Category Archives: Humanitarian Issues

Janice Weiner, Wednesday November 16, 2016

Picture1“The Sad State of Turkish Democracy: Why We Should Care”

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Just a few short years ago, Turkey was viewed as an anchor of stability in the Middle East, a situation that is now changing rapidly. Following coups in 1960, 1971, and 1980, a new constitution designed to bring democracy and stability was enacted in 1982. Turkey also has the misfortune to share a border with Syria and Iraq. Democracy has now eroded, especially following an attempted military coup against President Recep Erdogan in last July in which 240 persons died. Following the failed coup, more than 100,000 citizens, military personnel, and journalists have been arrested jailed or suspended, and more than 170 media outlets have been shuttered.

Janice G. Weiner was a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 26 years. She then worked for two years as professional issues and policy adviser for the American Foreign Service Association. From 1993-1996, she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as embassy human rights officer, where she won AFSA’s Rivkin Award for her work. She returned to Ankara from 2005-2008, where she worked as the U.S. Embassy’s Political Counselor. She returned to Washington to work as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs until her retirement in September 2013. She speaks German, French, Turkish, Polish, and conversational Spanish and Dutch. Ms. Weiner was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, where she recently returned. She graduated from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Comparative Literature, and earned a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East

Janet Lyness, Liz Dupuich, David Gonzales, and Andy Rich, Thursday November 10, 2016

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“Murder to Justice—Iowa to China: A Cross-National Collaboration”

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“Tong Shao, a Chinese student, attending Iowa State University, was murdered in September 2014.  Her body was found on September 26, 2014 in Iowa City where her boyfriend, Xiangnan Li, lived.  The police investigation lead to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office obtaining an arrest warrant for Xiangnan Li, for the murder of Tong Shao.  Mr. Li, a Chinese student at the University of Iowa, fled back to China within 2 days of when Tong Shao was last seen alive.  Because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with China, there were fears that Mr. Li would not be brought to justice.  Not to be deterred, Iowa authorities requested the Chinese prosecute Mr. Li in China for Tong Shao’s death.  Iowa City Police Det. David Gonzalez, Det. Andy Rich, Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness, and  Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich will discuss the investigation of Ms. Shao’s death, how they coordinated with Chinese authorities to have Mr. Li found and prosecuted in China, and the actual trial in China.

Janet Lyness is serving her third term as Johnson County Attorney, having been first elected in 2006.  Prior to that she was an Assistant Johnson County Attorney, working in both the criminal and civil divisions.  She clerked from the Seventh Judicial District Court of Iowa following law school.  Janet received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.

Liz Dupuich has been with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office since November of 2013. She currently supervises the marijuana diversion program, is the lead prosecutor assigned to the Johnson County Drug Treatment Court, and prosecutes a majority of the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Cases in Johnson County. Prior to coming to Johnson County, Liz worked as a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.

Det. Rich has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 13 years and has been assigned to the investigations division for 5 years of his 13 years as a police officer. Det. Rich is currently assigned to Investigation Division working general crimes. Det. Rich has worked in the following capacities: patrol division, sex crimes, financial crimes, crimes against children, violent crimes, death investigations and robberies. Det. Rich is also a board member with the Iowa Sex Crimes Investigators Association.

Det. Gonzalez has been with the Iowa City Police Department for 21 years and has been assigned to investigations division for 16 of his 20 years as a police officer. Det. Gonzalez is currently assigned to the investigations division working general crimes. Det. Gonzalez is currently a board member with the IDIA (Iowa Death Investigators Association).

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Michael Zmolek, Thursday November 3, 2016

mikezmolekatstus“Seven Myths About Immigration”

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Immigration flows and their regional impacts are increasingly taking center stage in global politics. With mainstream journalism focusing more on the reaction to immigration than on its causes, the result is that immigrants are widely vilified as (potential) criminals or even ‘rapists’, or more specifically as people who want to take your jobs. This talk will challenge seven myths fueling the rising tide of hysteria by exploring often-ignored truths about immigration, starting with the re-structuring of the global labor market during the past several decades of neoliberal globalization. Mass movement of peoples across borders, we will argue, is here to stay, and the numbers are only bound to increase even more dramatically. Also, given the built-in contradictions of neoliberal economic policies in relation to immigration, the pursuit of policies aimed at achieving ‘stabilization’ are also unlikely to succeed in the short term.

