Annual Mir Centre for Peace Series Takes On Important Issues
Bringing important peace and social justice issues to the forefront in the region, the Selkirk College Mir Centre for Peace has embarked on a new season of lectures and peace cafés.
Since 2007, the Mir Lecture Series and Mir Peace Cafés have brought a diverse selection of local and international speakers to the West Kootenay-Boundary. Over the next few months that tradition will continue with seven events to mark in your calendar.
“These events are important because they bring the community into the conversations and raise awareness about important issues related to peace and social justice,” says Cara-Lee Malange, Coordinator of Mir Centre Community Programs.
“We want to stimulate inquiry and hope that people are inspired by listening to people like Steven Lewis or James Orbinski or Chris Hedges. Not only to understand more about the issues, but to engage in the issues more fully so that our citizens are empowered to participate more effectively in the solutions to the complex social, political and economic challenges underlying social injustice and threats to peace.”
Canadian humanitarian Lewis was the first marquee speaker to be brought to the region under a Selkirk College endowment that was years in the making. Since that time, the ongoing series of lectures has allowed for speakers such as David Suzuki, Izzeldin Abuelaish, Justice Murray Sinclair and Samantha Nutt to come face-to-face with locals.
“Having good insight from these world class speakers about what the real and structural challenges are behind these peace and social justice related issues,” says Malange.
This year’s series peace cafés and lectures have already begun with a visit by Tibetan Buddhist scholar and artist Lama Losang Samten who spent a week in the Nelson area earlier this month. Samten took part in a peace café at the United Church in Nelson where he spoke about his time working as an advisor on the Martin Scorsese movie Kundun.
The series continues over the next few months with the following events (see selkirk.ca for details of times and locations):
September 21: Mir Lecture – Indigenous Perspective on Healing and Expressive Arts.
September 23: Peace Café – Author Joan Harper will speak on her book He Moved a Mountain: Frank Calder and the Nisga’a Land Claims Accord.
October 2: Peace Café – Guatemalan feminist and performance artist Sandra Moran will speak on “Confronting the Multiple Systems of Oppression in the Path to Peace.”
October 9: Peace Café – Selkirk College Instructor Denis Kleine and the Peace Symbol Project
October 16: Peace Café – North & South: The Documentary.
November 7: Mire Lecture – Award winning Canadian author Lawrence Hill will speak on his new book Blood: The Stuff of Life.
November 13: Resource Extraction Industries in the South & the North
More events and dates will be announced for the second half of the year which will begin in January.
Without individual and corporate donors, Malange says the series would not be possible.
“This is a result of the individuals and organizations that have been so generous with the endowment that allows for this level of speakers,” she says.
Find out more about the Mir Lecture Series and Mir Peace Cafés at: selkirk.ca/mir-centre-for-peace/education/mir-lecture-se