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  

   Our Fall Programs:

 Thursday, October 1


“Global Health Monitoring and Evaluation”

12 noon, Thursday, October 1st

Margaret Chase Smith Library

56 Norridgewock Avenue


Denise Vaillancourt will discuss the topic of evaluation as a learning tool for improving the effectiveness of global health investments.  She will focus on two of her recent evaluations – one on malaria control in Benin and the other on health care modernization in Albania.

Ms. Vaillancourt is a native of Mexico, Maine, who has gone on to a long and successful career as an expert in the field of international health.  She holds a master’s degree in International Public Policy from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, where she also has studied health policy and management.  In addition, she is an instructor in the Department of International Health at Georgetown University. 

In 1976, Denise moved from the staff of Senator Edmund Muskie to a position with The World Bank.  She has served as a member of the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group since 2003 and in that capacity, has evaluated health projects and programs in countries around the globe.  Her name may be familiar to many people as Monica Wood’s BFF in the author’s poignant memoir about growing up in a Maine mill town during the early 1960s, When We Were the Kennedys.

Please register by contacting Lynnette King via email Lynnette King or by phone at 474-7133.  The Library will have water and light refreshments available for guests.  If you would like a sandwich lunch for $10 per meal, get in touch with the Library by September 25th. 

Thursday,  November 12

Photo Credit Girl Crimson ::: Alt Portraiture

The Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights at Colby College is pleased to announce the selection of Jodi Koberinski of Canada as our 2015 Oak Fellow. Koberinski’s pioneering work reimagining agriculture and advocating for more equitable food systems, not only in Canada but also around the world, puts her at the forefront in the field of food sovereignty, the theme for this year’s Oak fellowship.

Koberinski is launching the Beyond Pesticides Network to transform Canada’s food systems. Professionally, this represents a bold move. Not so long ago Koberinski was an entrepreneur operating a café and a small-scale food processing project. Then she spent six years as the executive director of the Organic Council of Ontario, working to create change from within the corporate-industrial food complex. Now she is a frontline activist who supports farm families, rural communities, and those living in poverty in their fight for food sovereignty.

Although Koberinski hails from a country that has earned a global reputation as a champion of human rights, she says she feels increasingly vulnerable in Canada. For one thing, this outspoken critic of industrial food production says powerful agribusiness interests that benefit from the status quo are ever more vigilant in their efforts to discredit her. For another, she believes Ottawa has grown hostile to activists like herself.

In recent years Voices-Voix, a network of Canadian civil society organizations, has documented what it calls “the shrinking democratic space for dialogue on public policy and for dissent” in Canada. In a 2013 report it claimed that environmental groups, in particular, are being “systematically silenced” by the government. A researcher at Queen’s University in Ontario believes that Canada is gripped by a “green scare,” and that federal agencies routinely spy on such organizations—a claim denied by law enforcement.

Koberinski, who calls herself a “town crier,” comes to Colby College as the political environment grows increasingly fractious back home. She will arrive in late August and spend the fall semester here, leading a human rights seminar on food systems, consulting with members of the campus and Maine communities, and building the Beyond Pesticides Network.

At the moment, Koberinski is working without pay, relying on crowdsourcing to finance her grassroots campaign. She is known as an unflagging source of innovation, an activist who tirelessly helps others and furthers the cause of food sovereignty. She is a global leader on this issue and is recognized for her vital work transforming—not just reforming—agriculture to provide sustainable, safe, and secure food systems around the world.

More details about the date and registration will be posted in the future.

Monday, November 30

Roger Launius

12 noon Alfond Center

in conjunction with the Waterville Rotary

Roger Launius is the Associate Director of the Air and Space Museum.

Details about this talk and registration will be posted soon.