Michael Žmolek teaches World History, International Studies and Development Studies at the University of Iowa. He received a BA in Linguistics and a Certificate of African studies at Iowa before going on to complete his Ph.D in Political Science at York University in Toronto, where he served as an executive of the Graduate Students’ Association for four years. As a legislative assistant in Congress, his work focused on addressing the plight of Gulf Coast survivors of Hurricane Katrina and on drafting articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for representatives Cynthia McKinney (GA) and Dennis Kucinich (OH). As an activist he has worked on the campaign to abolish apartheid in South Africa; opposing tuition hikes for students in Canada; and opposing the bombing, sanctions and military occupation of Iraq.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

zp dala, Thursday October 20, 2016

picture1“Sister Wives: Female Comrades in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Struggles”

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South Africa’s long struggle to transcend Apartheid has been widely documented, both pre- and post-democracy (1994), with an enduring focus on figures such as the late Dr. Nelson Mandela and the late Dr. Walter Sisulu. Less well-known are the stories of the women comrades of the African National Congress, activists or loyal wives, or both, whose lives and losses have drawn too little notice. Such is the case with the personal story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, “Mother of the Nation,” whose multiple arrests, extended time in solitary confinement, and torture at the hands of the governing National Party took an enormous toll. And there are many Winnies who built the history of modern South Africa. Author zp dala will explore their stories.

zp dala is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first nove, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African Novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Love, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times.

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Filed under Africa, Arts & Culture, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Women's Issues

H. Glenn Penny, Wednesday October 5, 2016

picture1“German Iowa & the Global Midwest: How to Do Global History Locally”

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German immigrants consistently accounted for the largest number of foreign-born people in Iowa from the 1850s through the 1970s. While today we focus on recent immigrants from Latin America and Southeast Asia, our state remains deeply impacted by an earlier group of newcomers. This lecture presents the efforts of H. Glenn Penny in teaching his students about Germany, and in turn the Professor learned about Iowa and it’s history. Through the Iowa/Germany case study we can see that it is not only possible to do globally history locally, it is also imperative if we want to better understand the place in which we live.

H. Glenn Penny is a Professor of Modern European History at the University of Iowa. Much of his work is focused on relations between Germans and non-Europeans over the last two centuries. He has written many books on the topic. Currently, he is engaged in an in-depth study of German interactions with Guatemala and completing a book manuscript titled: Networked Spaces: German Schools in Latin America since the 1880’s.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Janine di Giovanni, Thursday September 29, 2016

picture1“The Human Face of Middle East Refugee Crisis”

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Janine di Giovanni, Middle East Editor of Newsweek, contributing editor of Vanity Fair and contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian, is one of Europe’s most respected and experienced reporters, with vast experience covering war and conflict. Her reporting has been called “established, accomplished brilliance” and she has been cited as “the finest foreign correspondent of our generation”.

She recently became an Ochberg Fellow at Columbia University in recognition of her work on violence and war and the trauma it brings to society, and has been named as one of the 100 most influential people reducing armed conflict by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). She is also an Associate Fellow at the Geneva Center for Policy Studies. Her themes are conflict, stability, transitional justice and security.

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Filed under Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Wenfang Tang, Tuesday August 23, 2016

Picture1“Chinese Political Culture and Authoritarian Regime Resiliency”

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Traditionalism. Communism. Liberalism.

All these values and more are evident in current Chinese political culture, but with the coming of China’s political modernization or lack thereof the cohesion of these ideologies will forever change the future of China and her global influence. ICFRC presents a master of the Chinese political landscape, UI Professor Wenfang Tang, who will address the current trends, existing government and future predictions.

