8:30PM

PLENARY 2: CONVERTING THE WAR INDUSTRY

As US militarism and imperialism churn on, creating havoc around the world and lost opportunities at home, our very survival depends on breathing new life into the movement to convert the war economy into one that addresses our dire needs for well being and real security. This means moving our wealth from the war industry into a green transition, from Wall Street to Main Street, from owners to workers, from white supremacy to reparations and land back, and from global domination to a sustainable multipolar world.


This panel will focus on where we are and what it will take to create the better world we need and want to create. Presenters will describe the struggle as it currently exists, give examples of hopeful directions now in play, and pose questions related to the formidable obstacles we face. The panel is presented by the War Industry Resisters Network and includes a researcher on war industry contracting, a labor organizer, a journalist, and an attorney activist.

Presenters: Tara Houska · David Story · Christian Sorensen · Taylor Barnes

8:30 - 9:30PM

COMMUNITY EVENT: POETRY AND SONG SOIREE

Veterans speaking truth to power is a beautiful thing…

 

Veterans expressing that truth as spoken art is world changing. Join Veterans For Peace in the sharing and baring of creative souls through poetry, spoken word, and oral tradition.

Want to read a poem or sing a song? Sign up here!

AUGUST 27TH

Please note that all times are listed in Central Time.
What time is that for me?

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

YOGA: VETERANS YOGA PROJECT

Start off your day with a yoga class featuring teachers from the Veterans Yoga Project!

Teacher: Jessica Marie Bugbee

11:00AM - 2:00PM

BUSINESS MEETING

Annual meeting to hear a report back on the status of the VFP finances, membership and discuss important matters around resolutions, bylaws and board nominations. Catch up on all the internal details and share in the principles of our democratic grassroots organization. More information here.

Please note that this is a separate registration from the online convention!

REGISTERING FOR THE CONVENTION DOES NOT INCLUDE THE BUSINESS MEETING. If your dues are current and you did not receive the email with the registration information for the Business Meeting, please email shelly@veteransforpeace.org. If you need to renew your membership, click here.

Are you interested in joining the VFP Board of Directors? Learn more here!

2:00 - 2:45 PM

AFTERNOON MEDITATION: MEDITATION IS A WAY OF LIVING

Meditation is not just something we do while seated on a cushion or in a meditation hall, it’s a way of living. The practice of meditation can be present and support us in all things, in every moment, like a life jacket that keeps us from drowning. Without it, we will sink into the sea of samsara, the sea of our confusion and suffering.

 

By living a life rooted in meditation, we have the opportunity to recognize our repeating patterns of suffering and begin to establish a more conscious relationship with these patterns so that they no longer control us. Through this process, through living a life rooted in a disciplined, committed meditation practice, we have the opportunity to finally experience the wonder of being alive. The root form in all of this is silent sitting meditation.

Led by: Claude AnShin Thomas

4:00 PM

PLENARY 3: WARS AND CLIMATE CRISIS - THE TRUE COSTS

A panel of experts and activists will discuss the compounding tragedies of numerous armed conflicts around the world while the global climate crisis worsens. Just as the war between Russia and Ukraine began, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report pleading for the world to lower its emissions. Instead, most NATO nations are expanding their use of fossil fuels while they are also increasing their military spending. The already bloated US Pentagon budget is on track to exceed $800 billion, which is over ten times US proposed annual spending on climate mitigation and adaption. The panelists will address the UN climate negotiations, the necessity of reporting military emissions, the need to reduce war budgets to decrease those emissions, and VFP’s continued work on the twin crises of climate and militarism.

Moderator: David Collins

Panelists: Ellie Kinney · Jim Rine · Lindsay Koshgarian

6:00 PM

KEYNOTE EVENT / MAIN EVENT

Our Saturday night event will begin with our keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. William Joseph Barber II.

A highly sought-after speaker, Rev. Dr. Barber has given keynote addresses at hundreds of national and state conferences and we look forward to having him as our 2022 Convention Keynote speaker!​

The Keynote event will be followed by a statement by Don Jacobs (Four Arrows) our annual VFP Awards, and Presente to honor the members we have lost since the last VFP Convention.

