RESCHEDULED: Rich Rediker to Speak December 3 on World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Mission to China

Rich Rediker the "Chinese Dream" monument in Tiananmen Square with Mao's portrait and the Forbidden City in the background

Rich Rediker in front of the “Chinese Dream” monument in Tiananmen Square with Mao’s portrait and the Forbidden City in the background

Rich Rediker, CEO of Rediker Software and a member of the World Affairs Council Board of Directors will speak at an Instant Issues event on Perspectives of China: Notes from a WACA Leadership Mission on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Community Room at One Financial Plaza  (1350 Main Street) 3rd Floor, downtown Springfield.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  Register online with a credit card here.

The World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Mission Delegation in front of the The National People's Congress

The World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Mission Delegation  in front of the The National People’s Congress.  From left to right: Craig Snyder, Joe Shaw, Lee Pasquarella, Bill Clifford, Kimberly McLaughlin, Pat Ryan, Claire Morton, Joe Oliver, Rich Rediker

The World Affairs Councils of America, in partnership with The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), hosted a Leadership Mission to the People’s Republic of China October 11-19, 2014. The eight member delegation of World Affairs Councils representatives visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan during the mission. In addition to Rich Rediker, the delegation included: Mr. Bill Clifford – Head of Delegation, President & CEO, World Affairs Councils of America; Ms. Kimberly Ann McLaughlin, Assistant Treasurer, Maine WAC, Executive Director, Sustainable Economic Solutions; Ms. Clare Higgins Morton, Assistant Director & Council Administrator, WAC of Atlanta; Mr. Charles Oliver, Director and Treasurer, Montana WAC; Mr. Lee Pasquarella, Board Member, WAC of Seattle, Board Member, World Affairs Councils of America, President, Cascade Consulting Group; Mr. Patrick W. Ryan, President, Tennessee WAC, Board Member, World Affairs Councils of America; Mr. Craig Snyder, President & CEO, WAC of Philadelphia.

Rich in ChinaA Leadership Mission is a working visit made by a WACA National Leadership Delegation to a foreign country.   (Some will recall that former Council president Ken Furst participated in similar Missions to Taiwan and Afghanistan.)  Missions allow participants to obtain firsthand knowledge of the host country, which helps them to design and operate programs, events and activities for their councils that make a real difference in fostering grassroots understanding and engagement in international affairs.  Itineraries and meetings are organized by the host.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Bacon & Wilson PC, Charista Construction,  Cignoli & Company, Prosperity Candle and Sir Speedy  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest

 

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An Evening with NPR International Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on The New Cold War

National Public Radio International Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

National Public Radio International Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is pleased to present, in cooperation with New England Public Radio, National Public Radio‘s International Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on “The New Cold War – A frontline perspective” on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at a dinner event at the Springfield Sheraton Hotel.   Ms. Nelson will appear in conversation with Dr. William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College and author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning biography Khrushchev: The Man and His Era.

Photo Credit: Petro Zadorozhnyy/AP

Photo Credit: Petro Zadorozhnyy/AP via NPR

Please register by Monday, December 8.  You can do so online here.

The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with cash bar reception for regular ticket holders and a private Speaker’s Reception for premium ticket holders.  Dinner and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Regular tickets are $50 per person.  A limited number of premium tickets are available for $250, which admit two people to the Speaker’s Reception in addition to the dinner. Premium ticket holders will also be recognized in the evening’s program.

International correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin and covers Central Europe for National Public Radio. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  She was previously based in Cairo and covered the Arab World for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Nelson returns to Egypt on occasion to cover the tumultuous transition to democracy there.  

In 2006, Nelson opened the NPR Kabul Bureau. During the following three and a half years, she gave listeners in an in-depth sense of life inside Afghanistan, from the increase in suicide among women in a country that treats them as second class citizens to the growing interference of Iran and Pakistan in Afghan affairs. For her coverage of Afghanistan, she won a Peabody Award, Overseas Press Club Award and the Gracie in 2010. She received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award from Colby College in 2011 for her coverage in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Nelson spent 20 years as newspaper reporter, including as Knight Ridder’s Middle East Bureau Chief. While at the Los Angeles Times, she was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She spent three years an editor and reporter for Newsday and was part of the team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for covering the crash of TWA Flight 800.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Nelson speaks Farsi, Dari and German.

 

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Special Instant Issues Panel on the Refugee Experience in Western Massachusetts

Burmese refugees at work at Prosperity Candle in Easthampton

Burmese refugees at work at Prosperity Candle in Easthampton

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present a panel on The Refugee Experience in Western Massachusetts on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at the Elms College Alumnae Library Theater, 291 Springfield Street in Chicopee, Massachusetts from 7:00-9:00 PM.

