Gerard Vanderhaar

This website is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Gerard A Vanderhaar (1931-2005), author of six books on nonviolence as well as numerous articles and other publications. He was Professor Emeritus of Religion and Peace Studies at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee,  where he taught for 28 years.

The Vanderhaar Symposium was founded in honor of Dr. Vanderhaar who spent his lifetime promoting peace through active nonviolence.
The symposium seeks to continue his legacy by bringing to Memphis a noted scholar or peace activist each year  to address social and moral issues related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching.

Also, as part of the symposium, a mid-south area college student will be honored with the Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award. This award is presented to a student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of active nonviolence, consistent with Dr. Vanderhaar’s life and work.

Tributes and Obituary

Click here to view video of Ida-Maria Isasi-Diaz at the 2012 Vanderhaar Symposium

Click here to view video of our 2013 Vanderhaar Symposium Panel

The 2014 Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium presents

Malik Yakini
March 27, 2014

Malik Kenyatta Yakini is a founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks farmers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. He is currently an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellow.

Congratulations to the 2013
Vanderhaar Student Peace Award Recipient

Frankie and his family have live in the Millington community since the mid-1990s. At Millington High School he served as both captain of the football team and Student Government President. He also became heavily involved with BRIDGES, a youth service and outreach program with a 90 year history in Memphis.
When considering college, Frankie says the choice was between West Point and Rhodes College.
“The tipping point was when I was selected to participate in a service scholarship program at Rhodes, called the Bonner Scholarship,” he writes. “The Bonner Program gave me the opportunity to dedicate my college years to the Memphis and Greater Memphis Community. In August of 2010, as a college freshman, I immediately consumed myself in the BRIDGES organization. I started as an intern in Curriculum Development, helped develop the pilot program BRIDGES Change, and then served as one of the first intern coordinators of that program. This service opened my eyes to the potential change that young people could make in their communities.”
In May 2012, at the age of 19, Frankie left his role at BRIDGES to mount a campaign for Millington Alderman. After a summer of fundraising and door to door campaigning, he became the first teenager elected alderman in the city’s history, making him the youngest current elected official in Tennessee.

Panel of Community Organizers addressed Urban Social Conflict at 2013 Vanderhaar Symposium

The Eighth Annual Vanderhaar Symposium held March 14th at Christian Brothers University focused on peacemaking at home, as a distinguished panel of community organizers explored a variety of ways to confront issues that threaten to divide us and create injustice. Attendees were treated to a brilliant exchange of ideas as the four local panelists addressed issues regarding immigration, gang violence, racism, labor rights and other challenges. The program, entitled “Communities Engaged in Resolving Urban Social Conflict,” explored steps to bring positive change to our neighborhoods, city, county, nation and the world.
Panelist included (from left) Malik Shaw, Vice Principal of Pleasant View Islamic School and co-founder of the American Muslim Intercultural Network; Delvin Lane, leader of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s Gang Violence Prevention Team; Kyle Kordsmeier, Organizing Director of the Workers Interfaith Network and Gabriela Benitez, coordinator of the West Tennessee’s Immigration and Refugee Coalition.

For more information on the Vanderhaar Symposium Speakers, please click here
Bishop Gumbleton Jeanette Rodriguez Bryan Massingale Jane Goodall Joan Chittister Patrick Ryan Isasi-Diaz
Bishop Thomas
Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Rev. Bryan
Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Chittister, OSB
Ryan, SJ
Ida Maria
Isasi-Diaz, Ph.D.