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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

World Issues Forum: Fall 2010

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

 

 

Fall 2010 Schedule
Date & Time Lecture

Wed 9/29

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

Why Peace is Possible

Captain Paul K Chappell, graduated from West Point in 2002, served in the army for seven years, deployed to Baghdad, left active duty in 2009 as a Captain.

Like most Americans, Paul Chappell grew up thinking that peace was a naive dream. In this talk, he explains how he learned – at West Point and in the military, no less, that peace is possible, and how we can take steps toward achieving it. He will address the meaning of waging peace; and how it is required for our survival in the 21st century.

Wed 10/6

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

2:45

Northwest

Indian College

 

VIDEO >

Asserting Self-Determination over Cultural Property: Moving Towards Protection of Genetic Material and Indigenous Knowledge

Debra Harry, Ph.D.Debra Harry, Ph.D. (Kooyooee Dukaddo), member of Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada is Executive Director of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism

In the face of globalization and diminishing natural resources, Indigenous knowledge and biodiversity is regarded as a vast untapped market by both private and governmental researchers. Dr. Harry will discuss the fundamental conflicts between Indigenous worldviews and values and the globalizing forces that seek to force nature and Indigenous knowledge systems into the global market. She will critique how international forums, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization are developing new global standards. Will the standards facilitate the commodification of genetic resources and Indigenous knowledge or promote true conservation and sustainable use? Advocacy efforts are centered upon Indigenous peoples’ right of self-determination and within a human rights framework.

Wed 10/13

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

Bearing Witness to Tragedy

Joan ConnellJoan Connell, Associate Director of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Columbia University, NY

Journalists are trained to wrest information from the powerful: But what about those rendered powerless because they are caught up in tragic events? The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma is a global alliance of psychiatrists, journalists and educators that gives those who bear witness to human tragedy the support they need to stay sane. This session explores the challenges of being ethical storytellers in an increasingly violent and dangerous world.

Wed 10/20

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six

Jordon FlahertyLeah Lakshmi Piepzna-SamarasinhaJordon Flaherty, a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans.Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha , Oakland-based queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher and part-time professor at UC Berkeley

With the livelihood and culture of Gulf Coast residents once again at risk from BP’s drilling disaster, New Orleans writer Jordan Flaherty delivers his new book "Floodlines" as a timely account of catastrophe, community and resistance. Flaherty tells the stories of public housing residents, gay rappers, Mardi Gras Indians, women prisoners and grassroots activists in the struggle for justice in a post-Katrina landscape. (On tour with Haymarket Books)

Mon 10/25

-- CANCELLED -- WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR WINTER 2011

 

VIDEO >

*Cancelled* Human Rights and Natural Resource Management in Guatemala: A Case Study

Angelina Snodgrass GodoyAngelina Snodgrass Godoy, Director, University of Washington Center for Human Rights.

In recent years, patterns of global consumption have driven systemic environmental changes, generating impacts that threaten the livelihood of many of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Residents of these communities, faced with deteriorating prospects for survival, risk becoming “environmental refugees,” dependent on aid and/or forced to migrate. Yet this is a manmade disaster -- not only because human actions influence global climate, but also because human actions have left many communities increasingly vulnerable to the ravages of tropical storms. Researchers affiliated with the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington are embarking on a human rights project at the juncture of climate change, food security, and environmental science, in partnership with leaders of peasant communities in Guatemala who are organizing to demand sustainable resource management to preserve the environment and protect their communities from the ravages of repeated tropical storms. This talk will focus on their story.

Wed 10/27

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

In the Shadows of Skyscrapers: Labor Migrants in the Petroleum States of the Arabian Peninsula

Andrew GardnerAndrew Gardner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Comparative Sociology, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma

While Dr. Gardner’s most recent book, City of Strangers: Gulf Migration and the Indian Community in Bahrain (Cornell 2010), ethnographically explores the migrant and diasporic Indian community in the Kingdom of Bahrain, his larger ongoing research interest is with the experiences of the labor migrants in all the petroleum states of the Arabian Peninsula. Gardner will address this extraordinarily large and understudied migration flow of the lowest echelons of the migrant workforce and examine the patterns and common threads that weave through these migrants’ experiences, and peers from that vantage point at the evolving power of the modern Gulf State.

