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Tuesday, August 11, 2020


Guest speakers tackle global issues

The Graduate College of Social Work and its Alumni Association is sponsoring the Gulen Institute’s annual discussion event Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the University Hilton. All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

“By participating in the Dialogue of Civilizations 2013, students and the University community will gain exposure to a pertinent discussion of the inequities that exist throughout the world that effect poverty and hunger,” said Ann Liberman, director of Alumni and Career Services.

“Both internationally and locally recognized speakers will share their first-hand knowledge of the issues to help audience members shape their own thoughts, opinions and future actions toward resolving global issues of concern,” Liberman said.

In 2010, the platform targeted the topic "Social Challenges of the 21st Century" and welcomed Helen R. Ebaugh and Andrew Achenbaum of UH. | Courtesy of the Gulen Institute

In 2010, the platform targeted the topic “Social Challenges of the 21st Century” and welcomed Helen R. Ebaugh and Andrew Achenbaum of UH. | Courtesy of the Gulen Institute

Shaheen Akter, assistant professor at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh, is one of these renown guests. He  kicks off the event with a discussion over climate change and how it affects agriculture.

“Our students are our future academicians, leaders and development actors,” Akter said. “Informing them of our experiences is of the utmost importance. Our understanding will help them to learn the lapses made by our ancestors with regard to caring for our natural resources. This event would enable us to discuss global development issues through a multidisciplinary lens from which our students will benefit.”

The Gulen Institute has organized the Dialogue of Civilizations since 2009 and has prompted topics such as “Using Common Values to Resolve Conflict” and “Social Challenges of the 21st Century.”

“Solidarity Against Inequalities: Global Efforts to Fight Poverty, Hunger and the Unjust Distribution of Resources” is this year’s theme, and the objective is to create a place for individuals to discuss global problems and speak with scholars and researchers about new findings in the field.

The Gulen Institute is involved with the Institute of Interfaith Dialog and the Graduate College of Social Work. The Gulen Institute and organized the event with the help of graduate students and alumni.

Eusebius Small, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas Arlington will be closing session two. His topic will be about the role of non-governmental organizations in international grassroots development.

“HIV/AIDS is a problem that has devastated sub-Saharan Africa,” Small said. “My role is to bring awareness to end this silent killer that has destroyed families now for three decades. I live it every day; I have lost to the disease close family members, neighbors, friends, etc. NGOs help in this.”

The other speakers will include Salah Eldin Taha Mahadi from Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, Harrell Rodgers from Department of Political Science, Ambassador John W. McDonald from The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, Syrian journalish Alia Turki Rabio, Jaya Sarkar from Trickle Up Charity Organization, Metin Cetiner from Helping Hands Charity Organization, and Dr. Tarik Artis from Istanbul Medeniyet University Medical School.

These speakers all recognize the importance of having these discussions readily available to students.

“Students are inventors,” Small said. “They must conceptualize these problems to challenge themselves and bring about absolutely needed solutions for a better, equitable world.”

The event is free to students and will include three sessions with nine speakers, coffee and lunch.

To register for the Dialogue of Civilizations event, go to

[email protected]


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