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United Nations Special Adviser on Myanmar to Speak at Monmouth University’s Convention on Non-Violence

Vijay Nambiar, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Myanmar, a country currently involved in peace negotiations between government officials and armed ethnic groups, will be the keynote speaker at a convention on non-violence at Monmouth University. Nambiar, a veteran diplomat, will discuss the process of drafting a nationwide ceasefire agreement for a newly formed democratic country and share his more than 45 years of experience as an international civil servant on April 13 at 10 a.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium.

Monmouth University’s 14th annual Global Understanding Convention, “Practicing Non-Violence in a Violent World,” takes place April 13 to 17 and features more than 50 lectures, panels, films, and exhibits committed to fostering dialogue around the ways in which people and communities, both locally and across the globe, struggle against diverse forms of social and interpersonal violence in thoughtful, non-violent ways.

“While the convention tackles the reality of violence head on, it seeks to bring attention to the productive and creative ways in which the human community has responded to situations of inequality, injustice and lack of mutual understanding,” said Director of the Institute for Global Understanding and Associate Professor of Communication Marina Vujnovic.

The campus-wide interdisciplinary convention is free and open to the public. For more information, call 732-571-3526.

Convention Highlights

Monday, April 13

  • 10 a.m., Wilson Hall Auditorium
    Keynote Speaker: Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Myanmar Vijay Nambiar
  • 2:30 p.m., Pollak Theatre
    Film: “Dead Man Walking”
  • 7:30 p.m., Magill Commons Club Rooms 107, 108, and 109
    Interfaith Perspectives on Non-Violence
    Panelists include Rabbi Marc Kline (Judaism), from the Monmouth Reform Temple; Dr. Mohammad Ali Chaudry (Islam), president of the Center for Understanding Islam; Antonia Malone (Christian), founder of Pax Christi NJ; and Monmouth University Professor Eleanor Novek (Quaker)
    Joe Ritacco, member of the Monmouth Dialogue Group and board member of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought, will moderate the panel.

Tuesday, April 14

  • 2:30 p.m., Wilson Hall Auditorium
    Social and Ethical Implications of the Self-Organizing Nature of the Universe
    Dr. Stuart Kauffman, one of the world’s preeminent scientists and a member of the renowned Santa Fe Institute, will join his wife Katherine in a discussion that draws out some of the social and ethical implications, as they see it, of the self-organizing nature of the universe. Dr. Philip Anderson, a 1977 Nobel laureate in physics, will be in attendance at the talk.

Wednesday, April 15

  • 2:30 p.m., H.R. Young Auditorium, Bey Hall
    Free screening of the Oscar-winning film “Dead Man Walking” based on Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir about her experience befriending a convicted murderer on Death Row. Prejean will speak at the Convention on April 17.
  • 7:30 p.m., Pollak Theatre
    Free screening of “Ida,” the winner of the 2015 Oscar Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. The film tells the haunting tale of a young soon-to-be nun in 1960s Poland who learns she’s actually the daughter of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Friday, April 17

  • 4 p.m. Wilson Hall Auditorium
    Sister Helen Prejean will discuss her memoir Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, which was turned into the film “Dead Man Walking.” Prejean began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. Upon Sonnier’s request, Prejean repeatedly visited him as his spiritual advisor. In doing so, her eyes were opened to the Louisiana execution process.