Wed 11/3

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

7:00-8:30

Labor Hall,

1700 N. State St.

 

VIDEO >

Migrating Towards Justice: Stories to Transform People and Policy

Augusto ObregonAugusto Obregon, community leader and activist of El Regadío, Estelí Nicaraguan

“For me, free trade agreements, neoliberal policies and the conditions on the aid from the international financial institutions have brought our country to extreme poverty. And the people, the rural farmers, are desperate and don't have any another alternative than to migrate to countries such as Costa Rica, Spain and the United States, with the only objective to work for their families. In my community, El Regadío, they installed a tobacco factory that is under the free trade zone, which generates employment, but the salaries are miserable and it is provoking a great contamination of our environment, principally to our water supply. It is also causing many diseases, of the skin and the organs of mainly women and children. The worst is that some farmers are selling their land to cultivate tobacco. This is causing less production of food, because the producers have dedicated their land to cultivating tobacco and this only serves to harm our health not to feed us."- Augusto Obregon.

Wed 11/10

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

6:00 Potluck

Labor Hall,

1700 N. State St.

 

7:00-8:30

Labor Hall,

1700 N. State St.

 

VIDEO >

Postville Raid: U.S. immigration enforcement and the effects on immigrant children and families

Luis ArguetaLuis Argueta, Guatemalan born, U.S citizen, film producer and director

On May 12th, 2008, 389 undocumented workers were arrested by 900 heavily armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at Agriprocessors, Inc., the largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant in the country. In just 4 days, nearly 300 of these workers were fast-tracked through the US legal system, convicted, imprisoned, deported. Families and communities were devastated. The raid itself cost taxpayers 5.2 million dollars. Argueta: “What began as a weekend trip to Iowa to see the first-hand effects of the raid has become my life’s passion. Since, I have traveled to Postville 25 times and 10 times to the mountain villages in Guatemala, home to the arrested workers. I’ve interviewed victims from the raid, community members, legal experts, Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu, and many others”.

Wed 11/17

12:00 - 1:20pm

Fairhaven Auditorium

 

VIDEO >

"Being Muslim in America, why it's not an oxymoron!"

 

Luis ArguetaIman Salam, member of Bellingham Muslim Community.

“I'm a Muslim, but I'm also American, yet the media tells me I have to choose one or the other. Does wearing a headscarf mean I'm less of an American?” Reflecting on how Muslims have been thrown in the spotlight after 9/11 and, more recently, with a Florida pastor and his small following, Iman Salam will talk of her experience as a Muslim, how her religion has been hijacked, and what this means for her children growing up in America.

   

 

Speaker Biographies

 

Paul K. Chappell graduated from West Point in 2002. He served in the army for seven years, was deployed to Baghdad, and left active duty in November 2009 as a Captain. He is the author of Will War Ever End?: A Soldier’s Vision of Peace for the 21st Century and The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future (May 2010). Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, the author of “ On Killing, The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” said about Will War Ever End?: “ Paul K Chappell has transformed my way of thinking about war and peace”. Chappell lives in Santa Barbara, California, where he is serving as the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He is working on his third book, Peaceful Revolution: How to Create the Future that Humanity Needs to Survive, and he speaks throughout the country to colleges, high schools, veterans groups, churches, and activist organizations. His website is: www.paulkchappell.com

Debra Harry is a global leader and scholar in the movement to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their genetic resources, Indigenous knowledge, and cultural and human rights from biocolonialism. Her research analyzes the complex linkages between biotechnology, intellectual property and globalization in relation to indigenous peoples’ rights and concerns. Dr. Harry advocates for the rights of Indigenous peoples internationally including in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization Inter-Governmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore, and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is the founder and executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (IPCB), and the Emerging Indigenous Leaders Institute. Dr. Harry is Kooyooee Dukaddo, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada.

