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2009.02.27 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO School of Social Work to Host Gandhi Symposium and Award April 3

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) School of Social Work will host the 12th annual Gandhi Symposium and Award Friday, April 3, at the UNO Thompson Alumni Center (6705 Dodge St.) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Gandhi Award is an annual event that honors an individual or organization that exemplifies Gandhi’s principles of non-violence, selfless service and social action, which are consistent with social work values. It is an opportunity to celebrate social workers and the work toward social justice and improving social conditions.

The registration deadline for the lunceon was Friday, March 20. HOWEVER, anyone wishing to attend the symposium can do walk-up registration on April 3. For more information, call (402) 554-2791.

The event will include the symposium and presentation of the Gandhi Award. Dr. Howard Zehr, who is widely recognized as a major pioneer in the area of restorative justice, will be the speaker for the symposium. For 19 years, he served as director of the Office on Crime and Justice for Mennonite Central Committee U.S. He is a professor of Restorative Justice at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va. He lectures and consults internationally on topics related to restorative justice including victim offender conferencing, which he helped pioneer.

Dr. Zehr has also worked professionally as a photographer and photojournalist. Currently, he is involved in a photo/interview project with Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, "When a Parent is in Prison." His current research focus is on the roles of victims in restorative justice and on restorative justice in severe violence.

Dr. Zehr was awarded the 2006 Community of Christ International Peace Award, which is a lifetime achievement award for his pioneering work in restorative justice. Dr. Zehr has been involved in several media interviews both nationally and internationally.

He also has numerous publications on the topic of restorative justice, including a recent book called Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. His book entitled Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice has been a foundational work in the growing area of restorative justice. Professionals in the area of restorative justice, social workers, professors, and students as well as other community representatives are welcome to come join their colleagues for this event to discuss issues that increasingly affect our communities.

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UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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