Bhutanese dragon dancers at a Jewish Family Services event

Bhutanese dragon dancers at a Jewish Family Services in Western Massachusetts event

This program is free and open to the public.  The Instant Issues series is sponsored by Bacon & Wilson, PC, Charista Construction, Sir Speedy, and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Panelists will include refugees who live and work in Western Massachusetts, employers and other state and local groups who work with refugees here.

Confirmed participants include:

This event is part of the Welcoming Massachusetts/Welcoming America’s series This Place We Call Home: Refugee and Immigrant Neighbors in Greater Springfield.

For more information about the panel, please call the World Affairs Council at 413-733-0110.

 

 

 

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2014 Annual Meeting on October 8 to Feature Okey Ndibe on Nigeria & Boko Haram

Journalist & author Okey Ndibe

Journalist & author Okey Ndibe

Journalist and author Okey Ndibe will speak at our Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.  The title of his talk will be Does Nigeria Have a Fighting Chance Against Boko Haram? The event will take place at the Springfield Sheraton and will begin with a cash bar reception at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m.  The cost is $45 per person.  Call 413-733-0110 to register or click here.

This event is generously sponsored by BRP/Grenier Financial Services.

Dr. Ndibe is a novelist, political columnist, and essayist.  After a career as a magazine editor in Nigeria, he moved to the US in 1988 to be the founding editor of African Commentary, an award-winning magazine published by the Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe. He has published essays in a number of North American, British and Nigerian magazines and writes a weekly column for The Guardian, Nigeria’s most respected daily newspaper.  He holds both an MFA in writing and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.   Ndibe taught at several colleges, including Connecticut College, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Trinity College (Hartford), and currently Brown University.  He  is a regular columnist for NEXT and Sahara Reporters and also contributes to many other publications, including The Hartford Courant, The Fabian Society Journal, Black Issues Book Review, and BBC Online.

Foreign Gods Inc.

“We clearly have a fresh talent at work here. It is quite a while since I sensed creative promise on this level.” —Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

His first novel  Arrows of Rain, will be reissued in the fall and his second novel, Foreign Gods, Incorporated—described by critics as “razor-sharp” and “a morality tale for our time”—was published by SOHO Press in 2014.  (We are hoping both books will be available for purchase at the event.)

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Adventures in International Dining: Ibiza

ibiza-logo-homeThe World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will be heading off to Spain for our next Adventures in International Dining at Ibiza Tapas Restaurant and Wine Bar, 7 Strong Avenue in Northampton, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.  The cost is $32.00 per person including tax and gratuity.

From 6:00 to 6:45 we will have a social hour with cash bar.  (Be sure to try out the great selection of Spanish wines and there is Spanish beer on tap.)

Hot and cold tapas, entrees and dessert will be served family style and we will hear comments from Ibiza owner Juan Suarez

Space is limited so please reserve your spot quickly!  R.S.V.P. with your payment by May 15th.  You can pay online with a credit card here.

Parking: parking in lot by old Union Station, back lot, free after 6 p.m. Walk past old Union Station, down the stairs and you will be on Strong Avenue, across from Eastside Grille.  Ibiza is just down the street from Eastside Grille.

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Instant Issues to Feature Haroon Ullah

Haroon K. Ullah is a international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

Haroon K. Ullah is an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at noon, the World Affairs Council is pleased to join with Critical Connections to present Haroon K. Ullah, an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East, at a brown bag Instant Issues event in the third floor Community Room at One Financial Plaza, 1350 Main Street in downtown Springfield, MA.

Critical Connections seeks to promote greater understanding of the Muslim world and the diaspora while strengthening Muslim communities from within.

Critical Connections seeks to promote greater understanding of the Muslim world and the diaspora while strengthening Muslim communities from within.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  You can register on line with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Friday, May 23, 2014.

Haroon K. Ullah currently serves on Secretary John Kerry’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. State Department, where he focuses on public diplomacy and countering violent extremism.  He grew up in a farming community in Washington State and was trained at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a senior Belfer fellow and completed his MPA.  He has a PhD from the University of Michigan and was a William J. Fulbright Fellow, a Harvard University Presidential Scholar, a National Security Education Program Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Public Service Fellow.  Haroon is author of Vying for Allah’s Vote (Georgetown University Press, 2013) and Bargain from The Bazaar (Public Affairs Books, 2014).

Copies of The Bargain from the Bazaar will be available for purchase at the event, courtesy of The Odyssey Bookshop.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Charista Construction, Prosperity Candle, and A. L. Cignoli Company.  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest.