Joan Connell, Associate Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University, is an award-winning journalist with a longstanding interest in religion, ethics and online media. As Online Editor at The Nation magazine from 2005 to 2009 in New York, she coordinated web coverage of the George W. Bush Administration's global war on terror, the 2008 presidential campaign and the global economic meltdown. From 1997 to 2005 in Redmond, WA, she was Executive Producer for Opinions at MSNBC.com and a senior editor at MSN, where she developed editorial policy and strategy for the portal. From 1991 to 1997 in Washington, D.C., she was Editor of Religion News Service and a national correspondent for Newhouse News Service, where she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for reporting on religion, ethics and moral issues. Earlier, she served as Religion & Ethics Editor at the San Jose Mercury News and began her daily newspaper career as a reporter and editor at the Bellingham Herald.

Jordon Flaherty is a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans. He was the first writer to bring the story of the Jena Six to a national audience, and his award-winning reporting from the Gulf Coast has been featured in a range of outlets including the New York Times, Mother Jones, and Argentina's Clarin newspaper. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur, Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on CNN Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, and “Keep Hope Alive with the Reverend Jesse Jackson.” His new book, Floodlines, is a firsthand account of community, culture, and resistance in New Orleans. The book weaves the stories of gay rappers, Mardi Gras Indians, Arab and Latino immigrants, public housing residents, and grassroots activists in the years before and after Katrina. From post-Katrina evacuee camps to torture testimony at Angola Prison to organizing with the family members of the Jena Six, Floodlines tells the stories behind the headlines from an unforgettable time and place in history.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a Worcester raised, Toronto matured, Oakland-based queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher. She is the 2009-10 Artist in Residence and part-time professor at UC Berkeley’s June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mangos With Chili, North America’s only touring cabaret of queer and trans people of color performing artists. She is a commissioned performer with Sins Invalid, the national performance organization of queer people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. The author of Consensual Genocide, her writing has appeared in the anthologies Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She writes regularly for Bitch, Colorlines, Hyphen, Left Turn and Make/Shift magazines. The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, which she co-edited with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, will be published by South End Press in March 2011. Her second book of poetry, Love Cake, and first memoir, Dirty River, are forthcoming. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color. In 2009 she was honored as the Bent Writing Institute’s 2009 Bent Mentor. She is a track coordinator for the Creating Safer Communities track of the 2010 Allied Media Conference and an advisor on the Disability Justice track. She frequently travels the country teaching and performing.

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy is Helen H. Jackson Chair in Human Rights and Director of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington. Since 1996, she has focused her human rights research and much of her teaching on Central America. In recent years, she has conducted research on trade agreements (CAFTA's intellectual property provisions and their impact on access to medicines, see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002240604_nocafta14.html); labor rights (apparel sweatshops and their connections to US corporations and the University of Washington, see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2009944398_guests26godoy.html); and fair trade, especially in coffee (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002612015_godoy09.html). At present, she is beginning a project harnessing scientific knowhow from the University of Washington to analyze and document the specific factors that have made the communities of Ocos, Guatemala, so vulnerable to devastation from tropical storms, aiming to equip them with the evidence they need to defend their right to water. Professor Godoy teaches human rights study abroad programs in Guatemala every year. For information about one of these courses, please see http://faculty.washington.edu/agodoy/Guatemala%20study%20abroad.html. These study abroad experiences resulted in the creation of the UW Guatemala Project in 2005, a project Prof. Godoy administers with partners at the Movimiento de Trabajadores Campesinos, a landless workers' rights organization. The UWGP has raised funds to support over $60,000 in scholarships for the young people who work on coffee plantations in San Marcos, Guatemala. For more about the UWGP, please see http://jsis.washington.edu/humanrights/uwgp/. Professor Godoy holds a BA in Sociology from Harvard University and MA and PhD degrees in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew Gardner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Comparative Sociology at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, is a sociocultural anthropologist whose scholarship focuses on the Gulf States of the Arabian Peninsula. His work in the region explores transnationalism, broadly, and transnational labor more specifically. He also maintains an interest in environmental anthropology and the political ecology of both rural and urban peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. His most recent book, City of Strangers: Gulf Migration and the Indian Community in Bahrain (Cornell 2010), ethnographically explores the migrant and diasporic Indian community in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is part of a larger ongoing research interest in the experiences of the labor migrants in all the petroleum states of the Arabian Peninsula.

