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Grzelak and Reykowski Receive Morton Deutsch Awards

The 2008 recipients for the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice are two social scientists from Poland, who played key roles during the 1989 Polish Roundtable Negotiations. Dr. Janusz Grzelak was part of the negotiation team of the solidarity movement, and Dr. Janusz Reykowski negotiated on behalf of the communist regime at that time.

The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Columbia University has given annual awards in the name of Morton Deutsch, the eminent social psychologist and founder of the ICCCR, since 2005. The awards honor an effective scholar-practitioner in the field of social justice and a student paper on social justice. One goal of the awards is to draw attention to and elevate the need for giving social justice a more prominent place in the lives of all. The 2008 recipients for the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice are two social scientists from Poland, who played key roles during the 1989 Polish Roundtable Negotiations. Dr. Janusz Grzelak was part of the negotiation team of the solidarity movement, and Dr.  Janusz Reykowski negotiated on behalf of the communist regime at that time. The negotiations process that took place in Poland, demonstrated to the world that social change and social justice can be achieved by peaceful means, even among parties caught in deep political and ideological antagonism.

Janusz Grzelak, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Warsaw University and serves as the Dean of Psychology Faculty. He is considered to be one of the most respectable authorities of Polish psychology. As a negotiation expert, he served as an advisor in the Polish government and as an advisor and liaison officer during the Solidarity early talks in 1981. His membership included the underground Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Poland during the process of socioeconomic and political transformation process and the Citizens' Committee.  He is co-founder and was the first president of the Polish Society of Social Psychology. In addition he served as vice-chairperson of the Education and Science sub-table and also negotiation advisor. As deputy minister, he was responsible for higher education in the first post-communist Polish government. His scientific achievements during two decades include exploration of vast areas of social interdependence, conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation and interpersonal and social control. Janusz Grzelak was awarded with "Polonia Restituta" Order, a highly prestigious state honor in Poland given in peace time awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution to state transformations. He has been invited to lecture at a number of universities including University of Michigan, and at an initiative of Morton Deutsch at Columbia University. He was invited as a visiting professor to number of universities: Vienna (Austria), Newark (Delaware), Norfolk (Virginia), Tillburg (Netherlands).

Janusz Reykowski, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at the Polish Academy of Science, co founder and Chairman of the Academic Council of the Warsaw School of Social Psychology. He is a member of the Academia Europea, served as a President of the Polish Psychological Association and is Honorary Member of this Association as well as Honorary Member of the Polish Society of Social Psychology. He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science at Stanford and was awarded by the International Society of Political Psychology the Sanford Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Political Psychology. He was elected a President of this Society. In the first part of his career he conducted extensive research on stress and emotions, and later on prosocial behavior and altruism – he participated in the international research program (Altruistic Personality project) studying rescuers of Jew during Nazi occupation of Europe.  In the last two decades his research has focused on political psychology, specifically on solving political conflicts and on the development of democratic attitudes. This line of interest was expressed in practice, as he contributed to the democratic transition in Poland, being one of the chief negotiators for the Polish government in the critical Round Table talks. Through the years he published 10 books and over hundred of articles and chapters (in various languages). Also, he was invited as a visiting professor to number of universities in US (University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of California Irvine), in Germany  (in Berlin, in Leipzig), in Russia (Moscow).

Both recipients will be honored at an awards reception on Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 at the Teachers College in Columbia University. For more information about the awards, see http://www.tc.columbia.edu/icccr/practiceCurrent2.html.