2023 Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War: Social and Economc Costs of the Nuclear Weapons buidlup

Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War: 

Social and Economic Costs of the Current Nuclear Weapons Buildup

Saturday, Jan 21, 2023 - 1:00 - 6:00 pm







The 2023 “Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War” Conference will be held virtually on Saturday January 21, 1-6 pm (Eastern). This annual gathering is one of the major national conferences addressing this acute problem.   Given the tragic events in Ukraine, tensions with China over Taiwan, and provocations from North Korea, we need to accelerate effort toward clear analysis, peaceful resolutions and nuclear disarmament. The subtheme this year will be “The Social and Economic Costs of the Nuclear Weapons Buildup”. Particular attention will be given to the destructive effect of excessive weapons spending on human needs.  Attendees should sign up for one Breakout in the first set (3 pm) and one in the second set (4:30 pm).





1:00 pm Welcome and Tasks of the Day – Jonathan King:


1:05 pm Threats (Susan Mirsky, Chair):

  • Ukraine, Taiwan and North Korea – Phyllis Bennis (Institute for Policy Studies)
  • Dangers of First Use – Elaine Scarry (Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security);
  • Nuclear Winter -Alan Robock (Rutgers University);
  • Extraordinary Costs of Nuclear Weapons Upgrades – William Hartung (Quincy Institute).

2:00 pm Social and Economic Costs of the Nuclear Weapons Buildup (Rosemary Kean, Chair):

  • Poverty as a Byproduct of the War Economy- Shailly Gupta Barnes (Kairos Center and Poor Peoples Campaign);
  • Starving Public Health -Deborah Burger (National Nurses United);
  • Unmet Housing Needs – MA State Rep Mike Connolly;
  • Weapons Budgets Undermined the Pandemic Response- Jonathan King (MIT & Fund Healthcare not Warfare).

2:55 pm Break

3:05 pm  First Set of Breakouts (See Details)




L to R, top to bottom: Phyllis Bennis, Elaine Scarry, Alan Robock, William Hartung



L to R, top to bottom: Shailly Gupta Barnes, Deborah Burger, Mike Connolly, Jonathan King




4:00 pm Keynote Addresses

  • Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester
  • Jeremy Corbyn (invited)
  • Representative Ayanna Pressley (Invited)

4:30 pm Second Set of Breakouts (See Details)

5:30 pm  Opportunities for Progress (Marcy Winograd, Chair)

  • Poor People’s Campaign – Rev. Liz Theoharis;
  • Mobilizing Nurses and Frontline Health Workers  -Sandy Eaton (Mass Nurses and MassCARE);
  • Broadening our Reach- Medea Benjamin (CodePINK).
  • Next Steps -Cole Harrison (MAPA),

6:00  pm Adjourn




Archbishop John Wester



L to R, top to bottom: Liz Theoharis, Sandy Eaton, Medea Benjamin, Cole Harrison




Breakouts Details: Two sets, allowing participation in two Breakouts:


Breakouts Group I (3:05 – 4:00 pm):


Advancing Back from the Brink -Dr. Joseph McCabe (GBPSR); Dr. Ira Helfand (PSR);Perter Wilk (Back from the Brink). Reporter Susan Entin.

Resisting a New Cold War with China: John Ratliff (Mass Peace Action); Joseph Gerson (Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security); Wei Yu (CodePINK); Phyllis Bennis (IPS). Reporter-Steve Gallant

Cutting Budgets for Nuclear Weapons– David Borris (CAPA); Paul Shannon (AFSC); Savannah Wooten (People over the Pentagon); Sayre Sheldon (WAND); William Hartung (Quincy Institute). Reporter-Louise Coleman

Addressing the Housing Crises: Build Homes Not Bombs: Jodie Evans (CodePINK); Michael Kane (Alliance of HUD Tenants); Savina Martin (Mass Poor Peoples Campaign); State Rep Mike Connolly; Sr. Linda Bessom ( Pax Christi). Reporter Drew King.

