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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forum: Spring 2012

The World Issues Forums occur weekly on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:20pm each quarter.

All events are free and everyone is welcome. See our college calendar to view this schedule by date, where the World Issues Forum events are listed in red.


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Co-sponsors include Anthropology, Canadian American Studies, Center for Law, Diversity & Justice, Communication, Guatemala Human Rights Commission in Washington DC, Journalism, Political Science, Progressive Christian Student Club, Reporters without Borders, Social Issues Resource Center, Womenís Studies, Veterans for Peace, Voices for Middle East Peace , Mark Lehman, Community members.


Spring 2012 Schedule
Date & Time Lecture

Wed 4/4

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"State of the Unions: The Labor Movement under Attack in North America"


Thomas Collombat, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Integration and Globalization at the Universit' du Quebec, Visiting Professor in Quebec Studies The Center for Canadian- American Studies, WWU


The economic and financial crisis experienced since 2008 has shed new light on the difficulties faced by the labor movement since the early 1980s. Unions have been confronted by three main challenges: a loss of bargaining power towards the employers; a sometimes dramatic decrease of membership; and a crisis of their political project with the broader crisis of progressive politics in industrialized economies. This presentation will map the current situation of the labor movement in North America by focusing on attacks from governments and businesses in the last few years. It will show how the economic crisis represents both a challenge and an opportunity for organized labor to react and rebuild itself in this era of economic and political uncertainty.

Wed 4/11

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Sustainable Cacao Farming in Ecuador"

Felipe Grepa, Ecuadoran farmer, delegate of the Kallari Association of cacao growers, experienced chocolatier.


Chocolate lovers: enjoy the rich, regional tastes of Ecuadoran cacao beans as you gain familiarity with the production of chocolate. Felipe Grefa, a farmer and defender of Ecuadoran people's rights, will address the economic and political importance of defending their raw materials, especially cacao beans. His commitment to human rights led him to collaborate with members of the Kichwa communities in producing cacao with the dream that†chocolate would be recognized internationally as an Ecuadoran product, and that the profits would not remain in the hands of others, but in the hands of the true Amazonian cacao farmers.

Wed 4/18

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Embracing Israel/Palestine - A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East"

Michael Lerner, Rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley; Editor of Tikkun, a Jewish magazine, Chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives


Rabbi Lerner will examine how the mutual demonization and discounting of each sideís legitimate needs drives the antagonism and explore the underlying psychological dynamics fueling the seeming intransigence on both sides. He argues that additional peace talks would be "virtually pointless" unless they are preceded and accompanied by a sustained campaign to change the way each side demeans and dehumanizes the other. Lerner's approach focuses on the pernicious effects of post-traumatic stress among Israelis and Palestinians. He takes inspiration from past movements to change public consciousness and argues that a fundamental transformation in consciousness is needed. How can we in the West help shape a global transformation in consciousness (and changes in foreign and domestic policies) that is needed to provide security, justice, and mutual compassion necessary for a lasting peace?

Wed 4/25

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Militarization, Human Rights and Threats to Justice in Guatemala"

Iduvina Hernandez, Guatemalan activist, journalist and human rights defender


Since the election of General Otto Perez Molina to the presidency in Guatemala, the country has seen disturbing trends toward re-militarization and repression of social movements. Iduvina Hernndez, a Guatemalan journalist and human rights defender, will discuss the impact of powerful retired military officers implicated in crimes against humanity on national security policy as well as the recent moves to criminalize indigenous activists defending their right to their ancestral lands.

