March 23, 2020
Haya Mohanna came to the United States from the Gaza Strip in Palestine to study at Gettysburg College. She was sponsored by LE.O (Leonard Education Organization) which supports nearly 60 qualified students in American universities. Even with this support, she experienced the difficulty of leaving occupied Gaza, and the frustration of not being able to visit her family whom she has not seen in seven years. She has flourished in America even while she continues to make adjustments as a Muslim woman to her new environment. She believes that this country is a beacon of hope that must come to terms with itself as a cultural mix where no religion, culture, or race can be privileged.
December 5, 2019
Ukraine is more than a late-night punchline or a pawn in U.S. domestic politics. It is a country rich in resources and history. Dennis Carter, recently retired career foreign service officer after 38 years in the Department of State, including postings in Kuwait, Peru, France, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Grenada takes deep into the the history and the importance of Ukraine on the world stage. Strategically, it abuts western Russia. Other nations have coveted its territory for centuries because it is the “breadbasket of Europe, has rich mineral resources, and lately, technology. In recent years Ukraine has had to resist Russian incursions, especially a take-over of Crimea and threats to the Donbass region.
Also listen to our 2014 interview with Ambassador Lawrence Taylor on the conflict in Ukraine.
October 21, 2019
Dr. Susann Samples, Professor of Foreign Languages at Mt. St. Mary’s University, discusses her Delaplaine Seminar professorship at Mount St. Mary’s University. The professorship’s faculty seminar centered on “The Black Diaspora in Europe” with the goal of introducing this topic to a wider audience and to begin the process of “decolonizing” the curriculum.
In this conversation she explores the historical background and readings relevant to the study of the African Diaspora in Europe. She also discusses the importance of the seminar for a Catholic University and the desired outcomes of the seminar.
September 9, 2019
Nadir Jeevanjee and Nathaniel Tarshish are two members of a group called “Climate Up Close” who share a background in Princeton University research and are traveling with a program that describes, in easy-to-understand terms, what climate change is, how it affects us, and what “bold climate actions” can redress this increasingly critical development. Sharing the scientific consensus on climate change is foremost in their program, using a power point presentation and simple demonstrations, plus a desire to dialogue, even with those who might have a different perspective.
May 6, 2019
Kate Braband, Senior Associate Director of Program Development, Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia describes the success that the Carter Center, initiated thirty years ago by President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, has had in controlling guinea worm, one of the more painful and debilitating of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (WTD) in Central Africa. Not long ago, cases numbered in the thousands; today in the twenties. Guinea worm is controlled, not by vaccinations, but by changes in behavior, especially drinking filtered water. Education and supervision are largely in the hands of the locals. Other projects by the Carter Center derive from their mission of building hope, restoring health, and fighting for peace. To achieve these goals, the Center enlists national governments, the United Nations, and international corporations.
January 14, 2019
Maarten Halff, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Electoral Assistance Division, United Nations, New York City, describes the large number of requests from client nations for technical assistance in conducting elections, especially in emerging democracies. The UN neither observes nor evaluates the results. It works with local officials to encourage people to vote, establish voting procedures, and count the votes. Human rights are an important consideration in these consultations.
Presidential elections in the Central African Republic, Feb. 2016. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis
December 17, 2018
Gretchen Natter is the Executive Director of the Center for Public Service and Assistant Dean of College Life, Gettysburg College; and Communications Liaison, Project Gettysburg-Leon. In this podcast she describes the current political crisis in Nicaragua brought about by protests against President Daniel Ortega, the long-time leader of the Sandinista Movement that overthrew the Somoza dictatorship but is now using similar tactics to suppress opposition. The situation has directly affected the work of groups that encourage cultural interchange and assistance such as Project Gettysburg-Leon and others around the country.
July 29, 2018
A widely traveled, award-winning “ambassador” of peace, Rev. Sandra Mackie, Spiritual Director, Ruth House, and Recipient of the Lifetime Peacemaker Award, Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, believes that fear is a significant factor in war, and that better understanding is a key ingredient for peace. She observes that Iran should not be lumped together with other Mid-East nations. Iranians are not Arabs, but Persians with a long and proud history. They want to be democratic and open to the West, but free and independent; and when threatened, they think it necessary to develop a nuclear program.
July 6, 2018
Kim Davidson, Director, Center for Public Service, Gettysburg College, recently returned from a study tour of El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico maintains that current policy toward Mexican and Central American immigrants is based on racism, and that it is made more acute by the lack of transparency in the practices of I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). She suggests several things that advocates can do, including making their voices heard and providing legal services to those wrongly detained.
June 4, 2018
Richard Michael, Interim Pastor Big Spring United Lutheran Church, discussed his recent travel to the Holy Land. Having led several groups over the years, he described the sites the group visited, the orientation to the trip for participants and the benefit of the trip for participants. For him and individuals in the group, the arrival to the Holy Land was “coming home” since the sites (cities and roads) are familiar to Christians through their reading of scriptures. In addition, Michael discussed the political realities which exist. Such a trip helps pastors to preach and teach more effectively and assists participants to reflect more critically when reading scripture and listening to sermons.