Americans for Informed Democracy - Omaha
Experience Norway March 20-21
Sunday, March 13, 2005, 04:55 AM
The Omaha Elveby Lodge of the national Sons of Norway organization would like to invite you to experience Norway on both Sunday March 20th and Monday March 21st. On Sunday at 2:30pm Norwegian Folk Music and Danse will be performed by Vestafor. This will include the sounds of fiddles, and the famous Hardanger fidle as heard in the Lord of the Rings and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are $5 students, $7 adults, and $3 under age 16. Contact Jim Solheim at 393-6108 for details - and see the VESTAFOR flyer for sharing the details.

On Monday at 6:30pm, the Elveby lodge will hold their monthly (see Elveby calendar) social meeting and potluck dinner. This is a great opportunity to meet with the diversity and character of people in the Omaha Sons of Norway. UNO Student Brian Wiese will give his presentation on Studying Abroad in Norway from Fall 2004.

Both events take place at the Scandanivian American Society building at 7575 Crown Point Road in Omaha (just North on 72nd from Dodge street, 1 intersection before Sorensen parkway). See also this announcement in pdf(70k) form which is more suitable for distribution.

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First Town Hall Success, Looking Forward
Saturday, March 5, 2005, 06:12 PM
We can label our first town hall meeting as a success by the extraordinary discussions our presentors gave as well as our strong turnout of approximately 30 people for a Friday evening! There is still much more to be done though, as many who would have liked to attend could not -- so we are now pushing to get the media attention this event deserves. A transcript of comments will be written up shortly and all are encouraged to spread the word of what we all learned. Read news stories of other town halls that took place nation wide.

Update: Next meeting is Friday March 25th @ 1pm in Council Room, MBSC

We have several key things to look forward to now in our next meeting. In chronological order they are:
• Search out new speakers for the next town hall meeting
• Elect officers - perhaps next Friday the 11th or 18th
• Possible video conference March 30th with Benin, Ivory Coast, and the Netherlands to discuss again the Millennium Development Goals
Future of U.N.-U.S. Relations with support from local high school students in the Model UN group at UNO scheduled for late April.
• Note for HS students: Global Scholar.

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Tonight: U.S. and Africa Relations on Development
Friday, March 4, 2005, 05:57 AM
Update Photos: are now available online

UNO AID's first townhall meeting to discuss issues of global importance takes place tonight on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus! Please join us for a discussion on The Future of U.S. Relations with Africa: The Millennium Development Goals.

Friday March 4th @ 6:00pm
Dodge Room, Milo Bail Student Center
University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, 6001 Dodge St. Omaha, NE
Refreshments will be provided
See the map and directions for information on how to get here.

Please distribute either our 1 page flyer or one of our 2-per-page flyers geared toward promotional and providing a list of speakers. To prepare for the discussion, please also read the background primer.

Distinguished Panelists:
Dr. David Chand - UNO - International Studies and Political Science
Dr. Ngwarsungu Chiwengo - Creighton - World and African Literature
Dr. Robert Hitchcock - UNL - Human Ecology and Applied/Developmental Anthropology
Dr. Sue Stein - Computers for Africa - Creighton Prep. High School
Dr. Paul Allen Williams - UNO -Associate Editor, International Third World Studies Journal and Review, and Assistant Professor, Religious Studies Program. Dr. Williams will also serve as the moderator for our discussion.
Dr. Manfred Wogugu - UNO - Dept. of Black Studies

The main MDGs are to: 1) Eradicate poverty and extreme hunger, 2) Achieve universal primary education, 3) Promote gender equity and empower women, 4) Reduce child mortality, 5) Improve maternal health, 6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 7) Ensure environmental sustainability, 8) Develop global partnership for development.

Local responses to this issue include:
Information Technology for Development at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
International Third World Studies Journal and Review at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Computers for Africa non-profit organization in Omaha

Read more of the background information about the Millennium Development goals provided online and see a map of Africa online or in pdf.

Americans for Informed Democracy (AID) is a non-partisan student organization on more than 175 university campuses that promotes global understanding by coordinating town hall meetings on America’s role in the world and by publishing opinion pieces and reports on issues of global importance. Through these efforts, AID seeks to inspire a more collaborative U.S. foreign policy and a new generation of internationalist leaders who can lead America in an increasingly interdependent world.

