Summers of Love: The Years of Protest
Joint Crisis Committee: The Johnson Administration
By 1964, the television set had become the center of every American household, and while one channel showed footage of the ongoing war in Vietnam, another debuted a shaggy hair band from Liverpool, ushering in the age of Beatlemania. It seems the American public is fighting more than one “living room war,” while the Johnson Administration escalates the war in Vietnam and social unrest rages in the United States, the new counterculture of love, drugs, and rock’n’roll is fueling new grassroots anti-war movements. In the age of the progressive New Left, civil rights protests and student rallies fight for legitimacy through the television screen. Liberal leaders from across the nation must scramble to unite and form a cohesive movement, while the Johnson Administration struggles to maintain public trust. With “the establishment” on one side and beatnik-turned-hippie youth on the other, how will the United States ever make it through the Summer of Love?
The Joint Crisis Committee is very different from the normal MUN experience. JCC consists of two independently running subcommittees whose decisions and actions immediately affect the crisis at hand, thus providing for an experience like no other. If the bloc as a whole is to succeed, the delegates must compromise, negotiate, and persevere in a battle of diplomatic wit; after all, there is a nemesis waiting, biding its time.
My name is Sarah Forland and I’m extremely excited to serve as your Crisis Director for the joint crisis committee, Summers of Love: The Years of Protest. This is my eighth year being involved with model United Nations, and my fourth year with the International Relations Club here at the University of Alabama, where I also serve as Head Delegate, leading our team to collegiate conferences around the world. I’ve served on ALMUN staff for two years in a row, and last year I was Under Secretary General of Crisis Committees, and I’m excited to try my hand at being Crisis Director this year.
Here at UA, I am a senior double majoring in International Studies and a self-designed Interdisciplinary Studies with a depth focus on the relationship between media and politics. I also minored in French, spending last semester living abroad in a small town outside Paris, France. (Something you probably shouldn’t ask about unless you want to hear me go on for hours!). My current post-grad plans include “winging it,” which right now I’m hoping means human rights advocacy opportunities or political campaign advising.
This committee is very near to my heart as it involves many things that I love: grassroots political activism, human rights, those shaggy hair Brits that ushered in Beatlemania, and other 1960s pop-culture. The 1960s was a decade of great change for the United States both in the domestic and international arenas. Our staff has planned many exciting and engaging crises for delegates, that discuss peace and government credibility during wartime, while also bringing back into focus the many different fights for equality of the 1960s—equality for people of color, women, LGBTQ community members, workers, and youth.
While we obviously can not cover every event of these complex and explosive years, we hope to highlight some events that may encourage you, challenge you, or inspire in today’s world where political efficacy is your strongest tool for progress. I want to show the validity of young minds and of grassroot movements, in a time when people feel helpless on all fronts, to show that perseverance in the fight for justice will pay off, to show that media and culture are tools, platforms for these movements, not just something to be belittled, and that the overarching message is that of love (again it is the 60s).
Throughout the conference, delegates will handle dynamic crises that involve working together within each committee and working cross-committee as well, as real change can not be made on the actions of one committee alone. While this committee staff is ready to bring you all the excitement of the 1960s— cue surprise guest appearances by anyone from Mick Jagger to Twiggy to Andy Warhol—delegates are expected to be well prepared to debate topics and movements that will go on to forever change the United States’ domestic and foreign policy. Welcome to the summers of love, get ready to shake things up!
Peace and love,
Crisis Director: Sarah Forland
International Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies with a depth focus on Media and Politics
Assistant Crisis Director: Vanessa Vaughn
Chair: Daniel Burnham
Co-Chair: Katelin Faherty
Committee Staff: Riley LoCurto, Emma Huffman, Lafaijah (Bre) Layton