Peace in the City: As Colombia Peace Talks Advance, Citizens Build Peace in Medellin (3/6)

Peace in the City
As Colombia Peace Talks Advance, Citizens Build Peace in Medellín
Sonia Ines Goéz Orrego, Executive Director of CEDECIS, the Corporation for Community Development and Social Integration in Medellín, Colombia
Friday, March 6, 2015
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sherman Hall, Wing B, Room 150
Baltimore, MD 21250
Sonia Ines Goéz Orrego is the executive director of CEDECIS, a dynamic community organization working in some of the most violent areas of Medellín. With two decades of experience in community organizing and building a culture of peace, she can show how people have come together to prevent forced recruitment of young people by gangs, paramilitary and guerrilla organizations, to train children and adolescents in nonviolence, and to build more resilient and peaceful communities.
CEDECIS’s experience is especially relevant today as the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas are advancing steadily in peace negotiations in Havana, Cuba, that would end the Western Hemisphere’s longest running conflict. Yet as talks move forward, communities like those CEDECIS serves are still caught in conflict. Moreover, if an accord is signed, it will still be up to local communities to construct a lasting peace on the ground.
Ms. Goéz is a lawyer, teacher and community organizer. She has helped create strategies to prevent forced recruitment and free children and young people from armed groups, has assisted communities of displaced people to receive social services and exercise their rights, and has pioneered programs to build a culture of peace. She has a teaching degree as well as a law degree from the Fundación Universitaria Luis Amigo. Ms. Goéz is also a representative of the Coordinación Colombia Europa Estados Unidos (CCEEUU), the main network of some 245 Colombian human rights and nongovernmental organizations.
Organized by the Latin America Working Group and Colombia Human Rights Committee
Sponsored by: Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication; Global Studies; PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

James Grubb, History, Named Trustee of Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

James GrubbHistory Professor James Grubb has been selected to serve as one of three trustees of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, a philanthropic foundation headquartered in New York.  According to its website, the The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation “promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions which transmit our cultural heritage.”

The Foundation sponsors projects in four areas in which the founder was keenly interested: libraries, humanities, artistic performance in New York, and Venetian studies.  The annual budget is about $2.5 million. Grubb will oversee the programs in the humanities and Venetian studies, although all decisions are made by the three trustees jointly.

The selection of Prof. Grubb is a recognition of his prominence in the field of Early Modern Studies, Venetian Studies, and Italian history. For more information on the foundation, click here.


Robert Provine, Psychology, on Australian National Radio

Robert ProvinePsychology Research Professor and Professor Emeritus Robert Provine was recently interviewed by Radio National (RN) in Australia about his research on yawning, sneezing, and hiccuping. Provine’s interview appeared on the RN program “The Body Sphere” and the title of the segment was “Breathing Through Pain.”

“One of the most striking things about contagious yawning is that it reminds us that we are not a conscious being with total voluntary control of our behavior. When you see someone else yawn, you don’t decide, I’m going to do what that person over there just did. We simply do it,” Provine said during the program. “When we yawn, and when we hear other people yawning, we’re synchronizing our behavior with other members of the group,” he added.

To listen to the full RN segment, click here.

MLLI Department Announces Spring Film Festival Series Lineup

The Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication Department has announced the lineup for its spring film festival series. Films from across the different areas of MLLI are represented. To view a video promoting the series, see below.

MLLI will also participate in a Short Film Festival during ArtWeek at UMBC. The information is below:

Short Film Festival during Art Week
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sports Zone, The Commons

A screening of foreign film shorts will be shown in the Sports Zone. We
will have drinks and free popcorn! Come and see short films from France,
India, Israel and more. For more information, click here.

Kimberly Moffitt, American Studies, on The Marc Steiner Show

On February 26, WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show hosted a discussion on a bill before Maryland legislators that would lift restrictions on when police officers could carry their weapons, which would allow them to carry their weapons in schools.

Kimberly Moffitt

Kimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies, discussed her conflicting thoughts on the issue because of her respect for many police officers and educators who say it is necessary, but also her viewpoint as a parent of two children in the schools.

“Where does the slippery slope take us and what might happen as a result? One of my biggest concerns, coming from the perspective of a parent…because of some of the energy around how we perceive our children, in particular black boys…what happens when the first victim of such a shooting happens to be one of our students and not necessarily an intruder?” Moffitt said. The listen to the full segment, click here.

On February 20, Moffitt co-hosted The Marc Steiner Show and facilitated discussions on a new play, “Make Yourself at Home,” running at Baltimore’s Annex Theater, and how to teach children black history outside the context of schools. To listen to the segments, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, in the Washington Post

Derek MusgroveGeorge Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, was quoted in a February 26 article in the Washington Post that examined Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s role in ushering in the legalization of marijuana in the city.

Musgrove commented on the relationship between Bowser and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over D.C. legislative matters, and noted that Bowser contacted Chaffetz in advance of a press conference this week about marijuana legalization.

“Her press conference was impressive. Not only was she firm . . . standing up for the wishes of 7 in 10 voters, but she was shrewd, making her case in a manner that left room for a continuing relationship with Chaffetz.” said Musgrove, who is a D.C. resident and is currently writing a book about race and democracy in the city.

To read the full article titled “D.C. mayor’s deal with pot backers led to a low-key success,” click here.

Sunil Dasgupta, Political Science, in ISN

In an article published February 25 in the International Relations and Security Network Digital Library News, Sunil Dasgupta analyzed the shifting balance of power between the United States and Russia in light of recent events in Ukraine.

Sunil Dasgupta

“Russia’s ability to defy the United States and other Western powers in Ukraine (as well as Moscow’s support of the Syrian and Iranian regimes) since late 2013 has suggested that the period of soft balancing is over. The return of traditional balance of power politics implies that a multipolar world, in which the United States is one of many similarly positioned great powers, may have arrived,” Dasgupta wrote.

Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, also noted that the balance of power could be affected by rising powers such as China and India and their decisions whether or not to side with Russia.

“If the road to multipolarity runs through Ukraine, however, not everyone is seeing the same view en route. On the one hand, it is clear that Russia has been able to use economic interdependence, modern technology, and a proxy war strategy to resist the United States and other Western powers. On the other, the dangers of overreach are all too evident. Russia is on the precipice of alienating Europe, revitalizing NATO, and bankrupting itself if energy prices remain low.”

To read the full article titled “Does the Road to a Multipolar World Run through Ukraine,” click here.