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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forums/Paths to Global Justice

Winter 2009 Schedule

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

Coordinator: Shirley Osterhaus
All events are free and everyone is welcome. Information: call 650-2309


See our college calendar to view this schedule by date, where the World Issues Forum events are listed in red.


video - Subscribe to our World Issues Forum Channel to see videos as they become available.


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"For the Future: Teaching Peace, Making History in Timor-Leste"

Sierra James, MA graduate of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
Co-founder of a local non profit organization inTimor-Leste called Ba Futuru.


Wednesday, January 14, noon-1:30, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Sierra James will speak on her experiences living and working in Timor-Leste (East Timor) over the last four years. Sierra was there throughout the crisis of 2006, which continued to cause civil strife until after the President of Timor-Leste, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, was shot in February of 2008. Sierra founded and developed a non-profit organization called Ba Futuru (meaning for the future) that works to build peace across the small island nation of Timor-Leste.

Sierra James originally from the Seattle area, finished a master's degree at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York in 2005. Her research interests there included international law, human rights, conflict resolution and education in post-conflict reconstruction which took her to Timor-Leste in 2004. Sierra went to undergraduate school at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, worked for four years in Seattle, Washington D.C. and Melbourne, Australia before going to graduate school at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Passionate about oil painting, youth empowerment and conflict prevention, Sierra is the co-founder of a local non profit organization in Timor-Leste called Ba Futuru meaning "for the future". Through this organization she worked to develop a Transformative Arts and Human Rights Education (TAHRE). Sierra James is also the daughter of Frank James, Fairhaven College Alumnus (1973).

"Where Our Food Comes From: Conserving Heritage Foods Globally, Nationally and Locally"

Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotanist, author, lecturer, and first Director of the Center for Sustainable Environments

Thursday, January 15, 4:00-5:30pm, Fraser Hall 4

Gary Nabhan is founder of the Renewing America's Food Traditions initiative, and co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH and the Flavors without Borders food ways alliance. An ethnobotanist, seed conservationist, essayist, and farmer of heritage livestock breeds, he was recently listed by Eco-Salon among the seven most influential voices regarding food politics. Author or editor of 20 books available in 5 languages, he has been honored with a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing.

"The Promise of Health for All: Are U.S. Policies Making it Harder to Achieve Global Health?"

Stephen Gloyd, MD, MPH, Assistant Chair of UW Global Health Department and Executive Director of Health Alliance International

Wednesday, January 21, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Critical Junctures Institute for Health Advancement and Research

Wednesday, January 21, 7:00pm, Place TBA

Stephen Gloyd serves as the director of the Population Leadership Program, a joint program of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and the Evans School of Public Affairs. He also works with the Department of Global Health MPH program. He has worked for over 20 years in countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia in clinical and public health practice. He currently is involved in projects with Ministries of Health in Mozambique, and Cote d'Ivoire.

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.0"Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants"

David Bacon, a veteran photojournalist from Berkeley, CA

Monday, January 26, 3:00-4:30pm, Communications Facility 110

For two decades, David Bacon has documented the connections between labor, migration, and the global economy. Using photos and stories from his most recent book, Illegal People, Bacon will explore the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin America and Asia. At the same time, U.S. immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced people a crime in the United States. Bacon will explain why our national policy produces even more displacement, more migration, more raids and a more polarized society.

David Bacon is a writer and photojournalist based in Oakland and Berkeley, California. He is an associate editor at Pacific News Service, and writes for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Progressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. He has been a reporter and documentary photographer for 18 years, shooting for many national publications. He has exhibited his work nationally, and in Mexico, the UK and Germany.
Bacon covers issues of labor, immigration and international politics. He travels frequently to Mexico, the Philippines, Europe and Iraq. For twenty years, Bacon was a labor organizer for unions in which immigrant workers made up a large percentage of the membership. Those include the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies' Garment Workers, the Molders Union and others. His books include: The Children of NAFTA, Communities without Borders, Living Under the Trees, and his recent book: Illegal People. He has received numerous awards for both his writing and photography.