Thurs 4/26

4:00 pm

ES 100



"The Deadly Connection: Endless War and Economic Crisis"

Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space &Long-time Member of Veterans for Peace


Having just returned from demonstrations in South Korea protesting the construction of a huge US Navy base on Jeju Island, Bruce Gagnon will speak on U.S. expanding militarism, as well as the impact of militarism on the economic crisis here at home; and the need to promote the conversion of the military industrial complex to sustainable production if we hope to have the slightest impact on climate change. These and similar issues are contained in his book Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire. (Sponsor: Veterans for Peace)

Mon 4/30


Comm 105, WWU



St. James Presbyterian Church




"We refuse to be enemies"

Daoud Nassar, Palestinian Christian

Mark Braverman, American Jew


The speakers will discuss the "Tent of all Nations", located on a farm outside Bethlehem, that serves as an educational and cultural center to build bridges between people of all nations. ( Sponsor: Progressive Christian Student Club)


Wed 5/2

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



Comm 120



"Occupy the Media! Journalism for a world in crisis"

Robert Hackett, Ph.D School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, BC


What kind(s) of journalism are appropriate to help global society address our era's fundamental challenges ñ of environment and climate, conflict and governance, human rights and mass migrations, globalized poverty and inequality ñ challenges so interlinked and profound that they constitute a crisis of global civilization? Criticisms of hegemonic (American) journalism abound ñ it legitimizes unjust power, trivializes public discourse, foments division and conflict. This talk moves beyond the critiques to outline positive alternatives, arguing for journalism as a crisis discipline, and paying particular attention to the contested concept of journalistic objectivity.


"Peace Journalism: A new approach to reporting conflict"

4:00pm, Communications Rm 120

Drawing on the field of conflict analysis, especially the work of Johan Galtung, Peace Journalism has emerged as a coherent "challenger" paradigm since the late 1990s. It purports to offer both a critique of conventional conflict coverage (which PJ proponents consider tantamount to conflict-escalating war journalism), and a toolkit of practical alternatives. Drawing from Hackett's recent co-edited book, Expanding Peace Journalism, this talk sketches some basic concepts of PJ, as well as critiques of it, and directions for future research and practice.

Mon 5/7

12:00 - 1:20pm

ES 100



"Arab Spring--The Egyptian Revolution"

Ellis Goldberg, Ph.D Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington specializing in the study of Middle Eastern politics.


The massive demonstrations that toppled Hosni Mubarak from the Egyptian presidency and the complicated and sometimes violent political situation in the year since then fit with difficulty into our standard accounts of both revolution and democratization. Ellis Goldberg, who spent the first six months of 2011 in Cairo, will discuss why we should think of these events as revolutionary and how they compare to the classic case of the French revolution.† He will also discuss the nature of revolutionary upheaval in terms of moral emotions rather than either rational calculation or irrational feelings.

Wed 5/9

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Borders, Boundaries and Frontiers in the 21st Century"

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Ph.D Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, BC Jean Monnet Chair in European Urban and Border Region Policy


From Hadrianís wall in Roman England and the Great Wall of China, to walls on the U.S. / Mexico border as well as in Jerusalem, Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly asks why build walls and how human communities border themselves. He will discuss what 'borders,' 'borderlands,' 'boundaries' and 'frontiers' are, and how these words help us understand contemporary issues such as the US/Mexico wall, the Canada/US Beyond the Border dialogue, or the European Schengen Agreement and the idea of a "fortress Europe". Taking examples from around the world, this presentation asks if borders are vanishing and what are new ways to understand borders.

Wed 5/16

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



Biology 212



"The Sikh Diaspora and its Long Distance Nationalism in twenty first Century"

Harpreet Kaur, Lecturer and Assistant Director Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusion, Gur Nanak Dev University, India. Fulbright-Nehru Post Doctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley


This presentation will reconstruct the Sikh diaspora in North America to order to understand its linkages with the homeland in the twentieth century. In particular, it will address the impact of the right of People's Representation (Amendment) Bill 2010 on the Sikh diaspora. With this act, the Indian state has granted the right to vote to non-resident Indians. What might be the response of the local Sikh community to this act?


