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Waging Peace in Vietnam

Exhibits, Events & Student Contest with Cash Prizes

Exhibits

In the mid-Sixties, as the U.S. escalated troop numbers in Vietnam, tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors and pilots refused to fight, sail and fly bombing missions. As scholar David Cortright notes: “It is arguable that by 1970 U.S. ground troops in Vietnam had ceased to function as an effective fighting force. The disintegration of military morale was a factor in the Nixon administration’s decision to accelerate troop withdrawals.” What are the lessons for today? 

Two exhibits sponsored by the University of Alaska Southeast on display November 11-December 15.

Waging Peace in Vietnam: US Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the War | Egan Library

This primary exhibit seeks to inform scholars, students and the general public that as America escalated the number of troops engaged in the Vietnam War, thousands of our soldiers, sailors and pilots refused to fight, sail and fly more bombing missions. Active-duty soldiers and veterans had a profound effect on the antiwar movement, and on the war itself. 

My Lai: A Massacre Took 504 Souls and Shook the World | Egan Classroom Wing Room 220 

Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle’s color photographs of the My Lai Massacre presented with his commentary and with tributes to the soldiers who exposed the horror of this mission.  Haeiberle will serve as the guest just for the student essay contest. 

"The photographs were like dynamite. They horrified the nation. And the tide of public opinion began to turn against the war." --Seymour Hersh, Investigative Journalist. 

Both exhibits are curated by Ron Carver, a longtime photographer, social justice, and labor rights activist with roots in the American civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s. Visit Waging Peace in Vietnam to learn more. 

Student Contest

Students are invited to respond to what the Waging Peace in Vietnam exhibit means to you and its lessons for today.  Entries in in the following formats will be accepted: text essay, video or audio. Writing Center staff are available to help polish your submissions anytime and have prompts to get you started. Can't make it to the Juneau campus? Checkout options below for remote engagement with the exhibit. Students Prize winners are invited (but not required) to share their entries at the Symposium and Closing Reception, on December 8 on the Juneau Campus.

  • Cash Prizes: 1st Place $500, 2nd Place $300, 3rd Place $150, Honorable Mention $50
  • Prize Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 100, Juneau Alaska & Michael Gerschefski
  • Guest Judge: Ronald L. Haeberle, the U.S. Army photographer who turned American public opinion against the war with his photographs of the My Lai Massacre.
  • UAS Judges: Melissa Dolese, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Forest Wagner, Associate Professor of Outdoor Studies & Humanities; Bill Urquhardt, Associate Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences.
  • Submission Deadline:  Wednesday November 23, 2022 (11:59 PM AKST)
  • Open to current UAS students only (full submission guidelines at submission link below)
  • Submit to the Waging Peace in Vietnam Essay Contest

Options for remote engagement with the exhibit content and topics

For students living outside of Juneau, select one of the options below and then respond to the contest prompt, "what the exhibit or content means to you personally and what are the lessons for today?"

Events

  • Hunting in Wartime: Screening & Discussion

    Friday, November 11 1 PM – 4 PM, Egan Wing (+Livestream)

    Hunting in Wartime profiles Tlingit veterans from Hoonah, Alaska who saw combat during the Vietnam War. The veterans talk about surviving trauma, relating to Vietnamese communities, readjusting to civilian life, and serving a government that systematically oppresses native people. Their stories give an important human face to the combat soldier and show the lasting affects of war on individuals, families and communities. Director Samantha Farinella, Honolulu-based filmmaker and founder of One Angry Woman Productions, Wm. O. "Ozzie" Sheakley - Commander: S.E. Alaska Native Veterans; Member Juneau Tlingit and Haida Community Council will be available for discussion before and after the screening. The discussion will be live streamed. Hosted by the UAS Native and Rural Student Center & Wooch.een.

    Can't make it? UAS affiliates can stream the film using the Kanopy Streaming collection from the Egan Library (login required).

  • Exhibit Opening & Reception

    Friday, November 11  6PM – 8 PM, Egan Library (+Livestream)


    Keynote and reception welcome by Susan Schnall, the former Navy Lieutenant who led 500 sailors and soldiers on a peace march in San Francisco in 1968. The president of the Veterans For Peace national board of directors, Susan is also a national expert on the effects of the Agent Orange chemical weapons we used in Vietnam leading to death and damaging health for hundreds of thousands of both Vietnamese and American during the war years and through succeeding generations.  Guided tours will be available from Exhibit Curator, Ron Carver. Keynote will be livestreamed. Doors open at 5:30 PM.

  • Patriotism, PTSD, and the Legacies of War

    Saturday, November 12 1 – 3 PM, Egan Wing (+Livestream)

    Join exhibition curator Ron Carver and veterans Mike Wong, John Kent, and George Bennett for a discussion of how cultural and political values shape the experience and aftermath of war as well as the trauma and moral injuries endured by participants and non-participants alike. Moderated by David Noon, UAS Professor of History. Refreshments provided. 

  • Anti-War Poetry and Story Sharing with Veteran Poets

    Thursday, December 1 1:30 PM – 4 PM, Egan Wing (+ Livestream)

    Featuring poetry by U.S. veterans, Vietnamese veterans, and Vietnamese civilians, the event will explore the role of poetry and creative writing in trauma and recovery. Moderated Kevin Maier, Professor of English with Poets Doug Rawlings and Teresa Mei Chuc participating over Zoom. Refreshments provided.

    Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam. Teresa fled her Vietnamese homeland with her mother and brother shortly after the American war in Việt Nam. Teresa served as Altadena Poet Laureate (Altadena, CA) from 2018 to 2020 and collaborated with Doug Rawlings, to publish Cầu Tre / Bamboo Bridge: Conversations between a Vietnamese Boat Refugee and an American Veteran of the Việt Nam War. Teresa’s new poetry chapbook, Incidental Takes, is forthcoming from Hummingbird Press in Spring 2023. Teresa teaches literature and writing at a public high school in Los Angeles.

    Doug Rawlings was drafted in 1968. He was in Viet Nam from July of 1969 to August of 1970. He is a co-founder of Veterans For Peace. His latest collection of poems, Cầu Tre / Bamboo Bridge, written in collaboration with Teresa Mae Chuc, weaves together a Vietnamese refugee's reflections with his own. He is also the editor of Letters to the Wall, three collections of 500 letters written to the Viet Nam Memorial.

  • Screening of Sir! No Sir! and Story Sharing

    Saturday, December 3 12:30 – 3 PM, Egan Wing (+ Livestream)

    SIR! NO SIR! brings to life the history of the GI movement through the stories of those who were part of it, and reveals the explosion of defiance that the movement gave birth to with never-before-seen archival material. The film explores the profound impact that movement had on the military and the war itself along with the story of how and why the GI Movement has been erased from the public memory. Director David Zeiger will participate over Zoom following the screening. Refreshments provided.

    David Zeiger has been making documentary films and series for 25 years. His films include, The Band (PBS), Senior Year (PBS), Funny Old Guys (HBO) and Sir! No Sir! which ran theatrically in 65 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada and was broadcast in 200 countries worldwide. In 2010 Zeiger was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

    Can't make it? UAS affiliates can stream the film using the Kanopy Streaming collection from the Egan Library (login required).

  • Symposium, Essay Contest Awards and Closing Reception

    Thursday, Dec. 8 1:30 – 4:30 PM, Egan Wing (+Livestream)

    Winners of the student contest will be recognized by the Juneau Veterans For Peace, Chapter 100, Juneau Alaska. Prize winners are invited to share their work. Details coming soon. 

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