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Idaho State University Frank Church Symposium set Jan. 31-Feb. 1, theme is 'The Best and Worst of Us'

January 10, 2019

A photo of keynote speaker Steven Feldstein with former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Frank Church Symposium keynote speaker Steven Feldstein with former U.S. Secretary of State and Senator John Kerry.

POCATELLO – The International Affairs Council of Idaho State University invites community members of Pocatello and surrounding areas to attend the 2019 Frank Church Symposium on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. This year’s theme “The Best and the Worst of Us: Confronting Injustices in the World” will bring together academics, refugees and activists debating the challenges and successes around environmental justice, refugee rights and minorities rights.

The keynote address at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 will be held in Frazier Hall and will be given by Steven Feldstein, from Boise State University who is Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs and an associate professor in the School of Public Service. He is a former deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor for the U.S. Department of State as well as a former director of policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The day events of the  two-day symposium will be held in the Salmon River Rooms in the ISU Pond Student Union.  The event runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 The symposium is free to all.

The schedule for Jan. 31 is:

  • 10 a.m. - Welcome
  • 10:30 a.m. - noon, Refugee Rights Panel
  • 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. – Richard H. Foster Lecture
  • 4 - 5:30 p.m. – Minorities Panel
  • 6 - 7:30 p.m. – Keynote Address, Frazier Hall

The schedule for Feb. 1 is:

  • 10 - 11:15 a.m. – Environment Panel
  • 11:20 a.m. – noon – Joseph and Priscilla Hearst Memorial Lecture
  • 12:15 - 1 p.m.  –  Discussion on Global Careers

The Frank Church Symposium is in its 49th year at ISU and continues its proud tradition of bringing leading experts and scholars from across the country in order to discuss, lecture and debate topics of international importance in the United States and around the world.

This year’s topic was debated by the student members in the International Affairs Council, said Paige Tarr, International Affairs Council president.  Being in a more conservative state, the students felt that these issues were the most pressing and often not discussed enough, she said. The student members wanted various experts on these topics to present their research and expertise to educate the region through discussion and deliberation. 

The Frank Church Symposium offers the opportunity for researchers and professionals from a wide variety of disciplines to help those at ISU and the surrounding community better understand the ways in which issues connected with confronting injustices in the world are shaping our future at both the local and international levels.

Although the International Affairs Council is completely student run, the council is advised by the Director of the International Studies Program, Raphael Njoku.

Members of the Minorities Rights Panel include Carmen Febles, Idaho State University, immigration and border conflicts at the US/Mexico border; Farida Jalalzai, Oklahoma State University, Women's’ rights; and Srobana Bhattacharya, Georgia Southern University, Rohingya crisis.

Members of the Environment/Water Rights Panel include Shin-Kyu Ryu, Idaho State University, water rights; Elizabeth Brunner, Idaho State University, environmental activism; and Geoffrey Buckley, Ohio University, urban sustainability and environmental justice.

Members of the Refugee Rights Panel include Zeze Rwasama, Director of the the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Programs; Justin Lee, Idaho State University; Mona Heern, educator, public speaker, and ISU alumnus; and Anselme Sadiki, execuitve director of Children's Home Society of Idaho and ISU alumnus.

For more information, contact Tarr at (702) 427-4907, tarrpaig@isu.edu.


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