"Developing Equality: Consciousness in the Creation of Infrastructures for Change"

Margaret Wilson, Ph.D Anthropology and International Director Bahia Street

Wednesday, January 28, noon- 1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

International development has become a multibillion-dollar world industry, promoting its 'products' and implementing infrastructures that sometimes supersede state and sovereignty. Through her experience both as an academic anthropologist and the co-founder of an NGO, Dr. Wilson proposes a consciousness shift that could revolutionize the way development models and policy are created and how 'development' is done.

Margaret Wilson did her Ph.D in anthropology at the London School of Economics, has done fieldwork in Inner Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil, has worked in ethnographic film and has taught in universities in the United States and Europe. She is currently the International Director of Bahia Street (

"Against the Concept of Charity: Gender, Dignity and the Sharing of Power (Paths to Global Justice)

8:30-9:45 am, Communication 231

The giving of material goods is easy compared to that of power. Dr. Wilson explores what it takes and what it means to transform constructions of 'charity' into a shared political presence. She will talk about how women can work across boundaries of nation, class and race to increase mutual power, dignity and the potential for gendered social action.

"Black/Brown Conflicts in Los Angeles: What are Unions Doing About It"

Edna Bonacich, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of California, Riverside

Tuesday, February 3, 7:00-8:30pm, Communications Facility 110

Los Angeles is a majority Latino city with a huge immigrant population, a Latino mayor and a Latina head of the County Federation of Labor. Meanwhile, African Americans, who had notable political power, have shrunk to less than 10% of the County population. The Black community faces a crisis of high unemployment and criminalization. How are the unions dealing with this volatile situation?

Edna Bonacich is professor emeritus of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Much of her work has focused on race and labor, including immigrant workers. She has conducted research on Los Angeles garment industry and how it has been impacted by global production. She recently completed a book on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the workers who are employed in the logistics systems that emanate from them. She is currently working on a project concerning the LA labor movement and the African American community, with a view to helping develop the first African American Worker Center in the city.

"Immigrants and African-Americans: The Dynamics of Job Competition"

Wednesday, February 4, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

After viewing "Labor Pains" which deals with competition between African American and Latino immigrant workers in reconstruction projects in New Orleans, we will discuss the dynamics of inter-ethnic job competition and what is to be done about it. What role do employers play in fostering this competition? What role does the government play? How should this job competition be factored into our immigration policy?

"A Fragile Hope"

Barbara Rofkar, Lecturer of Global Issues, Western Washington University

Wednesday, February 11, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Barbara Rofkar's most recent trip to the Middle East was with the Council for National Interest which advocates for a wiser American Middle East policy. Traveling directly after the election, the delegation was able to meet with government and community representatives in six countries, along with U.S. embassy personnel and people on the street. Although the joy of the Obama election was almost universal, the fears of a continued failed policy were evident.

Barbara Rofkar M.A. Western Washington University. Barbara has taught in the anthropology department, Fairhaven College, Human Services and currently in International Studies. As a former pediatric nurse, a founding member of theWhatcom Dispute Resolution Center, a mediator and current chair of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Barbara works from a perspective that there is an interconnectedness of health, well being and ability to resolve conflict. Her work focuses on creating a better understanding between peoples whether we speak of families or nations. Raised as a Muslim in Toledo Ohio she comes with a long term perspective and understanding on the Middle East situation.

"Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt"

John Gibler, Global Exchange Media fellow who writes from Mexico.

Wednesday, February 18, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Mexico is a nation divided, not conquered. Based on research and on-the-ground reporting,John Gibler with his recent book, Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt, will offer an evocative report on the epic powers of violence and corruption in Mexico and the struggle of the indigenous, farmers, and workers who put their lives on the line to build justice from the ground up.

John Gibler is a writer who has been covering politics and popular movements in Mexico since January 1st, 2006. He is a special correspondent for Flashpoints on KPFA. He has reported on the ground from the Zapatistas' Other Campaign, the massive protests against electoral fraud in Mexico City, and the civil disobedience uprising in Oaxaca. His writing and photographs have appeared in Z Magazine, ZNet, In These Times, Left Turn, The Indypendent, New Politics, Narco News, Yes! Magazine, and other independent media. He has reported for Democracy Now!, KPFK, and WBAI and was featured in a National Public Radio report on alternative media. Before moving to Mexico, Gibler worked for various human rights and social justice organizations in Mexico, Peru, and California. He reported on environmental justice issues and water privatization in California for Public Citizen, Terrain Magazine, ColorLines, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Race, Poverty and the Environment, and other independent media.

