The Mid-Maine Global Forum contributes to the local community’s understanding of issues of global significance by organizing and disseminating informed public presentations and discussion. To become a member or be put on our mailing list, email Global Forum  


May 2

Railroad Square Cinema 7 pm

$5,  ALL students are free

“Soft Vengeance”


SOFT VENGEANCE is a film about Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Shining a spotlight on Albie’s story provides a prism through which to view the challenges faced by those unable to tolerate a society founded on principles of slavery and disempowerment of South Africa’s majority black population. As a young man, Albie defended those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa. For his actions as a lawyer, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Cape Town, tortured through sleep deprivation and forced into exile. In 1988 he was blown up by a car bomb set by the South African security forces in Maputo, Mozambique, which cost him his right arm and the sight of one eye, but miraculously he survived and after a long year of rehabilitation in England, he recovered.  Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court, which for the past 20 years has been insuring that the rights of all South Africans are afforded protection.

As Albie was recovering in a London hospital from the car bomb he received a note reading: “Don’t worry, comrade Albie, we will avenge you.” What kind of country would it be, he wondered, if it ended up filled with people who were blind and without arms? But if we achieve democracy, freedom and the rule of law, he said to himself, that will be my soft vengeance.” As it turned out, the first phase of his soft vengeance started with his becoming one of the principal architects of South Africa’s new non-racial, non-sexist Constitution. It went on to include his meeting through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the man who had organized the placing of the bomb in his car, and ended with him being chosen by Nelson Mandela as one of the first eleven members of South Africa’s first Constitutional Court set up to guarantee the implementation of the fundamental rights for which they had been fighting.

Adding to the visual texture of the film is the story behind the construction of the Constitutional Court building, in which Albie played a critical role. He was among those who recommended that the new Court building be erected in the heart of the prison where both Gandhi and Mandela had been imprisoned and be designed to represent enlightenment and hope where once there had been despair. Albie became curator in chief of the Court’s unique art collection representing the themes of human dignity, equality and freedom that lay at the heart of the new Bill of Rights. As Albie said: “The building was designed to be a continuing part of the freedom struggle, and to epitomize in its very openness and sense of humaneness, the values of human dignity, equality and freedom that lay at the core of the constitutional endeavor.”

No registration is required. Prexy Nesbitt, who is speaking on Tuesday and who is in the film, will be present to lead a discussion after the showing.

Visit the website: Soft Vengeance


 May 3


9:30 am Messalonskee High School

“The Civil Rights Movement in the United States”

12 Noon Rem Center

“South Africa Today”

Prexy Nesbitt

Rozell “Prexy” Nesbitt was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. After graduating from the Francis Parker School in Chicago, Nesbitt enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. After graduating from Antioch in 1967, Nesbitt continued his education, attending the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania; Northwestern University; and Columbia University.

Even before completing his Ph.D. in 1975, Nesbitt was highly active in labor and equality movements; by 1976, he had become the national coordinator and field organizer for the Bank Withdrawal Campaign for the American Committee on Africa. Two years later Nesbitt was named the director of the Africa Project at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In 1979, Nesbitt became the program director and secretary for research at the World Council of Churches, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Nesbitt returned to Chicago in 1984, where he continued his work as a labor organizer. In 1986, Chicago mayor Harold Washington named Nesbitt as a special assistant. The following year, the government of Mozambique appointed Nesbitt to serve as a consultant to help them represent their interests to the United States, Canada, and Europe; he remained in this post until 1992.

In 1990, Nesbitt took a post as a lecturer with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and in 1993, became the senior program officer with the Program on Peace & International Cooperation with the MacArthur Foundation. Nesbitt remained with the MacArthur Foundation until 1996, when he was named the dean of community engagement and diversity. In addition to his foundation work, Nesbitt worked as an African and American history teacher at his high school alma mater, Francis W. Parker School. Nesbitt also taught African History at Columbia College, and served as a consultant on diversity for the Francis W. Parker School; the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools; and the East Educational Collaborative in Washington, DC. In 2001, Nesbitt became the South African representative of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the interim director for the American Friends Service Committee Africa Program. From 2003 on, Nesbitt worked as the Senior Multiculturalism and Diversity Specialist for the Chicago Teachers Center at Northeastern Illinois University.

Nesbitt has lectured both in the United States and abroad, and has written extensively, publishing a book and articles in more than twenty international journals. Nesbitt also served as a co-writer on the BBC production of The People’s Century programSkin Deep, about racism in the United States and South Africa. Over the course of his career, Nesbitt made more than seventy trips to Africa, including trips taken in secret to apartheid torn South Africa; his work has garnered him numerous awards throughout his career.

Making the Road

The History Makers

Please Register for the noon program by Email: Bonnie Sammons or by telephone: Bonnie Sammons at 716-1022

Lunch catered by Jorgensen’s for $10 – Please pay at the door.

Please register for this Tuesday lunch program no later than Sunday, May 1

Please indicate your lunch choice:   Sandwiches:  Turkey Club, Tarragon Chicken Salad, Hummus/Veggie Wrap

Lunch includes your choice of sandwich, soup, cookie, coffee or  tea.

Please note: Registrants who request lunch are responsible for lunch fees.  If your plans change and you are unable to attend, please notify us so that lunch orders can be adjusted.

Mid-Maine Global Forum is pleased to offer this program on May 3, 2016 at our regular venue: REM Forum 93 Main St, Waterville, Me May 3, 2016


Nick Record 

Senior Research Scientist

Ecosystem Modeling

June 10, 12 Noon 

  • BA Mathematics, University of Rochester 2001
  • MA Mathematics, University of Rochester 2002
  • MSc Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland 2005
  • PhD Oceanography, University of Maine 2012

Research Interests 

I am a computational ocean ecologist. My work uses computational ocean models and mathematical ecology to understand and predict ocean biogeography, biogeochemistry, and climate. Models typically combine ocean physics with biological and ecological processes, but I also use machine learning and artificial intelligence. I have worked on short-range forecasting, such as predicting the migration patterns of whales, as well as long-range forecasting, such as investigating the way ecosystems will respond to climate change. My field program currently focuses on optical and acoustic measurement of zooplankton.

For more information, go to: Nick Record

More information about the location and registration will be posted closer to the program date.

Summer Dinner Program

August 11, 6 pm

Nicholas Burns

Colby College

Nicholas Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia. He serves on the Board of Directors of the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Professor Burns is on leave at Stanford University during Spring semester 2016 where he is Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Burns is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group, and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc.  He is a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board at the U.S. Department of State. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Special Olympics International, the Diplomacy Center Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, the Atlantic Council, America Abroad Media, the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations and the Gennadius Library. He is Vice Chairman of the American Ditchley Foundation and serves on the Panel of Senior Advisors at Chatham House: the Royal Institute of International Affairs.  He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Order of Saint John and Red Sox Nation.

Professor Burns served in the United States government for twenty-seven years.  As a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008; the State Department’s third-ranking official when he led negotiations on the U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement; a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel; and was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program. He was U.S. Ambassador to NATO (2001–2005), Ambassador to Greece (1997–2001) and State Department Spokesman (1995–1997).  He worked for five years (1990–1995) on the National Security Council at the White House where he was Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director for Soviet Affairs in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush. Burns also served in the American Consulate General in Jerusalem (1985–1987) where he coordinated U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and before that, at the American embassies in Egypt (1983-1985) and Mauritania (1980 as an intern).

Professor Burns has received twelve honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from the Johns Hopkins University, the Boston College Alumni Achievement Award and the Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University. He has a BA in History from Boston College (1978), an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (1980), and earned the Certificat Pratique de Langue Francaise at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (1977). He was a visiting Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in summer 2008.

Details of this exciting program will be posted closer to the event.