Thank you to BCTV for providing equipment so that we were able to video and share our events! Thank you to WWAC member Roland Vollbehr for his excellent work in filming many recent talks. And thank you to Alfred New for filming the recent “Interfaith Dialogue on Resistance.”
“An Interfaith Dialogue on Resistance”
This was a panel discussion based on the format of a Florida podcast called The Three Wise Guys, Friends Talking Faith. A founder of the podcast, Rev. Bryan Fulwider, was our guest representing a Christian point of view. Professor Amer Latif of Marlboro College represented an Islamic perspective and Dr. Jim Levinson, former spiritual leader of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Center, represented a Jewish perspective. Rev. Scott Couper of Centre Congregational Church acted as moderator. With Martin Luther King Day as inspiration, “Resistance,” was chosen as the theme for the dialogue.
Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith analyzed the situation in each of the three countries and found the American positions there confused and not entirely incompatible with those of Iran. Is there a risk of war with Iran just because some in the Trump Administration want war? Or is there a risk of war due to the unintended consequence of muddled policy, broken agreements, harsh rhetoric and diplomatic isolation?
Patricia Perez Valdes, KSC-AIPR Global Fellow, Keene State College drew from her years of experience in the Education and Audience Department of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, located in Santiago, Chile to focus on the legacy of Chile’s military dictatorship from 1973-1990, the importance of memorialization in the construction of memory as a society, and the challenges faced by the museum since it was inaugurated in January of 2010.
Two Speakers spoke about El Salvador: Wendy Wallas spoke about community media in El Salvador and Radio Victoria´s role in the struggle against transnational gold mining companies. Jaime Armando Sánchez spoke about the challenges Salvadoran youth face getting access to university careers and how education can be a dynamic driver for development.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, former nuclear negotiator for Iran and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University, presented a history of Iran-U.S. relations, focusing of the lack of trust on both sides and the repercussions of the U.S. decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, the only conflict with a Middle Eastern nation which had been partially resolved through diplomacy.
Edward Cameron, a specialist in public policy, climate change, and European Union affairs, and one of the architects of the Paris climate accord, spoke to us on “Brexit and the European Union.” Dr. Cameron analyzed the causes of the BREXIT vote, assessed the current negotiations, and explored the potential consequences for both the UK and EU.
We learned about Dr. Cameron from another important talk he gave in October on “Climate Risk and Resilience” at the Brooks Memorial Library. We then invited him to speak to WWAC on another area of his expertise, “Brexit and the European Union.” Although this climate talk was not an event that we sponsored, we thought that after attending his talk on Brexit our community might like to have access to it.
Jim Freedman, a global leadership consultant, with extensive business experience in Korea, China, and the Philippines, spoke on
“One Belt, One Road: Why Is China Rebuilding The Silk Road and Reclaiming the ‘Mandate of Heaven’?”
Peter Woodard Galbraith, American author, academic, commentator, politician, policy advisor, former United States diplomat, and State Senator for Windham County spoke on “The Axis of Evil Revisited: North Korea, Iran, Iraq (and Syria) Fifteen Years Later”
Amer Latif, Professor of Religion, Marlboro College spoke on “An Islamic Christmas Tree? What Developments in Cognitive Science
Teach Us About Making Peace”
”W. Patrick Murphy, Deputy Asst Secretary, US Dept of State for Southeast Asia, 04/2016 to present (and BUHS Alumnus!) spoke on “Promoting U.S. Interests in Asia During a Time of Change.” Since joining the Department of State in 1992, he has also completed diplomatic assignments in Burma, China, Iraq, Guinea, and Mali.
Nancy Birdsall, Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, Center for Global Development spoke on “Globalization: The Fight Against Global Poverty and Inequity. Nancy Birdsall has served as founding president for the first 15 years of the Center For Global Development from 2001-2016.
Rodney Bent, Former Interim President, Millenium Challenge Corp, spoke on “How, Where, and When Can the U.S. Government Effectively Promote International Development?” Mr. Bent has been associated with a range of diplomatic and financial institutions. He was the MCC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer for 9 months at the beginning of the Obama Administration.
Kevin Quigley, President, Marlboro College, spoke on “Peace Corps and Community Service: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again?” Before coming to Marlboro, Kevin Quigley served as Peace Corps country director in Thailand, and as president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), a global alumni organization for the more than 225,000 former Peace Corps staff and volunteers.
Professor James Galbraith spoke on “Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know.”What does “economic inequality” mean? How is it measured? Why should we care? Why did inequality rise in the United States and around the world? What should we do about it? In his latest book, Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know, Professor Galbraith took up these questions and more in plain and clear language, bringing to life one of the great economic and political debates of our age. He has compiled the latest economic research on inequality and explains his findings in a way that everyone can understand. His talk was based on this research
Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith spoke on “The New Map of the Middle East:The Disastrous Centennial of the Disastrous Sykes-Picot Agreement” This agreement was made In May of 1916 by representatives of Great Britain and France. They secretly reached an accord, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, dividing the Arab lands that had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. One hundred years later, looking at the area divided by this agreement, Ambassador Galbraith reviewed their current conflicts, focusing on Iraq and Syria and on the Kurdish minorities in these countries.
Dr. John Hagen presented a talk entitled “American Engagement with Niger:A Case Study on Confronting Violent Extremism in Africa” As the academic lead for a U.S. State Department initiative that is helping to develop professional military education for the army of Niger, John Hagen was in a good position to analyze the situation in that country. He showed us why Niger offers a valuable case study that the U.S. must consider when engaging with African countries to curb strategic threats on that continent due to the spread of violent extremism in Trans‐Saharan Africa.
Dr. Paul Morgan, Ph.D. presented a talk entitled “The Paris Climate Agreement: Emissions Accomplished?” Dr. Morgan reflected on the ‘Paris Agreement’ reached at the most recent UN climate change conference (COP21). After reviewing the history of climate change science and prior attempts at international agreements, he shared what he learned while attending COP21 as an official observer, and addressed whether and to what extent the agreement helps put the world on a path that avoids climate catastrophe. At the Marlboro Graduate Center on Feb. 19, 2016
Thomas M. White, the Coordinator of Educational Outreach for the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College. presented a talk entitled “The Power of Place: Encountering Auschwitz 70 Years After Liberation.” Weaving together archival images from a project by two Nazi photographers from the lab/identification service project in Auschwitz with pictures from the 2014 trip, he explored the process of genocide and the “moral universe” the perpetrators created. At the Marlboro Graduate Center on January 22, 2016.
Former U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith presented a talk entitled “The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Why It Is Good for America and How It May Change the Middle East,” as the first in the Windham World Affairs Council’s new “Hot Off the Press” presentations meant to inform civic dialogue on issues of the moment. Hosted on Friday, July 24, 2015 at 118 Elliot St. Here is a short excerpt.
Keene State College Professor of Environmental Studies Renate Gebauer, PhD presented this talk entitled “Sustainability in Developing Countries: A Case Study from Nepal” on 02/20/15
Onetime CIA analyst and current U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Donald Gregg presented this free talk entitled “The Dangers of Demonization of North Korea” on 01/14/15
Members of this International Student Panel at the Marlboro Graduate Center this November shared their experiences coming to the region on 11/14/14
World Learning CEO Don Steinberg gave a talk on “World Learning’s Role in International Exchange, Education, and Development: What’s Happening on Kipling Road?” 10/07/14
Best selling author and Wesleyan University Professor of Religion Peter Gottschalk
presents his talk ““Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy” on 10/03/14