The William Joiner Institute is named after William (Bill) Gilbert Joiner Jr., an African American veteran who served as UMass Boston's first Director of Veterans Affairs. Born in Lawrenceville Illinois in 1942, Joiner went on to serve in the Army during the volatile Vietnam era. After leaving the military, he witnessed the difficulties many Vietnam veterans were experiencing as they returned home and attempted to transition back into society. William Joiner faithfully served these veterans until his untimely death in 1981 from liver cancer. His early death is associated with exposure to Agent Orange while stationed in Guam. He was 39 years old. William Joiner is listed in the "In Memory Honor Roll" by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. (William Joiner Jr. service photo courtesy of the U.S. Army and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund)
Mission and Vision
The Institute now exists to address the social and health consequences of war through cultural programming, research, education, advocacy and outreach support globally. By serving veterans, veteran's family members, war refugees and all victims of war, we aim to create a public space where the issues of war and their human, social, political, and environmental consequences can be openly discussed, debated, and analyzed.
We promote the advancement of knowledge and critical thought in these areas and the creation of fresh and enduring solutions. Through public events and educational, cultural, and humanitarian exchanges, we hope to foster greater understanding and innovative means of addressing the consequences of war. Responding to wars in the 21st century, the Joiner Institute has begun to focus on the consequences of the Global War on Terrorism, particularly as manifested in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Staffed by veterans and others affected by wars from Vietnam through Iraq, the Institute is uniquely equipped to lead the work of promoting healing and reconciliation. We are located at the University of Massachusetts Boston on the 10th floor of the Joseph P. Healey Library.
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