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Emily Welty | PACE UNIVERSITY

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"Sun Journal" featured professor and director of Peace and Justice Studies Emily Welty in "Nobel-recognized professor: Banning nuclear weapons is possible"

05/17/2019

"Sun Journal" featured professor and director of Peace and Justice Studies Emily Welty in "Nobel-recognized professor: Banning nuclear weapons is possible"

Speaking at Bates College, Emily Welty says 'the world is worth fighting for.'

Emily Welty is not one to settle for small victories or quiet campaigns.

After all, she is taking on one of the world’s toughest and potentially most dangerous foes: The 15,000 nuclear weapons possessed by fewer than 10 countries that have the capacity to devastate the planet.

Welty told 50 people gathered Wednesday at the Muskie Archives at Bates College for the annual Rayborn Lindley Zerby Lectureship on Contemporary Religious Thought that the weapons are evil and their existence “fundamentally violates the core tenets” of every major religion.

Her fight against them as a leader in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons led her to share the stage with colleagues when the 12-year-old group received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The prize, Welty said, “changes your life a lot.”

For one thing, people take her more seriously. On the other hand, she said, it makes her worry about being too snarky on Twitter or wearing the wrong shoes.

Welty, a professor and director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace University in New York, has tried to use the prize’s prestige to press forward with the group’s goal of ridding the Earth of nuclear weapons.

She regularly lobbies at the United Nations where her group convinced 122 governments in 2017 to vote in favor of a treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons, a step forward in what she hopes will be a moral crusade that convinces every nation to give them up the same way that earlier efforts successfully consigned chemical and biological weapons to the dustbin.

Welty said her group, commonly called ICAN, is able to spur a broad conversation about nuclear weapons because of its recognition by the Nobel Committee.

“We won the Nobel for believing that another world is possible,” Welty said.

She said ICAN is pursuing the ultimate end of the terrible weapons that haven’t been used in battle since the United States, hoping to finish a horrible war, leveled most of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan in 1945. The two bombs together killed 200,000 people.

A number of countries have nuclear arsenals today, including Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and almost certainly Israel, which has never admitted it has them.

Emily Welty of the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons speaks Wednesday afternoon at Bates College in Lewiston.

All of these nations, Welty said, need to be convinced to give up the bombs, a campaign that will require “courage, resilience and a lot of imagination.”

It is the duty of spiritual people, Welty said, to remind everyone that a better world can be created. Thinking about the dangers and the waste posed by nuclear arms, she said, can make her emotional.

“To not have emotions about nuclear weapons that can kill millions of people seems sociopathic to me,” Welty said.

Welty said she understands not everyone can be as active in the fight as she is.

But, she said, there are things everyone can do that would help.

Standing on the sidelines, she said, won’t cut it.

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"International Disarmament Institute News" featured Pace University professors Dr. Emily Welty and Dr. Matthew Bolton in "Pace University Professors Deliver Keynote Address on Nuclear Disarmament at Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto"

11/08/2018

"International Disarmament Institute News" featured Pace University professors Dr. Emily Welty and Dr. Matthew Bolton in "Pace University Professors Deliver Keynote Address on Nuclear Disarmament at Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto"

Dr. Emily Welty and Dr. Matthew Bolton, both professors at Pace University, delivered a joint keynote address about their advocacy with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, 6 November.

“We need to live out our faith by openly and rigorously opposing nuclear weapons,” said Welty, director of Peace and Justice Studies at Pace. “Make a public declaration that you and your faith community reject nuclear deterrence as a false ideology that violates what you hold most dear. And then follow that up with action.”

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world. From 1 November to 7 November, thousands of civic, spiritual and grassroots changemakers gathered in Toronto, Canada to reaffirm their commitment to the global interfaith movement and interfaith community.

“From the very beginning of the nuclear age, the harm of nuclear weapons has been indiscriminate and multinational,” said Bolton, director of Pace’s International Disarmament Institute. “But the global extent of nuclear harm means there are opportunities for solidarity across national and religious boundaries. Learning about the suffering of nuclear survivors close to home may enable empathy for those farther away. It creates possibilities for collective action.”

Welty and Bolton are a married couple who teach at Pace and made a conscious decision together to devote their lives to promoting peace and disarmament. Their life’s mission was featured in a video last year when they were nominated for a national Jefferson Award.

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"Columbia Daily Tribune" featured Dyson Professors Matthew Bolton and Emily Welty in "Progress toward peace"

04/27/2018

"Columbia Daily Tribune" featured Dyson Professors Matthew Bolton and Emily Welty in "Progress toward peace"

Former Independence resident Matthew Bolton and his spouse, Emily Welty, both members of an organization that last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, will be featured speakers during Graceland University’s spring commencement ceremony Sunday morning in Lamoni, Iowa.

On Saturday, they will be recognized at a gathering in Independence.

Bolton, a Graceland alumnus, and Welty are professors at Pace University in New York City and have worked with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, a coalition of organizations from 100 countries that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its advocacy with the United Nations for a nuclear weapon ban treaty.

The couple will be at Independence’s Stone Church Community of Christ at 2 p.m. Saturday, speaking about ICAN, the Nobel Prize, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Welty’s experience at a Vatican City conference where she had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis.

Bolton and Welty also will be recognized as the recipients of the Independence Humanitarian Award. They were unable to attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration when the award was announced and have since received the award.

The U.N. nuclear treaty was adopted in July, though the United States and several other countries did not participate in negotiating the treaty. Bolton worked with an ICAN team that advocated for victim assistance and environmental remediation provisions in the agreement. In November, Welty attended a Vatican City symposium of 400 clergy, diplomats, campaigners and Nobel laureates – “Prospects for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament.” The Vatican had been the first signature state to ratify the treaty.

“We’re just eager to give them as much exposure and the issue as much exposure as we can,” said Sharon Hannah, a member of the Community of Christ organizing committee.

Bolton’s family moved from Eastern Jackson County when he was 4 because of his father’s work transfer with the Community of Christ. Bolton stayed in Great Britain until he was 17, then came back to attend church-affiliated Graceland. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and religion and later began working with a pair of humanitarian and development organizations – Outreach International, based in Independence, and Counterpart International. He and Welty met during an evening Spanish class at American University, where she was studying for a master’s degree and he had just returned from work in Spanish-speaking countries.

Bolton went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science. While working with Outreach, Bolton was a regular guest columnist for The Examiner, writing about humanitarian efforts around the world.

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