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April 1 , 2008

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School of Communication

John Bul Dau shares his experiences at the Fifth Annual Partnership
Photo by Matthew Gadus

Conference on global democracy draws
a large number of students and teachers

By Matthew Gadus

Ending a week that whirl-winded Cleveland State University into the national spotlight was another event that also brought well-known speakers and powerful messages to campus. On Feb. 29, three days after the Clinton/Obama debate rocked the venue, the Wolstein Center hosted the Fifth Annual Partnership Conference.

James Loewen, best-selling author and consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, and John Bul Dau, a fervent champion for humanitarian causes, were the keynote speakers.

Starting in 1987, Dau was one of thousands of children that roamed Sudan fighting starvation and fleeing violence.
Dau was one of the older boys, a leader among the others. Dau recalled the boys walked barefoot and sometimes naked, with little or no food or water. They survived, roaming Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia starving and afraid.
Dau spoke about his struggled during the luncheon meeting. He told his story of success through struggle.

Earlier, Loewen started off the morning session with his speech titled, "Lies My Teacher Told Me about American History".

There were about 325 participants at the conference that started at 8:30 a.m. and ended by 2 p.m. In attendance were 50 to 60 CSU students. In addition to college students, a wide range of school teachers, professors, counselors, high school students and administrators.

Another 200 participated via video conference, which was presented by the College of Education and Human Services in cooperation with the Department of History, the College of Urban Affairs, and the Department of Modern Languages.

Many breakout sessions focused on the conference's main theme "Preparing Citizen's for a Global Democracy". Many sessions targeted social studies and history teachers. The importance of conflict resolution, student empowerment, and global awareness in the education process were stressed in many of these seminars.

The promotion of Chinese language instruction was the topic of one session. Shaker Heights High School students, dressed in cultural costume, performed greetings and songs in Chinese during the luncheon. These students were second year Chinese language students.

Using regional landscapes to reconnect American history to its global roots was another topic touched upon at the conference.

Teaching Islam in social studies was also an important issue discussed.

CSU faculty and alumni working in education were recognized at an award ceremony during the luncheon. Brigitte Bolgar, Karen Boyle, Jim Heffernan, Debbie Lindak, George Massa, Audrey Schneider, Rose Spano, and Elizabeth Thompkins were recognized for their service as school site coordinators for CSU's Master of Urban Secondary Teaching (MUST) program.

Alumni Special Achievement Awards were received by James A. Harmon, David K. Brown, and Dr. Raymond Clinton Hart. The Distinguished Faculty Award went to Dr. Donald Ramos because of his work as the CSU voice with the Ohio Board of Education.

Dr. Janice M. Gallagher received the Outstanding Leadership in Social Studies Education Award.




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