 

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Second Annual International Wine and Cheese Event

wine_and_cheese10348

 

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present Our Second International Wine and Cheese Tasting on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Longtime World Affairs Council member Gary Lefort will host this event at his home:130 East Longmeadow Road, Hampden, MA 01036.  (Directions will be provided upon registration)

The program will feature little known wines from Greece, Hungary and Israel plus a dessert wine from Slovenia. We will “blind taste”, one at a time, followed by discussion of all the wines. Dress is casual.

The tasting will include seven wines (one white and one red from each country plus the dessert wine) cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit and dessert.  This is a chance to learn about wines from lesser-known vineyards of “Eastern Europe” while socializing with World Affairs Council members.  First bottle will be opened at 3:15 p.m.

 The cost person is $20.00.

Register via email or phone or online with a credit card on our website here.  Space is limited so please register early!  RSVP deadline is Thursday, April 3rd.

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Wilbraham & Monson Academy Team Wins Academic WorldQuest 2014!

Academic WorldQuest 2014 champs: Emily Carson, Danielle Bellefeuille, Brian Popovich, Emily Zeno & faculty coach Gina Markowski

Academic WorldQuest 2014 champs: Emily Carson, Danielle Bellefeuille, Brian Popovich, Emily Zeno & faculty coach Gina Markowski (photo credit:  Meredith Basler)

Eight Springfield-area high schools converged on Wilbraham & Monson Academy on Saturday, January 18, 2014 for the World Affairs Council’s 9th Annual Academic WorldQuest competition.  The team from WMA seized upon whatever “home court advantage” there was to be had, took the lead early–tying with the Springfield High School of Science & Technology at the half–and maintained it, going on to win, beating out powerhouse Springfield Renaissance High School, which has won four out of the last five years.

Longmeadow High School took second place and Renaissance and Springfield Central High School tied for third.

WMA will now go on to compete nationally at a competition hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington in April.

Academic WorldQuest is sponsored locally by Bacon & Wilson PC, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law, Rediker Software and Wilbraham & Monson Academy

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Japanese Consul General Akira Muto to Speak on Abenomics & Governor Deval Patrick’s Mission to Japan

Japanese Consul General in Boston Akira Muto

Japanese Consul General in Boston Akira Muto

Japanese Consul General in Boston Akira Muto will speak on “Abenomics and Governor Deval Patrick’s Mission to Japan”at an Instant Issues event on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at noon in the Community Room at One Financial Plaza (1350 Main Street) 3rd Floor, downtown Springfield.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  You can register on line with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Monday, May 11, 2014.

G Muto with former Council Executive Director Sue Root and her family during a ceremony in November 2012 in which the Japanese government conferred upon her the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

CG Muto with former Council Executive Director Sue Root and her family during a ceremony in November 2012 in Springfield.  The Japanese government conferred upon Sue Root the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

Consul General Akira Muto came to Boston in 2012 following a number of major domestic and international assignments for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Since joining the Ministry in 1985, he has held the posts of First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC and Counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Moscow. In Tokyo, he has served as Director of several divisions in the Economic Affairs Bureau. Immediately prior to his assignment in Boston in CG Akira Muto served as Director of the Policy Coordination Division in the Foreign Policy Bureau since 2010.  In that capacity he drafted, compiled and coordinated foreign policy on the various difficult issues which faced Japan.  His work focused on fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and maintaining friendship and goodwill between Japan and the U.S. as “comprehensive partners” that contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Prosperity Candle, and A. L. Cignoli Company.  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest.

 

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RESCHEDULED: State Senator Gale Candaras to Speak on Human Trafficking in Massachusetts

Massachusetts State Senator Gale D. Candaras

Massachusetts State Senator Gale D. Candaras

Massachusetts State Senator Gale D. Candaras will speak on  human trafficking in Massachusetts on Monday, January 27, 2014 at noon in the Community Room at One Financial Plaza (1350 Main Street) 3rd Floor, downtown Springfield.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  You can register on line with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Gale D. Candaras, an attorney, has a twenty-year record of exemplary public service.  Prior to her election to the Massachusetts State Senate, representing the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District, Gale Candaras represented Wilbraham, Springfield and East Longmeadow for ten years as State Representative for the 12th Hampden District, the largest district in the state.

Gale Candaras with 2008 Academic WorldQuest Champions from Early College High School

Senator Gale Candaras with Early College High School student team members, faculty and family, Academic WorldQuest 2008 Champions

A longtime member and friend of the World Affairs Council, Senator Candaras served as the moderator of the 2008 Academic WorldQuest competition and has met with people from China, Afghanistan and Nigeria interested in state and local government and visiting the US through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Prosperity Candle, and A. L. Cignoli Company.  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest.

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