IWU to Hold Peacebuilding Workshop and Lecture

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Mar. 25, 2013                   

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University has been awarded $2,000 from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  The funding support will enable the University to hold a student/faculty workshop and a public lecture on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13.

The two-day undergraduate student workshop will include students and faculty from Macalester, Beloit and Luther Colleges, and IWU. Together, students and faculty will discuss post-conflict, immigration and other human rights issues as they relate to Cameroon, Iraq, China, Russia and the United States.

Alfred Babo, professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, will present his keynote public lecture titled, “Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Undemocratic Governance and Human Rights Abuses. A Comparative Perspective from Rwanda to the Ivory Coast” at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in Room 103 of Stevenson Hall (203 Beecher St., Bloomington).

Threatened by the political instability in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011 and targeted because of his ethnic group, Babo found safety with Scholars at Risk (SAR), an international network of higher-education institutions dedicated to protecting intellectuals by creating temporary academic positions for them while they are threatened in their home countries. Babo currently teaches at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. More information regarding Babo’s journey from the Ivory Coast to Smith College can be found online.

“USIP is pleased to support institutions like Illinois Wesleyan University and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict – and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently,” USIP President Jim Marshall said.

An independent, nonpartisan conflict management center, USIP was created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. They work to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs and enhance national security. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan.

As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a portion of its budget to support institutions that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices and professionalizing the field through education and training. The Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a program of USIP administered by the Institute of International Education. 

For additional information, contact Irv Epstein, professor of educational studies, at (309) 826-3179 or by email at iepstein@iwu.edu.

Contact: Katherine Filippo, ’12, (309) 556-3181 univcomm@iwu.edu