Updated: Speaker Bios:
Dr. David Chand, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha - Dr. Chand is currently teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha as an Associate Professor of Political Science. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the South Sudan Institute of Peace and Development (SSIPD) in South Sudan (1999-2001) and was the Ambassador and Director of Peace and Human Rights Department for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum (1997-99). Dr. Chand is a founding member of South Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A), a member of the National Liberation Council (NLC) (1994) and Member of the UDSF Central Committee (1998). He was the Spokesman and Director of External Affairs of SSIM/A (now UDSF) from 1995-98 and served as the Representative of SSIM/A (formerly SPLA-United) to the United Nations and the Americas from 1991-94. As a member of SSIM, Dr. Chand took part in the Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) I, II, and II & IV Peace Talks and participated in the South-South Dialogue on peace and Unity of Purpose held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2000.

Dr. Mandred Wogugu worked for over 20 years as a United Nations Expert teaching and advising on population and development issues in Africa. Between 1989 and 1999 Dr. Wogugu served as the International Labor Organization’s Population and Development Advisor to the Govenments of Uganda and Botswana respectively. Prior to this period, he has taught Demography at the United Nations Regional Institute For Population Studies, at the University of Ghana, Legon. Dr. Wogugu has also participated and led some UN-sponsored technical advisory missions to South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leon, The Gambia and Mozambique.

Dr. Sue Stein is Chair of the English Department at Creighton Preparatory High School and a board member of Computers for Africa, a non-profit organization based in Omaha. CFA’s mission is to reduce social disparities in Africa by helping bridge the digital divide. The overall goal is to mobilize North America’s surplus technology to equip organizations that serve the underprivileged of Africa. The first shipment of CFA computers was sent in 1999. Last summer Dr. Stein took students to Uganda to visit technology centers using CFA equipment; she is returning in May with more students. Currently two other board members of CFA are living in Uganda. An East Africa office opened in 2004. Dr. Stein received her Ph.D. in English from UNL.

Dr. Chiwengo is an Associate Professor of English and director of the World Literature Program at Creighton University. Her research is primarily centered on African and African American literature. She was the Katanga Federal President of the Democrat and Social Christian Party (PDSC) of the Congo and is currently its US representative.

Dr. Hitchcock comes to us drawing on the experience of over 30 years in 12 African countries, working for the World Bank, the US Government, various African governments, and non-government organizations, including ones involved with development and human rights. Dr. Hitchcock can broadly address the Millennium Development Goals from both a multilateral approach (UN, World Bank) and bilateral (US-individual African country) perspectives.

Dr. Paul Allen Williams was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in Texas, and now conducts research in the history of religions in North America and Central Africa (African Traditional Religions, Christianity, and Islam) and also teaches courses on religion in those areas. In addition to his work as Associate Editor of the International Third World Studies Journal and Review, he also serves as Editor of the Journal of Religion and Film. In connection with this panel, he is particularly concerned about “the failure of humanity” during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its consequences for the subsequent history of Congo (Kinshasa). This latter concern raises profound foreign policy and ethical considerations related to the discussion of human rights.

Brought to you in association with: American Democracy Project, Goodrich Student Organization, UNO College Democrats

Brian Wiese
Campus Coordinator, Americans for Informed Democracy ::

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UN Millennium Development Background and Flyers
Saturday, February 26, 2005, 09:26 AM
In preparation for the upcoming town hall on the U.S. Role in Africa with respect to the United Nations Millennium Development goals, please see the background primer. The main goals are to: 1) Eradicate poverty and extreme hunger, 2) Achieve universal primary education, 3) Promote gender equity and empower women, 4) Reduce child mortality, 5) Improve maternal health, 6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 7) Ensure environmental sustainability, 8) Develop global partnership for development.

The following links also provide useful background information:
UN Millennium Summit in 2000 and Development Goals, with photos
MDG Background documents from
Millennium Development Statistics
UN Millennium Project
• President Bush's announcement of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) creating the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and on MCA
USAID in Africa
Development reports from developing and developed countries
World Health Organization on MDGs
Millennium Campaign Voices Against Poverty
MDGs FAQ from UN Development Program
Inter Press Service News on Development Deadline

Advertising :: To help promote the upcoming town hall, we have several flyers available: 1 page poster (pdf:doc), a 2-per-page promotional flyer (pdf:doc) and a 2-per-page list of speakers flyer (pdf:doc).

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Gateway - Gen. Shelton on National Security
Saturday, February 26, 2005, 08:20 AM
In the current issue of the UNO Gateway, they covered Gen. Hugh Shelton's speech about national security during the last ABC Breakfast Speaker Series which highlighted several times the need for more 1) global awareness and 2) international cooperation in mentioning:
• "We have a great opportunity here to develop a sense of trust. If we don't do that, we're going to have problems."
• Shelton agreed that President George W. Bush is doing the right thing by stepping out and trying to regain the trust of other nations.
• Shelton advocated the role that universities play in creating bonds between nations. International exchanges help younger generations of other cultures see that we're not "war mongering radicals."

