What do you do with a justice and peace studies major or minor?
Careers in Justice and Peace
A JPST major or minor prepares students for a wide variety of careers, or advanced study, spanning the fields of law, politics, education, medicine, business, nonprofit management, community development, and advocacy. In general, there is never a shortage of jobs in justice and peace work. Sometimes there is a shortage of jobs with salaries, or salaries and wages are modest, but there is never any lack of work.
As a true liberal arts major, justice and peace studies will enrich any major or area of work. No matter what one chooses to do, one will do it with expanded skills and insights in critical thinking, effective work, and wise action on behalf of the common good.
Below are some of the careers our graduates have gone into.
One of our graduates, TaeRa Franklin, has worked as a Staff Attorney in the Foreclosure Prevention Project at South Brooklyn Legal Services, helping disadvantaged clients avoid losing their homes. She has also edited a newsletter for a group of lawyers, taken leadership positions in legal associations, and has published several articles. As an attorney and conflict resolver, one of our other graduates, Jeffrey Loew, helps his clients work through family disputes over trusts, estates, and other legal matters.
A number of our students have utilized their background in Justice and Peace Studies by going on to practice compassionate medicine. Reetu Syal is now a obstetric-gynecologist. Jacqueline Dinusson’s practice supplements her teaching as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine. Jennifer Hyer practices "full-spectrum rural family medicine" in Alaska--from birth (delivering babies), through childhood, adulthood, and into hospice/end of life care. She focuses on preventative medicine, and combines eastern with western medicine ("integrative medicine"). She added a Masters in Public Health to her MD degree, and worked in Washington DC on health care reform.
Some of our graduates have gone into counseling after further study in graduate school. For example,Michelin Hegland earned an M.A. in Adlerian Psychology and founded her own counseling practice,BEvolution, LLC.
Several of our graduates have found that Justice and Peace Studies pairs well with a career in education; for example, Michelle LeBlanc. Or you could also teach social justice in parish settings like Michael Johnson . Our graduates, like Heidi Tousignant, have gone on to teach at, or work in, grade schools, high schools, and colleges.
As noted under education, parishes often look for staff to teach social justice (Michael Johnson), sometimes in conjunction with youth ministry.
You could apply your justice and peace vision to a commercial job in business. Steve Bauer works with Paragon Coffee in New York as a wholesale coffee buyer and seller, specializing in fair trade coffee. He recently began investing in a biodiesel company in the state of Washington that produces motor fuel from algae that grow on sewage. Tomoko Sayama has worked for an Australian recruiting firm seeking cross-cultural, bilingual candidates from universities and graduate schools in Japan and abroad to work for foreign investors in Japan and China.
Several of our graduates have served as aides or research assistants in offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Governmental or Inter-Governmental Organizations
Several of our graduates have served in the Peace Corps or in Americorps; others have applied their justice and peace background to working for the United Nations.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Advocacy Work
Several of our graduates have gone into advocacy work with various organizations. Starting as a U.S. representative to the Pax Christi international office in Brussels, Belgium, and after completing an MA at Louvain University, Michelle LeVoy worked her way up to become Director of PICUM, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants . Tamara Thompson works currently with theAlbanian American Women's Association, while also writing articles for JMC Strategies headed by the former director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights where she previously worked. Jesse Lecy worked in Kosovo with the American Refugee Committee shortly after the NATO bombings. After completing his tour, he stayed behind to train a mixed-language tri-national team of youth runners (Serb, Albanian, Roma), and then took them to Greece to run the Marathon. Sarah Kirk Lavezzo spent two years working on community development for the poor in South Bronx. Other NGOs that our graduates have worked with include Simpson Housing, Project for Pride in Living, and Alliance of the Streets.
Agriculture and Environment
As Ranch Manager at B Bar Ranch in Yellowstone country, Mark Waite has promoted endangered livestock breeds, hosted environmental groups, and lobbied to keep the Yellowstone grizzley on the endangered species list and to get a large area on the edge of Yellowstone Park designated as a Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Area. Other graduates have worked with the Minnesota Farmers’ Union and the Mississippi Market Co-op.
Raise a Family
Along with one of these careers, or as a full-time career in itself, graduates can raise a family to promote values of justice and peace.