Augusto Cesar Castillo Obregon is a campesino farmer from Regadío, Esteli, Nicaragua. He has been a community leader in Regadío for over thirty years and coordinator of the water committee, a community run organization which distributes potable water to the entire community. Three years ago, a tobacco factory designated as a free trade zone, was constructed in his community. While the factory has provided jobs to help mitigate the issue of migration, the increased cultivation of tobacco has threatened food security, the environment and the health of the community. Augusto works with the water committee to bring conservation projects to help protect El Regadío’s forests and water sources. He is also the vice-president of the Federation for the Integral Development between Farmers or Federacion Para Desarrollo Integral entre Campesinos y Campesinas (FEDICAMP), a non-profit organization which works with small-scale farmers on sustainability.

Luis Argueta is a filmmaker who has worked as a commercial director, lecturer, and teacher in the United States, Europe and throughout the Americas. Born and raised in Guatemala, Argueta is a US citizen and has been a resident of New York since 1977. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s degree in Romance Languages from the University of Michigan, where he also did postgraduate work in cinema. He has directed and produces short films The Squirrel, Perdon del Gato Rabon and Guatemalan Christmas, a 60- minute featurette The Tricycle, documentaries The Cost of Cotton, Guatemala 9.11.03 – The Human Face of a Civic Celebration and The Literary Angel and two feature films The Silence of Neto and Collect Call. Argueta has lectured extensively at universities and colleges across the country and at international conferences. He has received several international awards, his film The Silence of Neto is the only Guatemalan film ever to have reached the Academy Awards competition and he is the only Guatemalan director to have received a CLIO. In April 2009, the British newspaper, The Guardian, listed Mr. Argueta as one of Guatemala’s National Living Icons, alongside Nobel Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu and Singer/Songwriter Ricardo Arjona. Presently Argueta runs his production company Maya Media Corp. and is directing and producing abUSsed: The Postville Raid, a documentary about the largest, most expensive and most brutal immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the history of the United States. By weaving together the personal stories of the individuals, the families, and the town directly affected by the events of May 12, 2008 at Agriprocessor’s Inc., the film presents the human face of immigration, the socioeconomic forces which fuel migration, the exploitation experienced by the workers and serves as a cautionary tale against government abuses of constitutional and human rights.

Iman Salam is a leader of the Muslim community in Whatcom County. She is a domestic engineer with a passion for architecture and design. Currently she is studying nutrition. Iman loves traveling with her family of three children and her husband, Monem. "My children are my world and I am always working at making it better and brighter!" Born and raised in San Francisco, they moved to Bellingham 8 years ago. They frequently speak of their Islamic religion and about their lives as Muslims in Whatcom County. Iman commented: "Sometimes I really wish you would talk to me, rather than about me. Ask a Muslim". Iman is currently working on a documentary "Faith Walks the Land" in which she travels through small town America to educate and engage people in overcoming the stereotypes of Islam. See: www.handcrankfilms.com/hcf/ajax/films/fwtl.php. Their family is also the focus of another one-hour documentary, "On a Wing and a Prayer: An American Muslim Learns to Fly".

 

 

Co-sponsors

Fairhaven College is grateful to our valued co-sponsors:

Huxley College Speaker Series, Anthropology, Canadian-American Studies, Center for Law, Diversity & Justice, Communication, Mark Lehmann, Political Science, WWU Diversity Fund, Women’s Studies, Associated Students-- Ethnic Student Center, Social Issues Resource Center, Women’s Center Environmental Center, LGBTA, Veterans Outreach and community collaborators: Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Community to Community, Jobs with Justice, Village Books, Labor Council, United Ministries in Higher Education and Northwest Indian College.

 

 

Contact

Shirley Osterhaus is the Coordinator of the World Issues Forums:

shirley.osterhaus@wwu.edu
650-2309

Shirley's Faculty Profile >