Canadian American Border Colloquium: "No Man's Land? A Study of Exclusion along Indo-Pak border" - 3:00-4:30 Biology 212

This talk will present the research undertaken in ten villages in the two border districts of Indian Punjab: Amritsar and Ferozepur. After interviewing 500 people, the study reveals the state of exclusion of the residents of border areas. When compared to the rest of Punjab, the border villages lag behind economically and the reason is war or a war like situation on the border. The militarization of the border, due to denial of free access to the agricultural lands for farmers, has caused a crisis of livelihood.


Wed 5/23

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium



"Is internet a vector of freedom or an instrument of repression? Lessons from the Arab Spring, China, Mexico, the USA."

Delphine Halgand, Washington DC Director of Reporters without Borders


The fight for online freedom of expression is more essential than ever. The Arab Spring has clearly shown that the Internet is a vehicle for freedom. In countries where the traditional media are controlled by the government, the only independent news and information are to be found on the Internet, which has become a forum for discussion and a refuge for those who want to express their views freely.†However, governments are realizing this and are trying to control the Internet and stepping up surveillance of Internet users. Netizens are being targeted by government reprisals. More than 120 of them are currently detained for expressing their views freely online, mainly in China, Iran and Vietnam.



Speaker Biographies


Thomas Collombat, Visiting Professor of Quebec Studies earned his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2011 from Carleton Univeesity with an emphasis on labor movements in the Americas and the social and political dimensions of trade unionism in Quebec. Dr. Collombat is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Integration and Globalization at the Universit du Quebec Montreal where he is investigating foreign policy and the American labor movement. Dr. Collombat's research focuses on the international dimensions of the labor movement, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. While at Western, he will teach a course on Quebec and North American labor politics, which will also cover topics including Quebec Political Economy (with focus on Quebec-North America trade and business relations), Quebec-United States Relations, and Quebec Politics and Government.

Felipe Grepa is from a humble Kichwa farmer family, in the Tena-Napo region of Ecuador.† He graduated with a degree in Science Education. From an early age Felipe participated in many social organizations, such as CONAKINO, which is an organization that promotes bilingual and cultural education in Ecuador. He held many important roles in the Kichwa community as a professor and director of Bilingual Intercultural Education. After finishing college Grefa aligned himself with defending the rights of the Ecuadorian people and the raw materials that are grown in the region. He began collaborating with other members of the Kichwa communities also producing cacao. His dream was that the chocolate would be recognized internationally as an Ecuadorian product and the profits would not remain in the hands of others, but in the hands of the true Amazonian cacao farmers.

Rabbi Michael Lerner was mentored by Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley in 1972 and a Ph.D. in social/clinical psychology from Berkeley's Wright Institute in 1977. He serves as director of the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, and he has served as dean of the Graduate School of Psychology at New College of California and founder of Beyt Midrash le'Shalom in Jerusalem, Israel.


He received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Zalman Schacther-Shalomi and now serves as rabbi of Beyt Tikkun in Berkeley, California; this is a Jewish Renewal synagogue that is post-denominational and committed to an emancipatory and love-oriented Judaism. Rabbi Lerner is a member of the Board of Rabbis of Northern California and of the Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal (Ohalah).


Lerner is the co-founder of Tikkun magazine and serves as the editor of Tikkun's print and online magazine ( He has received numerous awards, including the Martin Luther King, Jr./Mahatma Gandhi Award, the PEN Oakland Award, and the Champion of Forgiveness Award. He was identified by Utne Reader as one of America's 100 most significant visionaries and by Newsweek as one of America's most influential rabbis. He is also the chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives ( and the author of eleven books including Jewish Renewal, The Politics of Meaning, The Socialism of Fools: Anti-Semitism on the Left, Spirit Matters, Jews and Blacks (with Cornel West), and The Left Hand of God. He welcomes communication from people who have completed reading this book at

Iduvina Estalinova Hernndez Batres is an activist and human rights defender who has tirelessly fought for human rights and justice in her native Guatemala. She was born in Guatemala City, where she received an education which emphasized a spirit of service to humanity. That culture, and examples within her family, led to her decision to work for a change in Guatemala. In the late 1970's Iduvina was actively involved in student movement at the University of San Carlos, where she was studying Psychology, at a time of extreme violence and repression toward that group. In 1984, she was forced into exile in Mexico after the death of her colleague. In Mexico, she worked as a journalist, a career she continued when she returned to Guatemala. Iduvina also studied Professionalism in Journalism at the Central American Journalism Program at Florida International University.