Hopefully on President Bush's trip to Europe this week, he has been able to restore some of this trust in addition to finding common ground on issues of importance to both U.S. and Europe. News sources: usatoday, washington times, cnn, msnbc, financial times, or see more results from google news search

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Asian Heritage Month
Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 12:09 PM
The Asian American Cultural Society and the Cultural Awareness Programs Office is proudly hosting the University of Nebraska at Omaha's second-ever Asian Heritage Month (this is our first year with actual funding). Scheduled Events (pdf) run from late February to early April.

Representing over 50 different ethnic groups, coupled with highly variable experiences, histories, values, and worldviews, Asians and Asian Americans are by no means a monolithic group. It is my hope that Asian Heritage Month 2005 will promote an awareness of, and understanding for, the diversity and experiences of Asians and Asian Americans.

Any questions should be directed to Mr. Sharif Liwaru, Cultural Awareness Programs Office adviser, at sliwaru or 402/554-2711.

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Meeting and Pizza Friday Feb 25 @ 5pm
Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 12:59 PM
Free pizza if you can make it to the Redick Room - 3rd floor of the Milo Bail Student Center on Friday February 25th @ 5:00pm for a short informational and planning meeting before the town hall next week.
• Please leave a comment if you plan to attend!!!

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Speakers, Initial Flyer for March 4th
Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 06:29 AM
We currently have two distinguished speakers for our first town hall meeting on Friday March 4th. Distinguished panelists include Dr. Sue Stein of the Omaha-based non-profit organization Computers for Africa and Dr. Manfred Wogugu of the UNO Dept. of Black Studies with experience in the United Nations will both be leading our discussion on The Future of U.S. Relations with Africa: The Millennium Development Goals. Other distinguished panelists are still being considered. The town hall will take place at 6:00pm in the Dodge Room of the Milo Bail Student Center on the UNO campus, 6001 Dodge St. Omaha.

Please feel free to post this initial flyer (84k pdf) at your nearest public spaces (bulletin board, water fountain, coffee counter) and place of work to help spread the word! There is also a general flyer (62k pdf) about UNO AID suitable for handing out.

Update: February 26th :: We now have an additional 4 Distinguished Panelists! ::

Dr. David Chand - UNO - International Studies and Political Science
Dr. Ngwarsungu Chiwengo - Creighton - World and African Literature
Dr. Robert Hitchcock - UNL - Human Ecology and Applied/Developmental Anthropology
Dr. Paul Allen Williams - UNO -Associate Editor, International Third World Studies Journal and Review, and Assistant Professor, Religious Studies Program. Dr. Williams will also serve as the moderator for our discussion.
... The initial flyer above has now been updated.

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Mailing List - First Town Hall
Saturday, February 12, 2005, 06:43 AM
Thanks to those who made it to the Feb 11th meeting. We have a small group going now and will hopefully have more interested members when I get a chance to visit some Political Science classrooms. For now, be sure to signup on the Omaha AID Mailing List for new developments and discussions. Note that you can unsubscribe at any time and control your mailing list settings. I'm also working to build up a new website that we can use instead of this Typepad, so get ready for a few changes.

Our first Town Hall meeting is just 2 weeks away -- Friday March 4th! I have some poster designs prepared but would like to find out if any other student organizations would like to partner in our efforts to raise global awareness. By February 24th I'll have posters ready to be advertised, and will need volunteer support to disperse them around campus, town, office locations, and any other relevant places. If your Omaha-area or UNO organization would like to take part, please email me at bwiese at as soon as possible. Please provide your organization's website and primary point of contact with email and phone number.

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Starting AID in Omaha
Wednesday, February 2, 2005, 04:42 AM
Welcome to the Omaha chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy website ! We are currently setting up our chapter as a student organization at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and starting to work on our new website as well as plan for our fist town hall meeting scheduled for the end of February/early March. Our first town hall will take place under the initiative of Red, White and Blue Coming Together in which we will address the hidden consensus we share across political, religious, and cultural lines on foreign policy issues.

We will likely tailor our town hall discussion to the topics of achieving the Millennium Development Goals or the U.S. Role in Sudan and are currently looking for local experts on these topics to lead our panel discussion so that we as ordinary citizens can more clearly understand these foreign and complicated issues at hand.

If this sounds interesting to you, and you'd like to take part in it... please meetup at the fireplace lounge in the Milo Bail Student Center on Friday February 11th @ 5:00pm. Bring a note book, a friend, and even an ambassador to another organization -- we'd like to make this as much of a community and as big as possible! Let's change the world... or at least Omaha's perception of it!

For more information, contact: Brian Wiese (bwiese at / 554-2072 / 297-9392). Thanks to the support of Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Dr. Jody Neathery-Castro, Dr. Pamela Owens and the American Democracy Project.

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