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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC club aims to make 2020 a war-free year across the globe

Maya Portier
Courtesy of Maya Portier

The student members of City College’s 2020 A Year Without War Club have come together to start utilizing technology in ways that can help the world, connect the club with other nations, and ultimately, stop war for the year 2020.

The club was founded in 2011 by the newly retired philosophy professor, Joseph White, who saw the frequent use of cellphones among young people as an opportunity for change.

“Joe saw students on their phones all the time and thought, ‘how can I make this a productive thing for society?’,” said Abby Carbone, secretary of the club. White sends club members links to social media pages that connect them with people and groups internationally who share the same goal: “just say ‘NO!’ to war for one year.”

The club is aiming to get all 193 nations to sign a cease-fire agreement for the year 2020.

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“This isn’t a peace agreement. This is just a contract saying there will be no war,” said club president, Maya Portier. “We want people to see what we could do with a year without war—what kind of global community can we build and what kind of issues can we solve?”

The idea for this global truce was ignited by the fact that for nearly 20 years the UN General Assembly has signed a worldwide, month-long cease-fire agreement for the Olympic Games, Portier said. It is expected that the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo will do the same, and the club is working to expand that one-month ceasefire for a whole year.

Since White founded the club, it has grown into a non-profit, international organization that City College alumni, faculty, and greater members of the Santa Barbara community are a part of. The organization operates mostly from Santa Barbara and Washington, however, there is now a 2020 AYWW Italia, which former student Lorenzo Marchetti is the ambassador of. Portier said that even though she’s sad that White is no longer at City College, she’s glad he continues to work hard for the nonprofit organization itself, primarily handling its communication with UN ambassadors.  

Through 2020 AYWW, students can also make worldly connections with individuals of high political status and enrich their knowledge of global affairs and humanity.

On Thursday, April 26, at 5:30 p.m., the club will be hosting a “Why War Teacher Colloquium,” an interdisciplinary event where City College professors in neurology, political science, philosophy, and global studies will discuss the human nature behind war and what students could do to stop it.

The club meets every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Luria Library’s Conference Room (L146). Anyone is welcome to sit in on meetings and join the club, even if their field of study is not related to political science or global studies.

“I love how inclusive we are,” said Jazmine Uribe, the volunteer coordinator. “No matter if you’re an SBCC student, faculty member, or have no connection to the school, we try to get people involved because we have such an amazing goal.”


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