"U.S. Immigration Policy and Human Rights"

Susan Gzech is the Director of the Humn Rights Program, University of Chicago.

Monday, February 23, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Susan Gzech is the Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. She teaches courses on contemporary issues in human rights (including the prohibition on torture, women's rights), the comparative human rights of aliens and citizens and human rights in Mexico and Latin America. Her research interests include the inter-relationship between human rights and migration policy, the history of U.S. immigration policy and Mexico-U.S. relations. From 1996-2001 Susan Gzesh was Director of the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network (now Enlaces America). She is fluent in Spanish and is a legal commentator for Univision-TV, Chicago.

"Constructing a Visual Grammar of Political Resistance: The 1935 'Art Commentary on Lynching' as Counter-Memory to Lynching Photography"

Susan Owen, Distinguished Professor in the Communication Studies Department, University of Puget Sound

Wednesday, February 25, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Susan Owen is Distinguished Professor in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Puget Sound where she is the inaugural recipient of the President's Teaching Excellence award. Prof. Owen teaches, writes, and lectures about cultural memory, visual rhetoric, and public representations of gender, race, and sexual relations. Her most recent co-authored book is titled Bad Girls: Cultural Politics and Media Representations of Transgressive Women. She is currently working on a co-authored book project about representations of race lynching in America.

"Communities of Memory and Claims of the Past on the Present: Reading Race Trauma through The Green Mile."

Wednesday, February 25, 3:00-4:30pm, Communication 110 (Paths to Global Justice)

"The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry—and What We Must Do to Stop It"

Antonia Juhasz, a fellow with Oil Change International and the Institute for Policy Studies

Wednesday, March 4, noon-1:30pm, Fairhaven College Auditorium

Antonia Juhasz argues that the oil industry's grip on policy and government has never been stronger. What's
more, Juhasz says, the business and politics of oil's production pose such grave implications on so many fronts –the environment, human rights, the economy, work safety, public health—that the current state of petroleum industry affairs is fundamentally antithetical to democracy.

Antonia Juhasz is a leading oil industry, international trade, and finance policy expert and the author of The Bush Agenda. A fellow with Oil Change International and the Institute for Policy Studies, she has served as an aide to two members of Congress and holds a Master's Degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Juhasz is an award-winning writer and media commentator;her work has been featured in dozens of publications, including the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Petroleum Review Magazine, and She has appeared on Kudlow & Company, National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show and Marketplace, Washington Journal, Hannity & Colmes, and Democracy Now!, among many other shows. She lives in San Francisco, California. Her most recent book is "The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry—and What We Must Do to Stop It"

"Indigenous Peoples: human rights, dignity and development with identity"


Q'orianka Kilcher, a descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua people from Peru. Q'orianka
was the lead actress in the 2005 Hollywood film, The New World.

Wednesday, March 4, 3:00-4:30pm, Communications Facility 110

As a young person, Q'orianka feels a strong responsibility towards the dream for Universal dignity, compassion and basic human rights. To talk about economic development necessitates talking about basic rights to lands and resources, culture and identity, and self-determination. Her travels and connection to the indigenous people of Peru, lead her to speak to the rights of indigenous around the world who continue to be excluded from the decision making process.


Q'orianka Waira Qoiana Kilcher Born in a small village in Germany, her name means Golden Eagle in her native Quechua language. Her father is a descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua people in Madre de Dios, Peru, and her mother is a Swiss national who grew up in Alaska. Kilcher played Pocahontas in the movie, The New World, a drama about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century. Her heritage and success in The New World earned her an invitation in 2006 to the United Nation's celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous People; and she spoke of her recent trip to Peru where she visited several remote Amazon communities, devastated and contaminated by multi-national oil companies.

Valued Co-Sponsors for the Winter 2009 World Issues Forums, Paths to Global Justice include:

Anthropology, Canadian-American Studies, Communication, Political Science, Sociology, Women's Studies, Center for Law, Diversity & Justice, Critical Junctures Institute for Health Advancement and Research, Community to Community, Ethnic Student Center, GI Sanctuary City, Northwest Indian College, United Ministries in Higher Education (UMHE).