8:30 PM

COMMUNITY EVENT - MUSIC & GAMES

Music For Peace! We'll have night of movement music and games for all to enjoy!

 

Performer Lineup: Miles Megaciph, Ben Grosscup, Jendog Lonewolf, David Rovic, Jules Vaquera.

 

AUGUST 28TH

 

Please note that all times are listed in Central Time.
What time is that for me?

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

YOGA: VETERANS YOGA PROJECT

Start off your day with a yoga class featuring teachers from the Veterans Yoga Project!

Teacher: Sarah Jo Lively

12:30PM - 3:00PM

FILM 1 “CROSSINGS” AND DISCUSSION WITH DIRECTOR DEANN BORSHAY LIEM AND ANN WRIGHT

Director/Producer Deann Borshay Liem

In Crossings, a group of international women peacemakers, including renowned activists Gloria Steinem, Ann Wright and Christine Ahn, sets out on a risky journey across the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, calling for an end to a 70-year war that has divided the Korean peninsula and its people. The challenges the women face, the obstacles they overcome, and the solidarity and trust they build as they forge a path to peace with their Korean sisters, is an inspiring story of bridge building and collective action.

2:00 - 2:45PM

AFTERNOON MEDITATION: MEDITATION IS A WAY OF LIVING

Meditation is not just something we do while seated on a cushion or in a meditation hall, it’s a way of living. The practice of meditation can be present and support us in all things, in every moment, like a life jacket that keeps us from drowning. Without it, we will sink into the sea of samsara, the sea of our confusion and suffering.

 

By living a life rooted in meditation, we have the opportunity to recognize our repeating patterns of suffering and begin to establish a more conscious relationship with these patterns so that they no longer control us. Through this process, through living a life rooted in a disciplined, committed meditation practice, we have the opportunity to finally experience the wonder of being alive. The root form in all of this is silent sitting meditation.

Led by Claude AnShin Thomas

3:30 PM

CLOSING EVENT: MORAL INJURY AND COMMUNAL INTERVENTION

Our closing event begins with Rachel Clark's presentation of a portion of a compelling video performance by a Japanese actor of drone war whistle-blower Daniel Hale's letter to federal Judge Liam O'Grady, prior to Daniel's sentencing to 45 months in prison in 2021 for releasing government documents showing gross failings in the U.S. drone war program. Chris Antal, chaplain at Philadelphia's VA hospital, will then give an overview of VA efforts to understand and address moral injury, and a description of the model of communal intervention for moral injury that he has instituted in Philadelphia , and the possibilities that exist to expand his work to other VA locations. VFP's Executive Director Garett Reppenhagen will make closing remarks.

Presenters: Rachel Clark · Christopher J. Antal 

5:00 PM

FILM #2: FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: NOTES AND IMAGES FROM THE VIET NAM WAR

Director/Producer Jill Godmillow

VFP associate member Jill Godmilow, Professor Emerita, Department of Film, Television & Theatre, University of Notre Dame, created this film to explain the 20-year Viet Nam war to high school students—a job teachers have reported is extremely difficult. The classroom-length film effectively tells the story of the U.S. war in Viet Nam through carefully sequenced, striking imagery, along with Jill’s matter-of-factual, concise narrative. Accompanied by a soundtrack featuring Bach's Suite for Solo Cello #1 in G, the film achieves in 45 minutes what Burns & Novick failed to do in 18 hours.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

FILM #3: THE PEOPLE VS. AGENT ORANGE

Director/Producer Alan Adelson and Kate Taverna
The Agent Orange catastrophe did not end with the Vietnam War. Today, a primary chemical of the toxic defoliant causes deformed births and deadly cancers. Two heroic women fight to hold the manufacturers accountable. Read more here.

10:00 PM

SOCIAL ROOM CLOSES

The official end of Convention with the closing of our Zoom Social Room.