After the signing of the Peace Accords in Guatemala in 1996, Iduvina worked on a project of conflict transformation. Then, in 1999 she began to work with the Myrna Mack Foundation and with the Commission on Historical Clarification. She is currently the Director of the Association for the Study and Promotion of Security in Democracy, a non-governmental organization that works to improve security, reduce impunity, and improve the democratic process in Guatemala. She has extensively studied the reform of the Guatemalan intelligence services, which were responsible for many human rights abuses during the civil war. She is also a frequent contributor to the online news agency Plaza Publica. Iduvina has received threats of violence due to the nature of her work, but continues to advocate for accountability and justice in her country.

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992. Between 1983-1998, Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and has worked on space issues for 25 years. In 1987 he organized the largest peace protest in Florida history when over 5,000 people marched on Cape Canaveral in opposition to the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile.


He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997) that drew enormous support and media coverage around the world and was featured on the TV program 60 Minutes. Project Censored (from Sonoma State University, CA) named a story on space weaponization by Bruce as the 8th Most Censored story in 1999. Again in 2005, Project Censored picked an article on space issues by Bruce as the 16th most censored story of the year.


Bruce has traveled to and spoken in England, Germany, Mexico, Canada, France, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Australia, Scotland, Wales, Greece, India, and throughout the U.S. He has also spoken on many college campuses including: Loyola University, Drake University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Cal Poly State University, University of Pittsburgh, California Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, University of Alaska Anchorage, Marquette University, Brown University, Hunter College, University of Arkansas, University of Florida, University of Maine, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia), and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (India).


In 2003, Bruce was appointed by Dr. Helen Caldicott as a Senior Fellow at her Nuclear Policy Research Institute. Bruce has been featured by artist Robert Shetterly in his collection of portraits and quotes entitled Americans Who Tell the Truth. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award. Bruce has led campaigns in Gainesville, Florida and Brunswick, Maine around civil liberties and was successful in getting the Alachua County (FL) Commission to pass a resolution opposing the Patriot Act.

Daoud Nassar is a native of Bethlehem, Palestine. Daoud is a Palestinian Christian, fluent in Arabic, German and English, with a Degree in Biblical Studies from a Bible School in Austria, a BA Degree in Business from Bethlehem University, and a Degree in Tourism Management from Bielefeld University in Germany. Annually, nearly 2,000 international tourists visit the Nassar family's ancestral land - a 100-acre hilltop site situated between Bethlehem and Hebron in the West Bank. The attraction is the Tent of Nations, an open and free enclave that serves as an educational and cultural center for local Palestinians and Israelis, including the international visitors. Tent of Nations also offers summer camps for Arab and Israeli youth so that through shared activities they may learn about one another and how they share a common history.

Mark Braverman's roots are in the Holy Land - his grandfather, a fifth generation Palestinian Jew, was born in Jerusalem, emigrating the U.S. as a young man. Growing up in the United States, Braverman was reared in the Jewish tradition, studying Bible, Hebrew literature, and Jewish history. Trained in clinical psychology and crisis management, Braverman devoted his professional career to working with groups and individuals undergoing traumatic stress. Returning to the Holy Land in 2006, he was transformed by witnessing the occupation of Palestine and by encounters with peace activists and civil society leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities. Since then, Braverman has devoted himself full-time to the Israel/Palestine conflict. In his work he focuses on the role of religious beliefs and theology in the struggle for peace and the function and future of interfaith relations. He is a charter member of American Jews for a Just Peace. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of†Friends of Tent of Nations North America, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Palestinian land rights and peaceful coexistence in historic Palestine. He serves on the Board of Directors of Israeli Committee against House Demolitions-USA, the advisory committee of Friends of Sabeel North America, and the advisory council of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. He has recently been appointed Consultant for Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding. He is the author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land

