Contact: Shirley Osterhaus, (360) 650-2309 or Shirley.email@example.com
BELLINGHAM – Discussions of joy and catastrophe on the Gulf Coast, environmental justice in Guatemala, and what it’s like to be a Muslim in America will kick off this year’s World Issues Forums, an annual series of lectures that highlights social justice efforts around the globe.
Wednesday, Sept. 29
Why Peace is Possible
Presenter: Chaplain, West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Captain Paul K. Chappell will discuss how “waging peace” isn’t a naïve dream and we can all take steps toward achieving it.
Wednesday, Oct. 6
Asserting Self-Determination over Cultural Property: Moving Towards Protection of Genetic Material and Indigenous Knowledge
Presenter: Debra Harry, a global leader and scholar in the movement to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their genetic resources and tribal knowledge, 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. There are two presentations: noon-1:20 at the Fairhaven College Auditorium and at Northwest Indian College at 2:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 13
Bearing Witness to Tragedy
Presenter: Joan Connell, director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University, will discuss how tragic events affect the journalists that cover them, and how they receive the support they need to stay sane. This session explores the challenges of being ethical storytellers in an increasingly violent and dangerous world.
Wednesday, Oct. 20
Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six
Presenters: Jordan Flaherty, a writer and community organizer from New Orleans, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, an Oakland-based writer, performer and teacher, will discuss Flaherty’s new book, “Floodlines,” and the fate of the disparate groups inhabiting the post-oil spill, post-Katrina Gulf Coast. The presenters will also appear at Village Books at 7 p.m. for a similar discussion.
Monday, Oct. 25
Human Rights and Environmental Justice in Guatemala: A Case Study
Presenter: Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, director, University of Washington Center for Human Rights, will discuss how the impacts of global climate change have increasingly threatened the livelihood of many of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Faced with declining prospects for survival, residents of these communities risk becoming “climate refugees,” dependent on aid and/or forced to migrate. Yet in places like Guatemala, where this year’s rains have left thousands without homes and harvests, this is a manmade disaster.
Wednesday, Oct. 27
In the Shadows of Skyscrapers: Labor Migrants in the Petroleum States of the Arabian Peninsula
Presenter: Andrew Gardner, assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Puget Sound, will lead a discussion on 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.
Wednesday, Nov. 3
Migrating Towards Justice: Stories to Transform People and Policy
Presenter: Augusto Obregon, a community leader and activist in El Regadío, Estelí, Nicaragua, will discuss how free trade agreements, neoliberal policies and aid conditions from international financial institutions have brought Nicaragua to extreme poverty. In his community, El Regadío, a tobacco factory was built in its free trade zone. It generates employment, but the salaries are miserable; it contaminates the environment, principally the water supply; and causes diseases, mainly with women and children. Some farmers are selling their land to cultivate tobacco, causing less production of food.
Wednesday, Nov. 10
The Postville Raid: U.S. immigration enforcement and the effects on immigrant children and families
Presenter: Luis Argueta, a Guatemalan-born film producer and director who is now a U.S. citizen, will discuss how 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 four days, nearly 300 of these workers were fast-tracked through the U.S. legal system, convicted, imprisoned, and deported. Families and communities were devastated. The raid itself cost taxpayers 5.2 million dollars. Since the raid, Argueta has been to Postville, Iowa, 25 times and the mountain villages of Guatemala, where many of the employees came from, more than 10 times to record their stories.
Wednesday, Nov. 17
Being Muslim in America: Why it's not an oxymoron
Presenter: Iman Salam, member of the Bellingham Muslim community, will lead a discussion on what it’s like to be a Muslim in the U.S., how Muslims feel pressure to be either Muslim or “American” in the wake of 9/11, and how she feels her religion has been hijacked by those on both sides of the issue.
For more information on the fall World Issues Forums at WWU, contact Shirley Osterhaus of the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at (360) 650-2309 or Shirley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
WWU's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, established in 1967, is nationally recognized for innovation in teaching and learning, intensive advising, student-designed majors, narrative assessment, experiential and independent learning and a commitment to social justice.