Speaker Date Topic
Lauren Coffaro, PeaceJam Jul 14, 2020
PeaceJam Foundation & Rotary Peace Fellowships

Lauren Coffaro is the Director of Global Programs at the PeaceJam Foundation, a global nonprofit led by 14 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates who inspire youth to change the world. She received her Master’s degree as a Rotary Peace Fellow (Bradford Class XIV). A fluent Spanish speaker, Lauren has worked throughout Latin America. Lauren is a dedicated volunteer through Rotary International and passionate about promoting youth-led peacebuilding through education and intercultural exchange programs.  
Learn more about the PeaceJam Foundation here: https://www.peacejam.org/ - and join us for this Club meeting and discussion with Ms. Coffaro.

This Club meeting will be held via Zoom, beginning at 5:00pm.  Here is the link for the meeting: https://virginia.zoom.us/j/849144040

Meeting ID: 849 144 040

Carolyn Williams, Search for Common Ground Jul 28, 2020
Approaches to Conflict

Carolyn Williams comes from the United States where she has worked on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, intercultural communication, volunteerism and youth leadership. She has ten years of experience in international affairs focused across policy, practice and academia. Her specialization is in youth participation in peacebuilding and conflict transformation programming. Carolyn currently serves as a technical expert on Search for Common Ground’s consultant roster and works with the Syrian Women’s Political Movement as well as the Syrian National Coalition conducting research, political analysis and supporting Syrian representation at the United Nations. Previously, she worked with the Women Waging Peace Network designing strategy and programming to open space for young women peacebuilders and amplify youth leaders. Carolyn created the Next Generation of Women Waging Peace initiatives and Intergenerational Peacebuilding Partnerships, the first youth-focused and inter-generational projects for the Network. While with the Kroc Institute of Peace & Justice, she also worked on women’s meaningful inclusion in peace negotiations and multi-level peace processes.  
Carolyn is an enthusiastic facilitator who enjoys engaging young people in designing solutions to the problems they face. She assisted in drafting the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding in 2012 while working with Search for Common Ground and attended the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Jordan as a youth delegate with UNFPA in 2015. She worked on a State Department public diplomacy initiative supporting high school students acting as youth ambassadors to the US from 2013-2016. While working for UNHCR, a project she co-designed with refugee schools in Malaysia to build capacity of refugee children and increase opportunities for young refugees received the 2017 Youth Initiative Fund. In Myanmar, Carolyn conducted community assessments and designed responsive programming solutions in partnership with religious leaders, community members, women's organizations and international entities. She has facilitated trainings on leadership, conflict transformation, creativity and peace education with varied populations across cultural contexts.  
During her Rotary Peace Fellowship in Sweden, Carolyn worked with migrant youth in underprivileged areas on capacity and confidence building. She also conducted field research in Italy on the effects of forced migration on young men seeking asylum and has written extensively on refugee integration. Carolyn has conducted peace research in a variety of contexts and, in this capacity, engaged with local populations in the Balkans, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey on conflict resolution and reconciliation. Carolyn is published on countering and preventing violent extremism, peacebuilding and youth leader mapping. She is an Institute for Economics & Peace Ambassador and TOEFL teacher certified. Carolyn holds a Master of Social Science in Peace & Conflict Research from Uppsala University and a Bachelor of Arts in Peace & Conflict Resolution with honors from the American University School of International Service.  

This Club meeting will be held via Zoom, beginning at 5:00pm.  Here is the link for the meeting: https://virginia.zoom.us/j/849144040

Meeting ID: 849 144 040

Alyson Ball Aug 11, 2020
Basics of U.S. Immigration

Did you ever wonder how the US immigrant population has changed over time?  Are you curious about the history and consequences of our shared border with Mexico?  Do you know how US policy has affected our immigration situation today?

Join us for a presentation and discussion of the history of US immigration, our current laws and procedures, and the national immigration questions we face today.

Alyson Ball is a resident of Charlottesville and spends her winters in Green Valley, Arizona, forty miles north of the Mexican border.   As a member of the humanitarian group Green Valley-Sahuarita Samaritans, Alyson has talked to deported Mexicans in Mexico, taken Border Patrol classes, and observed federal court proceedings in Tucson that detain and deport unauthorized migrants.

Gabriela Rivera Aug 25, 2020
Global Links between Corruption & Human Rights

Corruption affects every single aspect of countries affected by it. Although we all know that corruption is pernicious, we don't often think about it as a violation to human rights.  This session aims to share a bit of my research on the links between these two areas both from the point of view of the violations to human rights but also on the use of human rights-based approaches to identify and address corrupt practices. 

Gabriela Rivera is a lawyer with over nine years of experience in human rights, women’s rights, strategic litigation, and security and justice sector reform. She also has significant experience working with victims of war crimes, women in prison and their children, victims of gender-based violence and people in various vulnerable situations. Garbiela is a participant in the Nobel Women's Initiative Mentorship Program, a professional intern at the Center for Justice and International Law, and a Rotary International Peace Fellow in 2017-2018.

David Kent Sep 08, 2020
Encountering Cultures: Windows and Mirrors

David Kent has a long background in international education, teaching and directing university English as a Second Language programs both in the US and abroad, operating as an ESL consultant to US and foreign multinationals, serving as a university international director, and working as an international student advisor. David taught at Ferdowsi University in Iran - where he was also Acting and Assistant English Director - and taught ESL to international business people in Ireland. At the University of Detroit Mercy, David was presented the  Outstanding Faculty Award by the International Student Association with the notation: For Outstanding Teaching and Humor.

David will discuss the pleasures and problems of our trans-cultural society, both for those who move here and for those who encounter them as colleagues, employees, bosses, friends, neighbors, and relatives. What can we do to understand each other better? How can we soften cultural bumps? How can we maximize the benefits of having people from other cultures in our workplaces and lives? How can we have fun with all this?

John Ragosta, Int'l Center for Jefferson Studies Oct 13, 2020
Who Defines Religious Freedom in the U.S.?

John Ragosta is a historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. He has taught at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, and Oberlin, Hamilton, and Randolph Colleges. He is currently a fellow at Virginia Humanities.

Dr. Ragosta authored Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed (University of Virginia Press, 2013) and Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia’s Religious Dissenters Helped to Win the American Revolution & Secured Religious Liberty (Oxford University Press 2010). His most recent book, Patrick Henry: Proclaiming a Revolution, was released by Routledge Press in 2016. He has published peer-reviewed articles in historic, legal, and scientific journals and is a frequent commentator on topics of public interest.

Before returning to academia, Dr. Ragosta was a partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP. He holds both a PhD and a JD from the University of Virginia and a BS (Physics-Chemistry, Philosophy) from Grove City College.