Wenfang Tang is Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in academic journals icluding American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, among others.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2016, Governance Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Mandela Washington Fellows: Tochukwu Ikpegbu, Ameth Diallo, and Stephennette Taylor, Tuesday July 12, 2016

mandela washington fellowship“China’s Emerging Influence in Africa”

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The U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, started in 2014
as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative created by President Obama, empowers young people from Sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. This year the Fellowship is providing 1,000 young ambassadors with the opportunity to hone their skills at U.S. higher education institutions. The Iowa delegation of Fellows will spend six weeks in Iowa taking entrepreneurial classes and touring the state.

speaker 1Tochukwu Ikpegbu is a mechanical/production engineer from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with over seven years experience in pork production. He has won two national awards and hopes to apply his experience into growing local businesses to reduce youth unemployment.

speaker 2Ameth Diallo is a PhD student in African and Comparative Literature at Université Gaston Berger. In 2014 he ventured into an agricultural-based project in the Senegalese River Valley which earned him the Jeunes Agriculteurs prize and a grant from the US Agency for International Development. Diallo is currently working on a project he hopes to implement in his home village of Koalack.

speaker 3Stephennette Taylor holds a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and a postgraduate diploma in Procurement Management. Taylor has several years experience as a manager at New World Finance and envisions establishing a microfinance bank to support agricultural products and rural emerging markets.

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Filed under Africa, China & East Asia, Economics, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Summer 2016

Katherine Ryken, Tuesday March 22, 2016

Ryken Headshot“The Role of Physicians in Combating the Aftermath of Mass Rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina”

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Katherine Ryken is a third year medical student in the Carver College of Medicine with plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, with a focus on global health and human rights. Katie was the Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the 2014-2015 academic year, pursuing research in post-traumatic injury and working at primary care clinics serving survivors of sexual violence during the war. She is also a certified member of Physician for Human Rights’ Asylum Network, and completed training in forensic medical services for asylum seekers.

Between 1992 and 1995, an estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Twenty years later, victims of war rape continue to experience severe mental health disorders.  A recent comprehensive study of rape survivors who have utilized non-governmental organization (NGO) services demonstrate alarming reports of chronic gynecologic problems. This lecture will discuss the role of war-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and examine the role of medical professionals in post-conflict societies, through documenting human rights abuses and providing clinical care for victims.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, Women's Issues

Victoria Morozov, Tuesday February 23, 2016

Picture1“Moldova’s Legacies for its Children & Families”

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Victoria Morozov is the founder of The Moldova Project, a charitable trust organization that reaches out to Moldova’s most underprivileged and abused youth and offers resources and opportunity. A fierce advocate for the poor, Morozov has devoted her life to advocacy and serves as liaison to a number of United Kingdom-based groups, helping to identify sustainable initiatives for The Moldova Project and creating partnerships with local authorities and government ministries.

Throughout the course of her career, Morozov has played host to more than 800 international volunteers, working to implement 14 individual projects focused on medical and structural support for poor families and social orphans. She is the coordinator of five annual award ceremonies aimed at giving awards to the most dedicated and exemplary volunteers in Moldova.

In 2013, Morozov was named The Most Active Youth in Civil Society by the Ministry of Youth of the Republic of Moldova.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016

Abdulaziz Al-Hussan, Tuesday February 16, 2016

Picture1“The Need for International Exposure to Human Rights Abuses in Saudi Arabia”

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Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Hussan is a lawyer and reformist born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In late 2011, following the Arab Spring, Al-Hussan represented the cases of political detainees and spoke out against government injustices via Twitter. After threat of travel ban and imprisonment, Al-Hussan moved to the United States to study law and provide a voice for those who remain voiceless in the Kingdom.