No Wars No Warming: Vernon Walker (CREW-350MA); Ed Aguilar (CPA-PA); Rosalie Anders (MAPA); Teddy Ogborn (CodePINK); Giselle Herzfeld (Rocky Mt Flats Peace Center). Reporter-Pat Hynes

Promoting ND in the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Progressive Organizations – Elaine Scarry (CPDCS); Jackie Cabasso (Mayors for Peace); Vicki Elson (Nuclear Bsn-US); Russell Freedman (PDA); Cherrill Spencer (WILPF); Reporter-Cynthia MacBain.

Supporting Veterans: Bonnie Gorman (Veterans for Peace and MAPA); Gerry Condon (Veterans for Peace); Roger Quindell (WI Vets for Peace); Jim Anderson (PANYS). Reporter-Mike Van Elzakker

Contacting Young People Advocating for Peace. Alex Neilly (Northeastern University); Alan Robock (Rutgers U.) Christian Ciobanu (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation); Roni Zahavi-Brunner (PANYS); Calla Walsh (MAPA). Reporter Merri Ansara


Breakouts Group II (4:30 – 5:30 pm):


Interplay of Racism and Militarism at Home and Abroad: Rosemary Kean (MAPA) ; Liz Bejjalieh (CAPA); Vaughn Goodwin (MA PPC); Jeff Klein (Dorchester People for Peace). Reporter –Bonnie Gorman

Promoting the TPNW within the US – Timmon Wallis (Nuclear Ban -US); Dave Pack (Peace Action Kansas City); Sally Jones (PANYS); Molly McGinity (IPPNW); Ray Acheson (WILPF). Reporter Kathy Malley-Morrison

Promoting Peace Between the Koreas – Colleen Moore (Women Across the DMZ); Mike van Elzakker  (MAPA); Seung Hee Jeon(New England Koreans for Peace); Jeffrey Lewis (Middlebury Institute) Reporter-Joseph Gerson

Pressing for Negotiations in Ukraine – Marcy Winograd (CODEPINK); Susan Mirsky (MAPA); Phyllis Bennis (IPS); Cole Harrison (MAPA) Frances Jeffries (Rotary). Reporter- Danaka Katovich

Divestment and Direct Action focused on the Nuclear Weapons industry – David Swanson & Greta Zarro (World Beyond War); Rev. Paul Dordal (PA); Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb); Shea Lebow (CodePINK); Bill Glassmire (Corvallis Divests from War). Reporter- Paul Shannon.

Working with Nurses, Public Health Professionals and Healthcare Workers -Fund Healthcare not Warfare. Dr. Bob Gould (APHA); Sandy Eaton (MassCARE); Anne Cheney (APHA Peace Caucus); Martin Fleck (PSR); Cate Henning (MAPA). Reporter- Peter Bergel

Campus Education and Organizing- Invest in Minds not Missiles. Prof. Bob Redwine (MIT); Margaret Engel (PANYS), CAPA Student; Luissa Vahedi (Am Public Health Assn); Reporter-Steve Slaner.

Promoting Peace in Municipal and State Legislatures; MA State Rep Carol Doherty; Sen. Jamie Eldridge (Mass Legislature); Tara Currie (Brooklyn for Peace ); Dennis Carlone (Cambridge City Council); Reporter Cherrill Spencer.

Engaging Communities of Faith /Promoting Pope Francis’ Encyclical -Mike Moran (Pax Christi); Keith Harvey (AFSC)  Sofia Wollman (Peace Action Maine); John Bach (Cambridge Quakers). Reporter- Peter Metz 


 Program Committee`(Institutions for affiliation only); David Borris (Chicago Area Peace Action); Joe Gerson (CPDCS); Dr. Bob Gould (APHA &PSR); Sandy Eaton (Mass Nurses & MasssCARE); Cole Harrison; (MAPA)  William Hartung (Quincy Institute); Jonathan King (MAPA & MIT); Susan Mirsky (MAPA); Bob Redwine (MIT); Paul Shannon (AFSC); Martha Speiss (Peace Action Maine); Trish Weinmann (MIT); Marcy Winograd (CodePINK).


Organizational Co-Sponsors: MIT Faculty Newsletter; MIT Radius; Massachusetts Peace Action; Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security; Chicago Area Peace Action; CodePINK;  Institute for People’s Engagement.