Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang

Julia Reynolds will be releasing a new book this fall.

New Book from CCS Visiting Scholar Julia Reynolds—“Blood in the Fields”

August 19, 2014

The Center for Conflict Studies is happy to share that CCS Visiting Scholar Julia Reynolds will be releasing a new book this fall, titled "Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang." Published by the Chicago Review Press, this book presents Julia Reynolds' extensive research on the Nuestra Familia gang, one of the most violent gangs in the U.S. whose home is here in the Salinas Valley. Reynolds examines the identity of those involved with the gang, the gang's operations and violence, and law enforcement's efforts to dismantle Nuestra Familia. Drawing on interviews with gang members both in and out of prison as well as a trove of other research and documents, "Blood in the Fields" is a must-read for those working to break the cycle of violence in our communities.

Visit Julia's site for more information, including where to pre-order the book.

In addition, on August 26 Julia will join community experts on youth violence and gangs for a discussion on the problem of violence in our community and some of the promising solutions. Other participants will include Willie Stokes, Executive Director and Founder of the Black Sheep Redemption Program; Brian Contreras, a founder of Second Chance Youth Program; Kelly McMillin, Chief of Police for the Salinas Police Department; and J.D. Hillard from the Santa Cruz-based NPR affiliate KUSP Radio. The discussion will be held at 7:00pm at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Please visit their site for more information.

<p>CCS Director Pushpa Iyer with the Peace, Trade, and Development program.</p>

CCS Director Pushpa Iyer works with the Peace, Trade, and Development program.

Peace, Trade, and Development Program 2014

July 24, 2014

CCS Director Pushpa Iyer will once again be teaching in the Peace, Trade, and Development program this summer at MIIS. This four-week course is designed to give upper-level students and new professionals the concepts and tools to work in human security, global trade, social change and development.

Dr. Iyer will begin teaching on July 24th with an Introduction to Conflict and Peace, followed by a section on Culture and Conflict on the 25th. The following Monday will entail a day of site visits in Salinas, and the classes will wrap up with Challenges to Peacebuilding and Skills for Conflict Resolution on July 29th. 

Water conflicts will be the focus of the 2014 Peacebuilders Fellowship.

2014 Peacebuilders Fellowship

January 13, 2014

The Center for Conflict Studies is pleased to announce the launch of the Peacebuilders Fellowship - a summer fellowship program for graduate students in the United States. This first round of Peacebuilder Fellows will begin their fellowship in summer 2014.

In keeping with the mission of the Center, the goal of the Peacebuilders Fellowship is to give a voice to the voiceless. Fellows will spend around two months in a conflict zone and collect stories of people who have experienced conflict. The hope is that the individual stories will give face to a "distant" conflict, providing empirical knowledge which in turn will empower people to act.

For the year 2014, the Center will be focusing on Water conflicts and the Peacebuilders Fellowship will emphasize the gathering of stories of individuals who are stakeholders in a water conflict.

Visit here for more information about how you can become a 2014 Peacebuilders Fellow!


Peacebuilder Fellows will travel to Burma, Ethiopia, Mexico and the West Bank focusing on water conflicts.

Peacebuilders Fellowship - Applications Now Open

February 20, 2014

CCS is pleased to announce that applications for the summer 2014 Peacebuilders Fellowship are now open! The Center will be choosing eight fellows to travel to four countries (Burma, Mexico, Ethiopia, and the West Bank) for 8 to 10 weeks over the summer. Fellows will work in teams of two in each country to research water conflicts, with an emphasis on gathering the stories of stakeholders in these conflicts. Upon their return, fellows will work with CCS to share these stories over a variety of mediums, including podcasts, video interviews, and digital storytelling.

Click here for more information about the fellowship. Applications will be accepted until 15 March, 2014 and the list of selected fellows will be announced on 1 April, 2014.

Please contact ccs@miis.edu with any questions.


The Center for Conflict Studies needs a social media intern for spring 2014.

CCS Needs a Social Media Intern

February 11, 2014

The Center for Conflict Studies is seeking to hire one social media intern for Spring-Summer 2014 (unpaid).

Job responsibilities include managing the Center’s social media platforms (TwitterFacebookLinkedIn) and maintaining its Database of Organizations site. Prospective Interns must be currently enrolled in or recent graduates of a graduate program preferably in conflict studies or related disciplines. Candidates must be adept in the use of social media and keenly interested in world affairs with the ability to independently research for analytical articles on a wide range of topical current events. Interns will work for 10 hours per week and may work remotely. If interested, please email a cover letter (explaining and highlighting your interests and skills) together with your CV to Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director, Center for Conflict Studies at ccs@miis.edu. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 27, 2014.


Dr. Pushpa Iyer on a trip to India.