Robert Hackett, Ph.D has taught in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University since 1984. Since 1993, he has co-directed NewsWatch Canada, a news media monitoring project based at SFU. Prof. Hackett is on the editorial board of Journalism Studies and other academic journals. He has conducted numerous media interviews and public talks, written policy briefs, and has helped to found several community-based media action and education initiatives, including and Vancouver's annual Media Democracy Day.


He has written and co-authored numerous papers and chapters on media and politics, as well as several books, including:

a.. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, Jake Lynch and Robert A. Hackett (eds), Expanding Peace Journalism: Critical and Comparative Approaches (Sydney University Press, 2011).

b.. Robert A. Hackett and William K. Carroll, Remaking media: The struggle to democratize public communication (London & New York: Routledge, 2006).

c.. Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles (co-edited with Yuezhi Zhao) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

d.. The Missing News: Filters and Blind Spots in Canada's Press (with Richard Gruneau and Donald Gutstein, Timothy A. Gibson and NewsWatch Canada) (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives/Garamond Press, 2000)

e.. Robert A. Hackett and Yuezhi Zhao, Sustaining democracy? Journalism and the politics of objectivity (Toronto: Broadview Press [orig. Garamond], 1998).

f.. News and Dissent: The Press and the Politics of Peace in Canada (Ablex, 1991).


His research interests have included media activism, democratic press and broadcasting reform, journalism studies, news as ideological discourse, media monitoring, media and social movements, war and media.

Ellis Goldberg, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1983) is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. He specializes in the study of Middle Eastern politics. From 1995-1999 he chaired the Middle East Center of the Jackson School of International Studies. His first book, Tinker, Tailor and Textile Worker (University of California Press, 1986), deals with the Egyptian labor movement. His most recent book is Trade, Reputation and Child Labor in 20th Century Egypt (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2004). Other publications include work on Muslim political movements in Islam, the origins of the post-colonial trade union movement in Egypt, and human rights. From 2007-2008, Prof. Goldberg was a visiting research fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Goldbergís teaching interests include comparative politics, Middle East politics, and international political economy.

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Ph.D, studied Law and Political Science at Paris ñ Sorbonne, France, and took his PhD in Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame, US, and is now an Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where he is Jean Monnet Chair in European Urban and Border Region Policy and Director of the European Union Centre for Excellence. He is the editor of the Journal of Borderland Studies. Author of many articles and chapters, and books and special issues of scholarly journals in urban and border studies, his recent publications include Borderlands (2007), and Local Government in a Global World (2010). Please find more on Brunet-Jailly at

Harpreet Mangat Kaur, Lecturer and Assistant Director Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusion, Gur Nanak Dev University. Fellowship-Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Delphine Halgand, Washington DC Director, Reporters Without Borders. In Washington, DC since December 2011, Delphine runs the US activities for the organization and advocates for journalists, bloggers and media rights worldwide. Previously, she worked for two years as a Press attachÈ in charge of the outreach at the French Embassy in Washington DC. Since graduating from Sciences Po Paris with a M.A. in Journalism, Delphine has been working as an economic journalist for various French media, focusing mainly on international politics and macroeconomic issues. Reporters Without Borders was created in 1985 to defend journalists and media rights worldwide. It is a non-profit organization based in Paris, with more than 150 correspondents on the ground and a dozen offices abroad, including in Washington D.C.





Fairhaven College is grateful to our valued co-sponsors for the World Issues Forum:




Shirley Osterhaus is the Coordinator of the World Issues Forums:

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