The Santa Barbara Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) is taking over local theaters and lecture halls this week to educate local students and residents about the issues surrounding nuclear weapons and war.
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Week kicks off at 8 tonight in Corwin Pavilion, where Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire will deliver a free lecture titled “A Right to Live Without Violence, Nuclear Weapons and War.”
On February 23, NAPF will also host an 8 p.m. symposium on international law and nuclear weapons at the Victoria Hall Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. The symposium will feature a group of nuclear policy experts, including Ambassador Thomas Graham, former Acting Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and former Defense Dept. analyst Daniel Ellsberg – famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the public in 1971.
NAPF Youth Outreach Coordinator Will Parish said he thinks students should go to the lecture because Maguire is a skilled speaker and a Nobel Laureate.
“The event is especially prudent in a time of war, since wars tend to affect the youth more than any other age group,” Parish said. “Empires are built on the bones of the young.”
Maguire, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work advocating for non-violence and peace in Northern Ireland, is speaking as part of NAPF’s annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture Series on issues affecting the future of humanity.
David Krieger, president and founder of NAPF, will speak at the lecture and said he thinks the event will provide an opportunity for young people to educate themselves about nuclear weapons.
“We want students to recognize the seriousness of the issue of nuclear weapons confronting humanity,” Krieger said. “The future will be determined by the success of people coming together and bringing genocidal weapons under the control of international law and eliminating them as a threat.”
Krieger said he will moderate and participate in the Feb. 23 symposium, “At the Nuclear Precipice: Nuclear Weapons and the Abandonment of International Law.” The public will have a chance to continue discussing the issues brought up at the symposium at 9 a.m. on Feb. 24 with a series of public panels at Westmont College. Krieger said the symposium and the panels will also deal with the issue of how the U.C. system is involved in the construction of nuclear weapons.
“The University of California plays a major role in managing and providing support in the creation of every type of nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal today,” Krieger said. “I think it’s tragic that such a great university can allow itself to be used in a process of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”