Al-Hussan has been a scholar in the Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana Law School, and is now working towards his doctorate dissertation in the Iowa College of Law. His work focuses on the study of constitutional change in Saudi Arabia and how a transition from absolute monarchy to limited monarchy would affect the Arabian country. He recently founded the Dir’iyah Institution (DIW) in Washington D.C., an independent non-profit dedicated to studies of the Arabian Peninsula with a focus on constitutional law, reform, and history.

Al-Hussan’s talk will provide a broad overview of the current Saudi legal system and the nature of human rights in the Kingdom before delving into the complex and tenuous relationships that exist between the Saudi government and Western nations. Al-Hussan will present paths toward human rights progress in Saudi Arabia and offer solutions to the violence and secrecy that have plagued the country for decades.

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Filed under Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, The Middle East

Carol Moss, Wednesday February 3, 2016

Picture1“Dissemination of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program in the Guercif Province, Morocco: A Community Approach”

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Carol Moss is a Research Associate in the UI Department of Family Medicine and a recent graduate of the UI College of Public Health (MS, Epidemiology) with a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Studies. She is interested in alternative cervical cancer screening strategies in low resource settings, primarily in the countries of Guatemala, Cuba, and Morocco. She received a UI Global Health Studies Travel Award in 2015 to conduct work in Morocco where she has established ties over the past thirty years.

In 2010, a national program for early detection of cervical cancer in women aged 30-49 was implemented in Morocco. The program is under the auspices of the Foundation Lalla Salma, a non-governmental organization (NGO), and also encompasses a breast cancer screening component. The program initially covered five of sixteen regions of the country but was expanded to additional regions in subsequent years. The aim of the present study, conducted over a two-week period, was to both determine knowledge of the NGO and the indigenous peoples it served as well as increasing general awareness of the NGO and cervical cancer screening programs.

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Filed under Africa, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016

Sara Mitchell, Wednesday January 27, 2016

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“Cross—Border Troubles? Interstate River Conflicts & Intrastate Violence”

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Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is Professor of Political Science and Department Chair at the University of Iowa.  She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University in 1997 and her B.S degree in Economics and Political Science at Iowa State University in 1991.  An accomplished author, Mitchell has published many books on global conflict and resolution, and has been the recipient of several major research awards from the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development.  Her areas of expertise include international conflict and political methodology. Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations. She received the Faculty Scholar Award (2007-2010), the Collegiate Scholar Award (2011), and the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2012) from the University of Iowa and the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award (2015) from the International Studies Association.
Her research examines the relationship between interstate river conflicts and intrastate violence such as riots, strikes, demonstrations, and civil wars in the Western Hemisphere, Western Europe, and the Middle East.  She argues that interstate disagreements over cross-border river basins increase the potential for intrastate conflict by creating unequal access to water resources, displacing populations through damming and diversion projects, and increasing demands for freshwater as population growth occurs.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, War & Conflict

Resmiye Oral, Tuesday December 1, 2015

Picture1“International Systems Building on Child Protection: From the University of Iowa to Turkey and Beyond…”

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This presentation will summarize the collaboration between the U of I Child Protection Program leadership and numerous universities in Turkey, multiple ministries including the Ministries of Health, Justice, Education, Interior, and Social Services, and non-governmental organizations. The positive outcomes in systems building for child protection in Turkey have been expanded to other countries including Portugal, Greece, Pakistan, and Colombia. All these efforts have been supported by the U of I International Programs that led to the second Provost’s Global Forum focusing on global child protection issues.

Resmiye Oral, MD, is a professor of pediatrics, who is a board-certified expert in child abuse pediatrics. She has completed her child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Ohio-State University and is currently working as the director of the Child Protection Program at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa. She has published numerous articles in Child Abuse and Neglect. She became involved with child abuse and neglect in 1993 and established the first multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect follow-up team in Turkey, her country of origin. She wrote a book and three book chapters on child abuse for Turkish physicians. She also co-authored two training kits published by Ohio State University on physical and sexual abuse. Her interests are international systems building to address child abuse and neglect, drug endangered children, shaken baby syndrome, and early intervention with child abuse to prevent severe and usually irreversible consequences of abuse including fatality. In order to do that, she believes that recognition of subtle findings of abuse is of utmost importance, which calls for training of all professionals involved with child abuse. She gives 50-60 lectures a year to medical and non-medical professional audiences on child abuse and neglect to regional, national and international audiences.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, University of Iowa

