Lecture Series
2013 - 2014

All events are free and everyone is welcome.
Information: call 650-2309 or visit our website:


Jhon Jairo Castro

“No Longer Shackled by Chains but by our Economic Conditions: The struggle for Trade, Labor & Racial Justice in Colombia’s Ports”

Jhon Jairo Castro, President of the Buenaventura chapter of the Portworkers Union in Colombia

Wednesday, October 9th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

“On tour with Witness for Peace, Jhon Jairo Castro will share his experience as an Afro-Colombian labor leader in one of the deadliest countries in the world to exercise labor rights. Jhon Jairo has worked as a longshoreman and labor rights organizer for over eleven years, leading various actions in Colombia’s principle port city of Buenaventura. A voice from the port, through which 60 percent of Colombian imports and exports pass, is especially significant in the wake of the approval of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Jhon Jairo will share what privatization and free trade have meant for Buenaventura’s Afro-Colombian community, who make up nearly 90% of the city’s population.”.

Jakatae Jayo

“Economic adaptation, identity preservation - a Lahu Na Shehleh case"

Wednesday, October 16th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Jakatae Jayo, Lahu coffee farmer and filmmaker from Thailand

The Lahu Shehleh have faced serious challenges to their identity and way of life in recent decades. Jakatae Jayo will discuss the challenges of adapting to meet the demands of political and economic policies which restrict traditional practices. This talk will include discussion of grassroots efforts to develop sustainable economic programs, and to promote and maintain Lahu Shehleh ethnic identity, focusing on projects in which Mr. Jayo has been engaged over the past two decades.

Ebenezer Obadare

"Paper Truths and Ersatz Lives: Authenticity and Fakery in an African Transnational Visa Economy”

Wednesday, October 23rd
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Ebenezer Obadare, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas

“The subject of my presentation is the Nigerian transnational visa economy. This is the motley of practices, private and institutional actors, institutions and state and para-state agents involved in the production of alternative/official travel documentation for clients who hail from Nigeria. As a contribution to the scholarship on ‘globalization from below’, I demonstrate how those who work within this economy become participants in the transnational process by producing agents who eventually become transnational migrants. Furthermore, I situate the workings of the visa economy within a larger economy of falsification. I argue that the ‘visa economy’ is a fallout of a combination of factors: the dis-embedding of the state from ordinary people’s lives, the freeze in social mobility as a result of mass unemployment, and the ‘appetite for Elsewhere’ partly fostered by the scarcity of opportunities for material reproduction and professional enhancement.”

Martin Bunton

“A History of Partition: the Gordian Knot of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Wednesday, October 30th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Martin Bunton, Professor of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, Director, University of Washington Center for Human Rights

"Over the last 120 years the evolving Palestinian–Israeli conflict has had many facets, but none has been as pressing and tangible as the problem of sharing the land. This presentation focuses squarely on the constant but evolving challenge of partitioning a relatively small but geographically varied strip of land sitting between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Organised chronologically, it reflects on the failure of successive attempts to establish separate independent states that can satisfy the claims of both Jewish and Palestinian nationalism to the same territorial space."


Jose Antonio Lucero

“Frictions of Conversion and Contention: Religion and Activism in the Tohono O’odham Borderlands”

Wednesday, November 6th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Jose Antonio Lucero, Hanauer Honors Professor, Associate Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Washington

“Due to US border policies that funnel migrants through the harsh Arizona desert, thousands of people have crossed and died on Tohono O’odham lands. Mike Wilson, a tribal member and activist, leaves water in the desert for migrants, against the wishes of his tribal council and the United States Border Patrol. To the surprise of many, in the 1980s Wilson was a member of the US Army Special Forces stationed in El Salvador. How did a Green Beret become an outspoken human rights activist? Professor Lucero argues that religion provided the “friction” that both enabled and constrained his activism.”

Yehuda Shual

“Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories”

Wednesday, November 13th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Yehuda Shaul, Executive director of Breaking the Silence, one of Israel’s internationally lauded NGOs

"Our story is how an ordinary good boy encounters the circumstances in Hebron and what he does there. Wanting people to understand what the occupation is beyond newspaper headlines, we want to reflect it through a soldier's eyes: how your senses are gradually dulled, how you cross red lines, what the moral cost is. The soldiers in OUR HARSH LOGIC have gone on the record with their personal experiences to break what they call a conspiracy of silence across Israeli society and to fulfill a moral obligation. Speaking with undeniable authority, they have made a supremely significant contribution to one of the world’s most vexed and intractable conflicts."

Hedrick Smith

“Who Stole the American Dream?”

Tuesday, November 19th
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Fraser Hall

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent

Speaking about his current best-selling book, "WHO Stole the American Dream?, Hedrick Smith will describe how America moved from an era of widely shared power and effective bipartisan politics in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, to today's polarized politics, starkly unequal democracy, gaping financial inequalities, with a middle class and a national economy – stuck in a rut. Smith breaks with the conventional explanation that the demise of America’s middle class was caused solely by market forces, globalization and new technologies. He sees a political power shift in Washington and wedge economics in the private sector as the main causes, and he lays out an agenda for systemic reforms and political changes based on a revival of grass roots civic activism.”

Jeremiah "Jay" Julius

“Kwel Hoy: We Draw the Line”

Wednesday, November 20th
12:00 pm (noon) -1:20 pm
Fairhaven College Auditorium

Jeremiah “Jay” Julius, Member of Lummi Nation Tribal Council and Fisherman

Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is a sacred landscape in NW Washington that has deep spiritual and cultural significance to the people of the Lummi Nation. Overlooking the world-famous San Juan Islands, it includes ancient reef-net sites and a 3,500 year-old village site. The Hereditary Chief of the Lummi Nation, tsilixw (Bill James), describes it as the “home of the Ancient Ones.” Coal interests plan to construct North America's largest coal export terminal on this site. Jay Julius will address the impacts a proposed coal terminal would have on the environment, treaty fishing rights and spiritual values; and share the Lummi response of a Totem Pole Journey to raise awareness and opposition to a coal terminal.