Past Season 2007-2008

Monday, September 17th at 4:30 pm, Alfond Youth Center Library, “Somali Bantu Refugees in Lewiston, Maine”, featuring Professor Catherine Besteman and Somali refugee, Sheik Mohammad. Prof. Besteman will offer a short program that provides some background history on the 1992 war in Somalia that drove many from their homes into refugee camps in Kenya. After over a decade in refugee camps, they were resettled to the United States. A few years ago, Somali Bantu refugees from all over the US began moving to Lewiston, Maine, eventually forming the largest Somali Bantu refugee community in the US. Sheik Mohammad will talk about his experiences in Maine. No registration required. Please note time and venue! The Alfond Youth Center is at 126 North Street in Waterville. The library is upstairs (elevator available).

Tuesday, October 16th, Richard Falk on “The Repudiation of International Law Since 9/11”. (Please click name for biography and link to extensive curriculum vitae.)

Thursday, November 29th at 4:30 at The Center with Nancy Sanchez, 2007 Oak Fellow at Colby. Wine and cheese reception. Nancy has been involved for nearly two decades in human rights work in Putumayo, Colombia, one of the most conflictive areas of Colombia, torn between several fronts of the guerilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and paramilitary forces. No registration necessary.

Monday, January 28th at noon at John Martin’s Manor, a joint program with Waterville Rotary, Brent Sansom on “Opportunity – Atlantica”.The Atlantica Council is a group of respected business leaders, representing various sectors throughout the Atlantica region, that has been formed by the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce (APCC) to guide efforts required to significantly enhance the economic prosperity of the region of Atlantica (a region of potential economic cooperation that includes the Northeastern United States, the Atlantic Provinces, and southern Quebec). Reporting to the president of APCC and working with and on behalf of the Atlantica Council, the Vice President of Atlantica, Brent Sansom, is responsible for planning, managing and implementing programs that support the Atlantica Council.

Tuesday, February 26th at noon at the Williamson Performing Arts Center (at Lawrence HS) in Fairfield, Dr. William Bicknell on “Managing HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries”. Dr. Bicknell is Chairman Emeritus and Professor of International Health at Boston University School of Public Health, and founder of the Center for International Health. He is currently involved with the government of Lesotho in designing and implementing multi-sectoral, long-term programs to mitigate the impact of HIV/AiDS. Lesotho, a small African nation roughly 1/3 the size of Maine, with a population of 2,000,000, has one of the highest percentages (27% and growing) of people afflicted with HIV/AIDS in the world. How is this impacting the country? What can be done about it? What are the obstacles? What are the goals? For more information on the project, see Lesotho Boston University Health Alliance

Monday, March 10th at noon at Hafford’s Saloon, 6 Jefferson St, Waterville. A joint program with Rotary: Larry Durkin on “The World Water Crisis — What is more precious than our children?”. One in five globally lack clean water and two in five lack adequate sanitation. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene claim the lives of over 1.5 million children under the age of five every year according to UNICEF. Lack of water is arguably the No. 1 preventable health crisis facing humanity today. The status of the crisis will be discussed along with the disproportionate burden placed on women, how communities are unable to break out of the cycle of poverty, and possible solutions.

Thursday, April 3rd, 7 pm, Diamond 142 (Ostrove Auditorium), Colby College — “The Quiet Catastrophe: Iraqi Refugees and Contemporary Politics”, featuring Jake Kurtzer of Refugees International and Jennifer Kemp of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq. What if four million people fled their homes -and no one noticed? What if nearly 1/6 of a nation’s population became refugees -and the world did nothing? With notable exceptions, this is very much the case in and around Iraq today. Since the beginning of war in 2003 huge segments of Iraqi society have been trying to escape a living nightmare. Most now live in Jordan, Syria, or remote parts of Iraq. Most are women and children. In a joint program with Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, Kurtzer and Kemp will talk about their experiences and about the solutions their organizations support. No registration required.

Friday, May 2nd, Quil Lawrence, PRI/BBC correspondent, on “Kurdistan: America’s Accidental Success in Iraq”. “Kurdistan is an invisible nation, and the Kurds are the largest ethnic group on Earth without a homeland, comprising some 25 million moderate Sunni Muslims living in the area around the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Through a history dating back to biblical times, they have endured persecution and betrayal, surviving only through stubborn compromise with greater powers. Yet, like the Basques in Spain and the Chechens in Chechnya, they have yearned for official statehood—and in the denouement of the conflict in Iraq, they could take a giant step toward that goal. But will they?” — from Quil’s new book, “Invisible Nation: How the Kurds’ Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East” (Walker Books).

Thursday, May 8th at noon, Williamson Arts & Technology Center, Lawrence Junior/Senior High School in Fairfield: “Child Soldiers” featuring Grace Akallo, former child soldier and author of the book “Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope For Northern Uganda’s Children”, and Cynthia Gabriel of Amnesty International. High school teachers should register the number of students and teachers attending by May 1st, otherwise no registration is required. Snacks and beverages will be provided in the foyer.

Wednesday, June 11th at noon, Colby Professor Nikky Singh on “Punjabi Women in the Global Market”

Thursday, August 14th, Annual Dinner at Roberts Dining Hall, Colby College, featuring Michael Klare on “America’s Future and the Permanent Energy Crisis”. Cocktail reception at 6 pm, Dinner and Keynote Address at 7 pm. $25 per person. Please note that the film “Blood and Oil”, based on Klare’s book of the same name, will be playing at Railroad Square cinema in Waterville on August 13th at 7:00 pm.