Jennifer Blair, Wednesday November 18, 2015

Picture1“Crossing Cultural Lines and Changing Students’ Minds: Tippie’s International Buddies Program”

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In 2014 the Tippie College of Business was home to 498 international students, with a further 691 declared as pre-business majors.  Together, these students constitute around 22% of the business and pre-business population at the University of Iowa.  The rise in international student enrollment at the College of Business has been dramatic, with just 55 international students enrolled in 2007.   The significant international student presence in the College creates extraordinary opportunities for our domestic students to learn about the world without leaving Iowa City, but it also presents challenges that often come with cross-cultural interaction – language barriers, cultural divides, and misunderstandings.

In Spring 2014 the Undergraduate Program Office at the College of Business launched International Buddies at Tippie, a program pairing international and domestic business students for a semester-long friendship.  Since its inception the program has doubled its membership, has received positive media coverage both locally and nationally, and has succeeded person-by-person, in breaking down cultural barriers between many of our students.  Jennifer will share her insights about the program, and two buddies will also share their thoughts and experiences.

Jennifer Blair is the Assistant Director for Global Community Engagement at Tippie, where she oversees efforts to connect international and domestic students in meaningful ways.   A 1998 graduate of the University of Iowa (BA History) and 2000 graduate of Trinity  College, Dublin (M.Phil), Jennifer qualified as a lawyer (solicitor) in Ireland and practiced private client law in one of Ireland’s largest law firms.  She returned to Iowa in 2009, first overseeing international student admissions and services at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and most recently returning to her alma mater to continue her work with international students.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, University of Iowa

Rochelle Potkar, Tuesday September 22, 2015

 9-22-2015 Rochelle Potkar photo“Putting Childhood Back into the Child: Rights and Realities of Children In India”

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Rochelle Potkar is the author of The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories, and has three works in progress—a novel, a book of prose, and a book of poetry. Widely published online and in print, Rochelle is the co-editor of Neesah magazine, and an active member of Poetry Couture, which hosts poetry readings at cafes across India.

Her participation in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The International Writing Program is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. In 2015, the IWP has brought together 34 of the world’s emerging and established writers to participate in the Fall Residency’s unique intercultural experience. Over the course of 10 weeks, aside from working on their own projects, writers will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres, and travel and interact with literary communities across the United States.

The talk will be an overview of child rights in India, through the prisms of child education, nutrition, health, development, and protection.  What is it to be an underprivileged child in India?  Readings of real-life stories will explore how the world of grownups shapes the children of India and what can be done before these children grow up, bereft of a childhood, into equally fissured adolescents.

 

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Thursday May 14, 2015

6270f68d-3d33-4e23-88f7-073a47091bd1“Foreign Policy Perspective from a New Zealand Point of View”

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Sir Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer served as the 33rd Prime Minister of New Zealand from August 1989 until September 1990, leading the Fourth Labour Government. He was responsible for major reforms of the country’s legal and constitutional framework, such as the creation of the Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Bill of Rights, Imperial Laws Application Act and the State Sector Act. A highly regarded lawyer, In 2010 Palmer was chosen to chair a UN Inquiry panel into the fatal Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, supporting the Israeli Security Forces’ legitimate use of force. Sir Geoffrey is also a renowned Environmentalist, in 2002 he was appointed as New Zealand’s representative to the International Whaling Commission. In 1991 he was listed on the UN Global Roll of Honour.

