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Upcoming Mir Lecture Provides African Perspective

This weekend in Nelson, Selkirk College staff, students and members of the public will have the opportunity to gain insight into the encouraging peace building efforts being conducted in Africa. On Saturday, November 16th the Mir Lecture Series welcomes Dr. Jimmy Juma to speak on his experiences as the coordinator of the African Peace Building Institute.

“Peace starts with change at a personal level and not at any other level of the society,” says Juma, who works as a mediator, negotiator and teacher.

“Peace-building in Africa gives an image of more and more people with capacity in dealing with conflict non-violently in various parts of the continent and at various levels starting from the individual level. Clearly, there are constructive relationships that are emerging as a result of peace-building efforts in communities, schools, churches, universities and other settings. Efforts of peace-building also are affecting changes at national and regional levels.”

Dr. Jimmy Juma during African peace building session. 

On Saturday, November 16th the Mir Lecture Series welcomes Dr. Jimmy Juma (back row, far right) to speak on his experiences as the coordinator of the African Peace Building Institute.

Juma is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, a country that has been devastated by civil war in its recent past. If all you did was watch the North American news about Juma’s home, it might seem bleak. But that’s not the current reality and the message Juma stresses during his lecture is one of hope.

“A different Africa is emerging,” he says. “Changes are taking place in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the end of a foreign-born, backed and remote controlled rebel group.

“The average North American can also see that young people in Africa are waking up to demand their rights and push for genuine democracy. Future generations of young Africans will not keep the status quo. In Africa, there is a growing belief that there is time for dictatorships and a time for democratic rules that are based on African traditional democratic principles of community and compassion.”

Dr. Jimmy Juma’s lecture Peace Building in Africa: Challenges and Hopes will take place on Saturday, November 16th at 7 pm at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus. Tickets are available at the door and are $16 for adults and $13 for students/seniors. This lecture is generously sponsored by the Columbia Basin Trust.

Juma will also be putting on a workshop on November 16th entitled Conflict Transformation and Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Juma will incorporate cultural sensitivity into conflict resolution skills with a particular appreciation of conflict and peace building from an African perspective. This hands-on workshop is suitable for all ages. The workshop runs from 9 am to 4 pm and costs $40 for students and $80 for non-students. Please note that 12 free seats have been reserved for Selkirk College students. To register for this workshop please call 250.365.1208.

For the full story on Dr. Juma's visit to Nelson please visit selkirk.ca here.

Learn more about the Mir Centre for Peace and join them on Facebook.

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