S-CAR event headlined by Senator Mitchell

Senator George J. Mitchell (photo courtesy of S-CAR)
Senator George J. Mitchell (photo courtesy of S-CAR)

The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) advisory board hosted former United States Senator George J. Mitchell on Wednesday, April 17. Senator Mitchell gave a lecture entitled “The Importance of Place in Peacemaking," helping launch S-CAR's Point of View campaign.

The S-CAR Point of View campaign celebrates the history, vision and reconstruction of S-CAR's retreat and study center for conflict resolution. The Point of View is an international research and retreat center located in Mason Neck, Virginia.

Sen. Mitchell with Christine McCann, S-CAR advisory board member (photo courtesy of S-CAR)

Senator Mitchell's lecture was the focal point of the event, where he discussed peacebuilding efforts in Northern Ireland that led to the Good Friday Agreement that took place roughly 15 years ago. Mitchell played a central role in reversing the attitudes of pessimism and negativity throughout the region through his negotiation and peace-building diplomacy efforts.

Senator Mitchell spoke in detail about the tragedies in the late 1990’s in Northern Ireland where he said “acts of appalling ignorance and hatred” were rampant throughout the region.

“Seeking peace in a conflict situation takes courage, perseverance and steady nerves; often in the face of steady violence,” said Mitchell. He placed great importance on the conditions for peace to take place, stating “it takes a willingness to compromise.”

“He’s a hero in the conflict resolution field," said  Nathan Curfiss, grants and development manager for Mason’s S-CAR program. That opinion is shared among many from Mason's S-CAR program, as Curfiss explained this was the reason for Mitchell’s visit to Mason’s Arlington campus.

Nathan Curfiss, Senator Mitchell and Jim Scott, S-CAR Advisory Board member (photo courtesy of S-CAR)

Prior to serving an instrumental role in the negotiations of the Good Friday Agreement to bring peace to Northern Ireland, he served as a U.S. senator from Maine and was the senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995. Recently, Mitchell served as U.S. special envoy for middle east peace for the Obama Administration.

Sports enthusiasts may recall the infamous “Mitchell Report” that was released in 2007. Senator Mitchell was selected by the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office to lead an investigation on steroids in baseball. Notable names from the report included: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro and Miguel Tejada.

Mitchell currently serves as an independent athletics integrity monitor to Pennsylvania State University. His appointment from the NCAA came in the aftermath of a widely publicized sex abuse scandal involving former Penn State football coaches Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. 

No votes yet
Student Media Group: