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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  

Unless otherwise announced, our programs will downtown in the Chace Center in Colby’s  building on Maine Street.

Please notice below that the programs through May have been canceled. Whether the GF holds the summer program will be determined in a month or two.

News Flash: Our summer dinner program will be in late July or early August, and will feature Ambassador Dennis Ross. You can see his bio below.

To make our summer programs sustainable over the long term, the GF is embarking on a major capital campaign with a goal of raising $50,000. The fund will be named in honor of Linda Cotter, who founded the Forum in the early 1990’s, and the summer lecture will be called the “Linda Cotter Lecture.” In January All Forum members will be receiving  a letter from the GF outlining how one can contribute to this fund. 

The next Forum program:

Due to the spreading virus and Colby closing, the GF must cancel this event with the safety of all coming first. Venuste is also returning to Kenya.

Friday, March 27th

Colby Chace Forum

12 noon (lunch available at 11:30)

Maine Street, Waterville

Venuste Kubwimana

Colby College Oak Fellow

“Son on Genocide”

Spring 2020 Oak Humans Rights Fellow Venuste Kubwimana

Water activist, Venuste Kubwimana founded “A Water Kiosk at School”, a start-up which has transformed communities and engaged schools in rural Kenya and Rwanda by improving access to clean water. Kubwimana was born and brought up in a rural and poor family of seven siblings in the Southern province of Rwanda. After losing much of his family during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, he was left to care for his younger siblings and often had to miss school to fetch water from distant clean water sources. 

Kubwimana’s experience inspired him to partner with a friend to form International Transformation Foundation (ITF) – a nonprofit organization that provides youth leadership and entrepreneurship programs to develop jobs and contribute to the development of Rwandan and Kenyan communities. In 2013, Venuste turned his focus to improving water access in the region. He partnered his organization with Join the Pipe Foundation, launching “A Water Kiosk at School”, a project that involves installing specially designed Dutch tap stations near playgrounds, city centers, parks, schools and bus stations in Kenya in order for people to have access to clean drinking water. To date, the program’s 11 Water Kiosks across Kenya and Rwanda have given 117,858 people access to clean drinking water.

You can see a video about him at http://www.colby.edu/oakinstitute/

Lunch options for $12: roast beef sandwich, chicken pesto, and vegetarian with a vegan option, served with soup and a cookie.

To register you can reply to the email you receive, email the Global Forum (midmaineglobalforum@gmail.com) or call 689-8462 by Thursday, March 26 mid-day.

As always you are welcome to bring your own lunch or not eat…registration helps the GF to plan seating.

This program is also canceled. Sorry!

Thursday, April 9

12 noon

Mano en Mano

This organization works with migrant workers in northern Maine. the director will be doing two programs, one at 9 am at Messalonskee High School and our usual program at noon at the Chace Forum.

See the website: Mano en Mano

This program is also canceled.

Monday, May 4

Best Western Hotel, upper Maine Street

12 noon

This will be our joint program with Rotary and will be on indigenous people in Paraguay. More details will be posted soon!

George Ritz

George Ritz has worked in Paraguay setting up health clinics and working  with indigenous people.

More information will be posted soon.

See: Guidestar and

George Ritz

This program is also canceled.

Dr Richard Hopper

President, Kennebec Valley Community College

                               Education in Columbia

As of now, the summer program has not been canceled, but the situation would have to be greatly improved for us to have the event.

Summer Dinner Program

Colby College

The Linda Cotter Lecture

late July or early August: details will be posted as soon as plans are finalized.

The speaker: Ambassador Dennis Ross

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.

During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. Ambassador Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President Clinton, and Secretaries Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department’s highest award.

A 1970 graduate of UCLA, Ambassador Ross wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decisionmaking, and from 1984 to 1986 served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior. He received UCLA’s highest medal and has been named UCLA alumnus of the year. He has also received honorary doctorates from Brandeis, Amherst, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Syracuse University. Ambassador Ross was named a 2016-2017 senior fellow by Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Ambassador Ross has published extensively on the former Soviet Union, arms control, and the greater Middle East, contributing numerous chapters to anthologies. In the 1970s and 1980s, his articles appeared in World Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Orbis, International Security, Survival, and Journal of Strategic Studies. Since leaving government at the end of 2011, he has authored many op-eds in the New York TimesWashington Post, and other papers and magazines. In addition, he writes monthly columns for US News and World Report, and the New York Daily News. In addition, he writes monthly columns for the Middle Eastern newspaper Asharq al-awsat.

Ross is the author of several influential books on the peace process, the Middle East, and international relations. His most recent book, co-written with his Washington Institute colleague David Makovsky, is Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs, September 2019). The book illustrates “profiles in courage” of four Israeli leaders who faced existential questions about the future of Israel: David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon. Ross and Makovsky provide a reminder of the courageous decisions taken by these leaders in the past and calls for yet another courageous decision in the present to preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state. Previously, Ross authored Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, October 2015). That book was awarded the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for history. He also co-authored Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking, June 2009) with Mr. Makovsky. An earlier study, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process. The New York Times praised his 2007 publication, Statecraft, And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), as “important and illuminating.”