Literacy, Learning, and Leading: Education for a 21st Century World served as the theme for the Global Citizenship Symposium, February 4-6, 2013. The featured speakers included Alex Wirth, Harvard University Sophomore, who presented Building a Campaign for Change. Alex challenged college students to be bold in making a difference in the nation and world. Dr. John Saltmarsh, University of Massachusetts Boston and Dr. Timothy Eatman, Syracuse University conducted workshops for academic leaders – Pursuing the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification – and students – What does it mean to be a public scholar? John and Tim creatively shared their personal narratives relative to teaching democratic engagement and the time when their scholarship coalesced at the second evening keynote address, Journey to Politically Engaged Scholarship. Their stories of their respective learning, teaching, and interaction with students made for an enlightening and thought-provoking time. Dr Barbara Levin, University of North Carolina, Greensboro teaches in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education and is an advocate for creatively utilizing technology in the K-12 classroom. Levin delivered the final symposium keynote and subsequently served on a panel with representatives from area schools, Teach for America, and the U.S. Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program.
The symposium examined efforts to increase multiple forms of literacy as pathways to personal opportunity, peace, and the reduction of inequities. In addition to campus events, a community event explored academic achievement progress through collaborative efforts in Baldwin County, Georgia.
Personal and Global Health: My Role, Our Challenges
The Fifth Annual Georgia College Global Citizenship Symposium, Personal and Global Health: My Role, Our Challenges, took place on February 6-8, 2012. In the spirit of previous symposia, the broad theme provided for multiple approaches to understanding health from personal, societal, and international perspectives. Categories of health include body, mind, and spirit.
At the turn of the millennium in 2000, the United Nations and affiliated international organizations agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals and set 2015 as a deadline for achieving significant results. The goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing global partnerships for development. Arguably, all of the goals are health related.
The 2012 Global Citizenship Symposium welcomed speakers with first-hand experience in health advocacy and delivery relative to the Millennium Development Goal projects.
Danielle Nierenberg, Project Director of the Nourishing the Planet project for the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, DC-based environmental think tank presented information about sustainable food production in sub-Saharan Africa.
Joel Salatin the farmer featured in the documentary film, Food Inc. challenged his listeners to pursue a "new normal" that focused on collaboration relative to locally produced food. Salatin's Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia represents America’s premier non-industrial food production oasis. Believing that the Creator’s design is still the best pattern for the biological world, the Salatin family invites like-minded folks to join in the farm’s mission: to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.
Sandra Thurman the President and CEO of the International Aids Trust and Senior Lecturer, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA and Dr. John Blevins, Associate Research Professor, Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University reviewed progress and continuing goals relative to the world's HIV-AIDS crisis.
Putting a Face on Poverty
The 2011 Global Citizenship Symposium, February 7-9, 2011, focused on global poverty. The symposium provided for an intensive three days for speakers, events, performances, and conversation.
Poverty is often revealed through demographic data and statistics, but poverty is a complex and relative concept when considered from a global perspective. Poverty is often described as a lack of resources necessary to provide a person or family’s food, shelter, and security. Inadequate education and healthcare contribute to poverty. There are extreme and moderate levels of poverty. Those who are poor are often described by their insufficient income. While money is a measure, there are other ways to describe what contributes to inequality. Environmental conditions, lack of justice, increased population, war and conflict, national debt, and a person’s choices relative to education, substance abuse, relationships, among other personal issues, are also key factors.
Anand Giridharadas, Columnist, New York Times, Jeremy Enriquez, Belizean Consultant on Issues of Development: Changing Structures, and Derreck Kayango, Advocacy Field Coordinator, CARE International served as keynote speakers and provided perspectives on economic development in India, Central America, and Africa. Multiple panels and performances shed light on poverty and offered opportunities to become involved in poverty relief efforts.
What Can I Do About Human Rights?
The Third Annual Georgia College Global Citizenship International Symposium focused on human rights. The first day of the symposium considered the historical and philosophical foundations for human rights and addressed topics such as universalism versus relativism, imperialism, and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. Preserving the Rule of Law in the Post-9/11 World was the theme for Keynote Speaker Dr. Betram Racharan, former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. Specific human rights issues were addressed through plenary and concurrent sessions on the second day. Speakers and panel discussions spoke to genocide, slavery, torture and the rights of children, women, and economically disadvantaged persons. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking was the keynote speaker. The symposium’s third day focused on human rights organizations and student activism and featured Talitha Baker, an Invisible Children national staff member. Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Invisible Children in addition to a variety of student organizations held a human rights poster session.