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Fall series gives global perspectives on social justice

A series of free and low-cost public events at Drake University will highlight the experiences of social justice leaders from developing countries around the world.

The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University has scheduled lectures, film screenings, and conferences—often in partnership with other organizations on Drake’s campus and in the community—to ensure global perspectives and concepts are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural experience of members of the Drake and Des Moines communities.

“This semester, we will hear from a wide range of global experts—from educators, to activists, to business leaders—who can help us understand how struggles for social justice here in Des Moines and in Iowa are connected with initiatives for social justice elsewhere in the world,” said David Skidmore, director of The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship. “Sometimes the issues we face are the same or similar, and sometimes they are different; but we can learn a great deal from one another.”


Heartland Global Health Consortium Conference: “The Social Determinants of Health.”
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Olmsted Center.

This day-long conference will include panel discussions on issues of poverty, water quality, heroin and opioid abuse, childhood asthma, childhood obesity, and cultural perspectives on health.

The conference is free to faculty, staff, and students of Heartland Global Health Consortium member schools—Drake University, Central College, Des Moines University, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Simpson College, University of Iowa, and William Penn University. Tickets are $25 for non-members with a vegetarian lunch provided.

Panels include more than a dozen Drake University faculty members and six Drake students. Students from Heartland member schools will participate in a poster session.

More information and registration is available online.


“The Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras: Justice for Berta and Beyond.”
Monday, Oct. 10, 6–7:30 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center.

Martín Fernández, national coordinator of the Movement for Dignity and Justice, will discuss how the organization seeks to expose and combat state violence and corruption in Honduras while organizing communities around the principles of self-determination, ecological sustainability, and collective resistance.

“The Resurgence of Collaborative Documentary in the Internet Era: Communities, New Technologies, and Social Narrative.”
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7–9 p.m., Meredith Hall Room 101

Diego Zavala, a professor in the department of communications and digital arts at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara campus, will discuss how traditional and interactive documentary have become critical to the efforts of social groups in their attempts to promote social change and foster connections within communities.

“Big Farms Make Big Flu (and Ebola and Zika and Yellow Fever and MERS and Q Fever).”
12:30–1:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center.

Evolutionary biologist Robert G. Wallace will explore how the economics of agriculture relates to the spread of influenza and other illnesses. Wallace, who is currently visiting the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Global Studies, has consulted on influenza for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Getting Ahead with Almost Nothing: What Immigrant Communities Can Teach Us About the American Dream.”
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7–8:30 p.m. Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center.

Jeffrey Ashe, a senior fellow with the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, will discuss his extensive experience with microfinance projects in developing countries. Ashe led a project called Saving for Change at Oxfam America, through which more than 703,000 people signed up for community savings groups in Mali, Senegal, Cambodia, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Public lecture by Vandana Shiva
Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Sheslow Auditorium, time TBD.

Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmentalist, and anti-globalization activist.

Panel Discussions

“Are International Financial Institutions Still Relevant?”
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7–8:30 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center

Expert panelists from The Principal Financial Group and Drake University’s College of Business and Public Administration will discuss the continued relevance of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, in a complex global marketplace.

“Iowa and Africa: Expanding Engagement.”
Thursday, Nov. 10, 7–8:30 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center

Panelists from Drake University, the Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS), Empower Tanzania, Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage, and Medicine for Mali will explore how Iowa can expand its meaningful engagement and outreach to Africa.

International Film Series

 “No,” (2012, dir. Pablo Larrain).
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2–4:30 p.m. Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center.

“Hija de la Laguna (Daughter of the Lake),” (2015, dir. Ernesto Cabellos).
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7–9 p.m. Meredith Hall Room 101

“Los Colores de la Montana (The Colors of the Mountain),” (2010, dir. Carlos Cesar Arbelaez). Sunday, Oct. 23, 2–4:15 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center.

“El Clan (The Clan),” (2015, dir. Pablo Trapero).
Sunday, Nov. 13,Noon to 2:30 p.m., Meredith Hall Room 101.

For additional information about The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University, visit www.drake.edu/cgc or email Denise Ganpat, denise.ganpat@drake.edu.