FIRST INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINED DIALOGUE COLLEGE SUMMIT HELD IN ADDIS ABABA
(See Photos below.)
The Class of '52 adopted the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network as an "Enduring Mark" two years ago, beginning with support for a conference celebrating and building on ten years of the SDCN. Hal Saunders, our liaison with the SDCN, and Rhonda Fitzgerald, SDCN Program Director, have provided the following report on the latest extension of SDCN abroad, held in Addis Ababa in December 2011:
Monday, December 19, 2011 (Sustained Dialogue Campus Network)
The Addis Ababa University Peace Club in collaboration with the Life & Peace Institute organized a 3-day Sustained Dialogue Summit from the 16th to the 18th of December 2011. Teams from Sudan, USA, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia attended the summit to share experiences. The theme of the summit was developing SD across the globe.
The summit resulted in a joint vision and topics included ensuring the sustainability of SD through selection of leaders and utilizing and building effective fund raising capacity. Kiah Abbey, a student from Montana State University, and Jessica Ch’ng, a student from Harvard University, joined Rhonda Fitzgerald, SDCN Program Director, to represent the U.S.-based Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. The group presented on measuring impact, moving from dialogue to action, and building safe, nonpartisan learning spaces.
In 2007, students from Addis Ababa University formed the Peace Club to build student capacity to resolve conflicts taking place on campus related to ethnic divide, language, culture, gender, religion, and disability. The student group reached out to the Peace and Development Center (PDC) in Addis Ababa and the Life & Peace Institute (LPI) in Sweden, an ecumenical research and action organization, to support strategies to work through divisions on campus using dialogue. In 2009, trainers from the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network in Washington, D.C. and from the Center for Conflict Management and Transformation in Harare, Zimbabwe, joined the 35 moderators of the AAU Peace Club for a 3-day Sustained Dialogue Training hosted by PDC and LPI.
The 2011 Summit marks two successful years of the initiative, which has involved 700 students to date. During the summit, hundreds of students came together to brainstorm ways of sustaining the club’s student-run activities. Dr. Abiy Zegeye, Chief Academic Officer of Addis Ababa University, spoke in support of the Peace Club’s work to improve relations on campus, labeling the initiative as "the most active” group of the many on campus.
Summit organizer Hannah Tsadik, of the Life & Peace Institute, said the initiative is proof that "something very small can grow and bloom and reach people all over the world…that things can change for the better.” The summit’s attendees planned for future progress in their respective contexts. Dr. Yasir Awad, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Khartoum and LPI Sudan Research Advisor shared plans to bring peace through sustained dialogue to the country, noting that the country, has more often had sustained civil strife. While the summit is significant in that it’s the first international Sustained Dialogue student summit of its kind, it also provides an important case for those documenting peacekeeping initiatives. Professor Tarekegn Adebo of AAU noted the peer-reviewed academic research being conducted on the initiative:
"This exercise, Sustained Dialogue, is going to contribute something serious on the theoretical level on that part of peace-building called impact assessment.”
The program representatives plan to collaborate further and advance their work in their respective contexts. Summit-goers committed to the following joint vision to guide work in their respective contexts.
Joint Vision Statement of the Sustained Dialogue Teams of Addis Ababa University, NUST in Zimbabwe, and the chapters of SDCN in the U.S.:
Enduring Marks: What We Have Left Behind
The "enduring marks" program, labeled and overseen by our late classmate Don Kahn for the Class Executive Committee, is a collection of many indicators of many kinds, including buildings, plaques, endowed fellowships, and programs, of the attachment of the Class of '52 and its individual members to the University. Here are a few of the more visible reminders of our "enduring marks."
Plaque on the wall of Buyers Hall, dedicated October 21, 2004, the gift to the University of "Doc" Buyers, Doc's business colleague Bill Bours '39, the family of Dave Hickok, Dick Kazmaier, John McGillicuddy, and Jay Sherrerd
|At the dedication of the Class of 1952 Stadium, October 14, 1995: |
Harry Brightman, Jeff Nunes (foreground), Joe Bolster, Jay Sherrerd, Doc Buyers, Cliff Barr, John Emery
|Plaque at the Andlinger Center (above), dedicated May 14, 2004, and (below) the plaque and ceiling sculpture (mobile?) contributed by the Class of 1952 in Gerry's honor.|
The Class plaque at the west end of Nassau Hall, dedicated in June 2002
|Roger and Brook Berlind with son William '95 at the dedication of the Berlind Theatre|