Dr. Iyer Appointed to Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

December 4, 2013

CCS Director Dr. Pushpa Iyer has been appointed to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. The Council seeks to improve coordination on addressing domestic violence; promote effective prevention, intervention, and treatment techniques; and improve the response to domestic violence in order to reduce incidents.

Dr. Iyer’s appointment will last until January 2016. For more information on the Council, please visit http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/dvcc/.


Dianne Barker Harrold, keynote speaker for November’s conference on Understanding Justice in Conflicts.

Keynote Speaker: Dianne Barker Harrold

September 17, 2013

Dianne Barker Harrold has practiced law for the past twenty-six years, most of them in Indian Country.  She served as tribal judge for thirteen Indian tribes in Oklahoma and then went on to serve as the elected District Attorney for eight years in four counties in Northeast Oklahoma, serving as the first female Native American District Attorney for the State of Oklahoma.  She also served as an attorney in the first jury trial ever held in the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Previously, she served as Attorney General, General Counsel and Director of the Legal Assistance for Victims for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma and Special Advisor to the Chief.  She has also served as an adjunct professor at Bacone (Muscogee Creek Nation) College teaching Native American Studies and served for five years as the Associate Judge for the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma.

Currently, she is the attorney for the Tribal Council for the Cherokee Nation and is employed as the Resource Delivery Coordinator for Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group, Inc., of Tempe, Arizona, who provides Training and Technical Assistance to US Department of Justice Grantees under the Office of Victims of Crime Tribal Victims Programs across the nation. 

Dianne was one of the founding mothers of the domestic violence shelter, Help-in-Crisis, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, which is now in its 33rd year of service to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October of 2007, she was named Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for Help-in-Crisis.  She has been a tireless advocate for battered women and victims of crime, which has earned her the Women Holding Up the World Award from the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault and both the Heart of Gold Award and the Shining Star Award from the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  She currently serves as the Native American/Victim representative for the State VOCA (Victims of Crime Assistance) Board for Oklahoma.

While District Attorney, she was twice selected as Oklahoma’s Outstanding District Attorney.  She served on the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Task Force and was Chairperson of the Oklahoma Violence Against Women Act Grant Board.  In 2002, Biker’s Against Child Abuse named her their Outstanding Prosecutor for Oklahoma.  She has also received commendations from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for her work to reduce fatality accidents and from the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration for her work in illegal drug eradication.  She has been named an outstanding alumna from both Stilwell High School and Northeastern State University Social Services Division and in 2013 she was honored by Northeastern State University as the female distinguished alumnus for 2013.

A member of numerous civic organizations, she is also a member the National Congress of American Indians and the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association.  Harrold is licensed to practice in numerous tribal courts and United States District Courts and is a licensed member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

An enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Dianne is also an independent consultant and frequent speaker around the country, training tribal prosecutors and law enforcement, victims’ advocates, child welfare workers, and service providers in the areas of child abuse, victim advocacy, domestic violence, sexual assault, report writing for both law enforcement and advocates, and other related topics.   She also serves as an Independent Consultant for the United States Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC), the Office of Violence Against Women-having facilitated two historic tribal OVW task forces in 2008 and in December of 2011, and the American Indian Resource Center-Institute for Native Justice.  She has served as a grant peer reviewer for OVC Tribal Victim Assistance Grants, VAWA Tribal Grants, Adam Walsh Act Grants, the National Institute of Justice, the 2009 Recovery Act Grants Initiative, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, and CTAS Grants for Tribal Grantees.  In November of 2009, Harrold was the spotlight consultant as an expert in Indian Country for OVC TTAC.  At the 12thNational Indian Nations Conference in 2010 Harrold was awarded the Bonnie Heavy Runner Advocacy Award for her work with crime victims in Indian Country.  In January of 2013, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief, Bill John Baker, appointed Harrold to the Tribe’s One Fire Victims’ Task Force.  In April of 2013, Harrold received the 2013 National Crime Victims Rights Week National Crime Victim Service Award for her long-term work with crime victims presented to her by United States Attorney General, Eric Holder.


Sri Lanka Study Tour

June 5, 2013

Beginning on June 8, Center for Conflict Studies Director Dr. Pushpa Iyer will lead a ten-day study tour for 16 civil society leaders from Sri Lanka. The tour will involve an introductory training in Sri Lanka followed by meetings and exchanges with civil society leaders in Gujarat, India. The project is sponsored by USAID.

Center for Conflict Studies Director Pushpa Iyer

Center for Conflict Studies Director Pushpa Iyer in Gujarat, India

Dr. Iyer Receives Visionary Scholar Award

April 8, 2013

The Center for Gender and Conflict at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, honored Dr. Iyer with the Visionary Scholar award at its first annual Women’s History Month Visionary Awards. She was honored for her scholarship, creative practice and commitment to fostering discourse on gender and conflict. Dr. Iyer is an alum of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.