UN Week to raise awareness about international issues

This Monday marks the beginning of the annual “United Nations Week,” a week-long event of films, speeches, and panel discussions on a wide variety of international issues, and features a keynote address by Will Davis, Director of the United Nations Information Center in Washington, D.C.

The event was organized by the Southern Oregon University United Nations Club, in conjunction with several other campus organizations and departments.

“Generally what we want to do is focus on the connection between local politics and international issues,” said Evan Lasley, one of the event organizers. “It can be summed up as raising awareness about international issues, but then returning to what we ourselves can do.”

Each day addresses a specific topic, covering everything from human trafficking to environmental issues, and features presentations from community members as well as guest speakers.

The event begins Monday, Oct. 17, with two movies addressing violence against women, “The Stoning of Soraya M” and “The Whistle Blower” at noon, followed by a panel discussion at 6 p.m., on human trafficking. All events will be held in the Meese Room of the Hannon Library.

Environmental issues are the subject of Tuesday’s activities, featuring screenings of documentaries “Flow” at 5 p.m., and “Garbage Island” at 8:45 p.m., as well as a discussion about environmental issues at 7 p.m., in the Meese Room.

Wednesday’s topic is education, with two documentaries on the American education system, “Waiting for Superman” at noon and “Race to Nowhere” at 2 p.m., followed by a panel discussion at 6 p.m., on the persecution of students and faculty in Iran. All events will be in the Meese Room.

Solidarity is Thursday’s theme, including discussion of the recent Occupy Wall Street protests at 3 p.m., and a community potluck at 4 p.m.. Thursday’s events will be held in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union.

The United Nations itself is the subject of Friday’s documentaries, starting at noon in the Meese Room, followed by the SOU UN Club’s general meeting at 3 p.m.

Davis will be giving the keynote address on Sunday at 4 p.m., in the Rogue River Room, discussing the positive impact of the United Nations on international politics.

“I think part of it is giving people a perspective on what things are like in other countries,” said Lasley. “We’re not exactly relating it to the UN. The UN is an idea. We simply want to use it as a vehicle to address international issues.”

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