Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns and Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour will participate in a town hall discussion April 10 as part of the fourth-annual Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference.

The conference will be held virtually on April 9-10, with registration ending April 5. Pricing and additional information can be found at

The town hall begins at 10 a.m. EDT. Moderated by Dr. Lawrence H. Gerstein, director of the Ball State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, the discussion will carry the conference’s overall theme of “Building a Beloved Community.” The subject is derived from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who defined the ultimate goal of the civil rights movement as the creation of the beloved community.

President Mearns said the conference is one example of how Ball State is proud to serves its neighbors and communities near and far.

“I am honored to participate in a conversation about how we can create a campus, a community, and a country that is more peaceful and more just,” he said.

Mayor Ridenour said he was glad to partner with the University to work toward a common goal.

“We must dedicate ourselves individually and collectively to live in peace, without prejudice or discrimination,” Ridenour said. “When we do, we will find that working together leads to a better and brighter community for all people.”

The two-day conference honors the legacy and dedication of Muncie-born Benjamin V. Cohen to resolving worldwide conflicts peacefully. Architect of the New Deal, he was a key figure in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt through the early days of the Cold War.

During the conference, scholars, students, and activists from all disciplines nationwide will present symposia and papers that focus on strategies, research, and recommendations related to peacemaking and peacebuilding. They will also explore how activism and research can complement each other.

Full program details can be found at the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference website.

The conference is hosted by the Ball State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies with financial support, in part, from the Benjamin V. Cohen Memorial Endowment Fund, the Community Champions Fund, MLK Dream Team, and Ball State University Multicultural Center.

Attendees for this year’s Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference and others are encouraged to use the hashtag #BSUPeace2021 in all related social media posts. For more information, follow the Ball State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.