Palmer was educated at the Victoria University of Wellington and at the University of Chicago receiving a Juris Doctor in 1967. He worked as a solicitor for a Wellington law firm before turning to teaching, becoming a lecturer in political science at Victoria University of Wellington, Professor of Law at the Universities of Iowa and of Virginia, and Professor of English and New Zealand law at Victoria again. After joining the New Zealand Labour Party in 1975, he was elected to Parliament in 1979. He became personal assistant to the Prime Minister Wallace Edward Rowling and soon was deputy leader of the party and deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015, U.S. Foreign Policy

Leo Eko, Wednesday, April 29, 2015

bfb71e60-279c-4258-92f0-8edfeaf9bbe4“Publish or Perish: The Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack & Freedom of Expression”

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The January 2015 terrorist attacks  against French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, exposed the the acute tension between freedom of expression and respect for religious sentiments.  Newspapers around the world wrestled with the problem of whether to publish or not to publish the cartoons that ostensibly provoked the attacks.  After Charlie Hebdo published its now famous cover with Mohammed holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign, newspapers  in all continents were divided on whether to republish the newsworthy cover or not to republish it. Research shows that the decision to republish or not to republish the Charlie Hebdo cover depended on specific journalist cultures and contexts.

Before joining The University of Iowa, Leo Eko was an Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Media Law at the University of Maine. He has served as a journalist and producer at the African Broadcasting Union (URTNA) in Nairobi, Kenya, and at Cameroon Radio and Television Corporation. Professor Eko has produced several video documentaries on African topics. Three of them won honorable mention at festivals in Germany and Canada and are part of the holdings of several American and Canadian university libraries.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015

Renu Pariyadath, Thursday, March 5, 2015

 Renu New“Bhopal (1984 – ?): The 30th Anniversary and the Ongoing Disaster”

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Thirty years after Methyl IsoCyanate (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company) pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, the disaster has claimed over 25,000 lives and over 150,000 people are chronically ill. Water and soil contamination from the abandoned factory have multiplied the impact of the disaster and have left women and children particularly vulnerable. The Bhopali survivors have waged a 30-year struggle for justice on a transnational scale, seeking adequate compensation, medical care, clean water and a comprehensive cleanup of the abandoned factory and its surroundings. Renu Pariyadath will discuss the disaster’s continuing health impacts in Bhopal today and the status of the transnational campaign produced in its wake.

Renu Pariyadath is a Ph.D. Candidate  in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Iowa with a minor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. Renu researches migrant activism within the Indian diaspora and has been a volunteer with the international movement for justice surrounding the Bhopal gas disaster for over three years. She is interested in the barriers to and the possibilities for forging a transnational environmental and reproductive justice movement in the context of the Bhopal disaster. Renu is the Chapter and Volunteer Coordinator of the Association for India’s Development (AID-US) and former Community Outreach Coordinator for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB). She got involved with the ICJB in 2012 when she visited Bhopal for her Ph.D. field research supported by the Stanley Graduate Award for International Research.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Environmental Issues, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015

Ric Lumbard, Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lumbard Pic“Understanding the Role of Restoration in Human Trafficking”

Despite movements advocating its abolition, the practice of slavery persists as a global injustice. In contrast to systems of free labor and chattel bondage in past centuries, human trafficking involves the abduction, coercion, sexual exploitation, and illegal trade of, primarily women and children. Despite its apparent domestic invisibility, trafficking in persons is both an international issue and  domestic issue.  Ric Lumbard will discuss his experience with a national movement which seeks to secure and restore the freedom, safety, and health of victims of trafficking worldwide.

Ric Lumbard is the Director of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) which provides communication infrastructure for the governmental agencies of Iowa, as well as the three state universities.  Ric has also served in senior management with Raytheon, and US West.   In addition, Ric has served leadership for several organizations including House of Hope Women’s Shelter, and founded the Center to Restore Trafficked and Exploited Children.  Nationally, he is a speaker and trainer in the Human Trafficking industry, focusing on building and equipping organizational responses to restore the victims of Human Trafficking.  Ric has advanced training in restorative modeling and emotional restoration of those in crisis, working with Terre des Hommes International Federation, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security.

 

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Filed under Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2015